Accused arsonist blocks firefighters from Bend house fire

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A man faces arson and reckless burning charges after Deschutes County deputies said he blocked firefighters from putting out a fire he started in Bend.

Authorities say the man called 911 around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday to report he had set his own house on fire. When fire crews arrived to the home, located at 25800 Alfalfa Market Road, they saw an overturned Toyota Tacoma blocking access to the property.

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Officials said the man, 45, drove up in a skid-steer that he positioned next to the pickup truck, where he reportedly climbed up and waved to deputies while they tried to contact him.

“At this point, the residence on the property was fully engulfed while [he] was refusing to approach deputies,” officials said. “Alfalfa Fire was on scene, but unable to access the property due to the blocked driveway.”

Deputies decided to detain the man “due to the growing danger of the fire spreading to neighboring properties.” When they approached him, he immediately surrendered.

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“The investigation confirmed [he] had set the fire, and had purposely blocked the driveway to impede fire response from putting out the fire,” deputies said.

In addition to arson and reckless burning charges, the man also faces charges of first-degree criminal mischief and obstructing governmental administration.

No one else had been in the building at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries.

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