Man charged with arson in Seattle nightclub fire

SEATTLE — A 30-year-old Bellevue man accused of starting a fire at a crowded Seattle nightclub on New Year’s Eve has been charged with first-degree arson.

Musab Musmari was held on $1 million bail. King County prosecutors said Wednesday that the man was on his way to the airport to use a recently purchased one-way ticket to Turkey when he was arrested last Saturday.

About 750 people were celebrating New Year’s Eve in the nightclub Neighbours when an arsonist poured gasoline on a carpeted stairway and set it ablaze. A U.S. Army staff sergeant and an Air Force member quickly put out the fire before it spread. The club’s sprinkler system activated, and no one was hurt.

Police say in court documents that callers identified Musmari from surveillance video that had been released to the public.

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