The following is a press release:
Just after 10 p.m. on Aug. 5, Renton Police noticed black smoke coming from the downtown Les Schwab Tire store.
Three Officers attempted to extinguish the fire with their portable fire extinguishers but were unsuccessful.
Renton Fire Authority, Fire District 20 and Tukwila Fire units responded to the commercial fire located at 710 Rainier Ave. S. The Fire units were directed to a tire rack next to the outside of the building that was on fire. The fire was contained to the rack with a small amount of smoke damage to the exterior of the building. Fire units forced the front door to check for any further damage inside the building but none was found.
The store manager and assistant manager were called to the scene and were asked to check security camera footage. They located video of a white male wearing a black tank top and camouflage pants walking in front of the store then going to the side of the building where the fire originated.
After viewing the video the assistant manager, saw a suspect matching the description across the street and advised Renton Officers who were still in the area. The Officers quickly moved in and arrested the man, who was later booked in the King County Jail for Investigation of Arson.
Fire investigators have been able to link the suspect through video footage to a trash can fire at the Sonic Drive-In that occurred earlier that day around 5:30 a.m.
The suspect is a person of interest in five other trash can and/or dumpster fires in the same area of Rainier Ave. S. over the past week. Most of the fires have been set during the early morning hours and all have been associated with commercial businesses. To date the dollar loss is approximated at just over $3,000 and there have been no injuries in any of the fires.
If anyone has any information please contact Detective T. Smith at reference case number 18-9697.
“The arrest of this individual further demonstrates the strong partnership between Renton Police and the Renton Regional Fire Authority and is but one example of both Departments working together to provide a safer community,” Fire Chief Rick Marshall said.
Renton Police and Renton Fire offer the following tips to businesses in our community to aid in keeping their property safe:
- Keep trash in non-combustible containers, and secures if possible
- Store combustible materials away from buildings and structures
- Provide lighting of parking areas at night