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Man asked for arson arrest, plea is not guilty
Suspect cooperating with investigators.
PORT ORCHARD — An employee of Poulsbo’s Big Valley Veterinary Services (BVVS) — charged with first-degree arson after allegedly setting fire to the center Aug. 5 — appeared in Kitsap County Superior Court Wednesday.
A plea of not guilty was entered by the court on behalf of BVVS employee Alfred W. Friedrich, 52, of East Bremerton.
According to Kitsap County Sheriff’s reports, Friedrich called 911 dispatching units Tuesday evening asking to be arrested for setting fire to the building.
The reports also state that Friedrich allegedly assaulted a man who boards his horse at the center. Friedrich was allegedly trying to make the man leave the property prior to setting fire.
Witnesses describe Friedrich at the scene carrying a can of gasoline into the building.
Judge Jay B. Roof retained Friedrich’s bail at $250,000 due to the severity of the property crime and because the occupant of an upstairs apartment was displaced from a home, said Deputy Scott Wilson, KCSO spokesman.
“He wanted to retain bail for the safety of the community,” he said.
No one was injured in the fire, but the cat belonging to the center’s owner died from smoke inhalation.
The fire destroyed the office space but responding firefighters from Poulsbo, North Kitsap and Navy Region Northwest managed to save the rest of the building. The clinic and second-story apartment sustained smoke damage and according to the Kitsap County Fire Marshal, there is more than $200,000 in damages.
BVVS employees reported to sheriff deputies that Friedrich came in on Tuesday around noon to pick up his paycheck and became upset because of a pay discrepancy.
According to deputy reports, owner Dr. Michael Cable told Friedrich he couldn’t look into the problem at that time.
After Friedrich called 911 dispatching units, sheriff deputies and police officers from Bremerton Police Department apprehended Freidrich at his home.
He was taken into custody without incident and is reported to have cooperated with investigators.