Teen charged with arson in connection with Arnold’s fire
By RACHEL BRANT
Bremerton Patriot Staff writer
September 17, 2009 · Updated 4:23 PM
Second teen released, investigation continues.
Bremerton Police detectives arrested two teenagers, ages 16 and 13, last week in connection with the Arnold’s Home Furnishings fire.
The 16-year-old Port Orchard boy was arrested and booked into Kitsap County Juvenile Detention Center Sept. 10 on a charge of first-degree arson.
Investigators believe he broke a window and started a fire inside the 66,000-square-foot building on Kitsap Way July 27.
The 13-year-old Bremerton boy was arrested Sept. 11 on a charge of first-degree arson and has since been released while investigators continue to gather more information, according to Bremerton Police Detective Sgt. Kevin Crane.
Investigators believe the 13-year-old broke a window and started a second fire about the same time the 16-year-old suspect ignited a fire inside the building, Bremerton Police stated last week.
Three youths, including the 16-year-old and 13-year-old, were reported to be skateboarding near Arnold’s Home Furnishings the night of the fire.
The third teen has not been tied to any criminal activity, but the investigation continues, Crane said.
More than 100 firefighters were called in to battle the blaze in July, making it “the largest Kitsap County fire in recent history,” according to Bremerton Police. Firefighters from as far away as Tacoma, Lakewood, University Place and Gig Harbor responded to the two-day fire fight.
Fifteen fire investigators, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau and a Seattle Fire Department K-9 sifted through the debris on scene for eight days.
Investigators determined Aug. 12 the fire was arson, according to Bremerton Police.