Fire appears to be arson - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Fire appears to be arson

Family of four was inside trailer when blaze started

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Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:15 am

HAYDEN - A travel trailer sustained minor damage Sunday night after someone allegedly tried to start the unit on fire using gasoline.

The blaze began while two children were sleeping inside and their parents were watching TV.

The children's father, 32, and mother, 31, told investigators for the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department they heard a loud "popping noise" about 11:30 p.m. just outside their trailer, located in a small trailer park along Hayden Avenue, just east of Government Way.

The mother immediately exited the trailer to investigate the loud noise, and found flames spreading on some wood paneling on the back section of the unit.

Several neighbors heard the noise and helped fight the fire and called 911. Northern Lakes Fire District responded to extinguish the fire. No injuries were reported.

The mother told investigators that the couple's 8- and 12-year-old sons were sleeping inside when the fire started.

Directly below the burned wood paneling on the trailer was a patch of burned grass.

Investigators also located a "burnt line" in the dirt that led out to the middle of Hayden Avenue.

"The burnt line stopped at a red, melted plastic five-gallon gas can," according to a sheriff's department report, which was completed Monday.

The father told investigators that he had a verbal confrontation earlier Sunday with an unknown man.

While working on his trailer, he said he heard a vehicle revving its engine, then saw a small red truck roasting its tires, stirring up dirt in the trailer park.

The father said he yelled at the man driving the truck, but he sped away westbound on Hayden Avenue.

Another resident of the trailer park said he saw a truck matching that description speeding away from the trailer park, headed eastbound on Hayden Avenue, just after the loud popping sound of the fire starting.

Maj. Ben Wolfinger, of the sheriff's department, said no arrests have been made and the incident remains under investigation.

Following up on a tip, investigators did interview a Coeur d'Alene man who owns a red 1996 Chevy S-10 pickup truck. A black plastic cap to a gas can was found in the bed of the man's truck.

"While talking to (name redacted) I could smell the odor of gasoline," according to a deputy's report.

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  • Joseph Jr posted at 9:02 am on Fri, Aug 17, 2012.

    Joseph Jr Posts: 512


    I guess the person with the gas can, missing the lid, seen at the trailer, must be related to someone important in Idaho...

  • My2sence posted at 8:48 am on Tue, Aug 14, 2012.

    My2sence Posts: 317

    Uhhh....uhhh....da...square block...goes... in da square hole
    Umm...uhhh...da round block...goes in ....da round hole...."i did it...i did it"

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