A judge has set bail at $100,000 for the 31-year-old man arrested Sunday for allegedly setting his West Seattle Junction apartment on fire. We covered the fire at the Elan 41 complex at Jefferson Square early yesterday morning; later in the day, police announced they had arrested the resident of the apartment where the fire started. According to probable-cause documents used at this afternoon’s bail hearing, the man first told firefighters that he started the fire because, the report says, “there had been snipers in his apartment and they were shooting at him; to defend himself, he grabbed a bottle of acetone, threw it at them, and lit it on fire.” He then ran out, he is reported to have explained, but came back for his dog. After police arrested him, the report says, officers asked him why he started the fire; they say, “He changed the subject and wanted to know who the person was in the back of the patrol car.” The officer wrote that he advised the suspect he couldn’t see that person; “this made him upset.” The suspect then repeated what he had told SFD, adding, according to the police report, “he had saved people because the snipers would have killed them all.” The only prior arrest we can find for him was a misdemeanor assault case a year and a half ago, dismissed because there was “no prosecuting witness.” Not much information is available about that case but we do note his address was listed as the same apartment. One person was hurt in the fire, an SFD lieutenant who suffered minor injuries.
West Seattle, Washington