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Burcham Arson

Posted on 27th May 2011 at 09:01

A fire that did substantial damage to a condemned home in North Kelso is being investigated as an arson. Fire crews were called to 404 Burcham Street shortly after 6 am yesterday, when flames were seen coming from the house. The home had been condemned by the city in January, after damage caused by a slide. The home’s tenant was ordered to move out after a slope in the rear of the home started slumping, undermining the deck and the rear of the house. Fire crews from Cowlitz 2 arrived and spent a few minutes assessing the safety of the house, then initiated an aggressive attack. They got the fire out in short order. As they investigated the scene, it was determined that the fire had started in a bedroom, and they say “pour patterns” were found in a couple of places. That indicates that some sort of accelerant was used, which makes the fire an arson. The home’s owner, Merrill Swanson, says that his insurance on the house was cancelled in April, so the loss is not covered. So far, no suspects have been identified.