Fire-Weary Mountlake Terrace Neighborhood Has Another Arson

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE - Two more fires broke out early this morning in a neighborhood plagued with arsons, but only one of them was deliberately set, said Mountlake Terrace Fire Chief Pat Vollandt.

The larger of the two blazes, reported four minutes after the arson and only five houses away, was caused by an outdoor light fixture installed by a homeowner who was worried about several arsons in the area since August, Vollandt said.

At 5:15 a.m., a carport fire was reported at 22702 60th Ave. W. That fire, apparently set intentionally, had already been extinguished, Vollandt said. Only a pile of combustibles burned, and no damage was caused to the structure.

That house is across the street from the last reported arson, which on Jan. 13 scorched a car parked in a carport.

At 5:19 a.m., another carport fire was reported at 22601 60th Ave. W. Firefighters put the fire out just as it was spreading into the home's attic, Vollandt said. Damage was estimated at $5,000.

``The irony is what we think caused the fire was an electrical fixture for a light put on the back of the house for security purposes because this person was concerned about fires in the area,'' Vollandt said.

Investigators have not determined whether the cause was a faulty fixture or a light bulb too close to the wall, he said.

The earlier incident is the fifth arson since August in the area between 220th and 228th streets southwest, Interstate 5 and 58th Avenue West, he said.

The worst was an Aug. 25 house fire, in which a woman was trapped and nearly died. A passer-by dragged her out.

Last weekend, police canvassed the neighborhood doing door-to-door interviews seeking information, Vollandt said.

Investigators, however, are not convinced yet that the arsonist lives in that neighborhood, he said.

Two other August arsons severely damaged two shopping malls. A Lynnwood man who was arrested in connection with one of those fires was recently acquitted.

Police have said they do not know if there is a link between the shopping-mall fires and other blazes.