Seattle police make arrest in nightclub arson

SEATTLE — A 30-year-old man suspected of starting a fire at a crowded Seattle nightclub on New Year’s Eve has been arrested, police said Saturday.

The man was found near Seattle heading to the airport, police said in a press release.

Seattle police Detective Mark Jamieson told The Associated Press that the man has been identified as Musab Mohamed Masmari. The detective didn’t provide further details.

Public records show Masmari has lived in Seattle for the past three years. No phone number was listed.

There were 750 people celebrating the holiday 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.

Detectives from the Police Department’s arson/bomb squad, along with members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, have been investigating the case.

Police said they received tips from the public. They interviewed Masmari after the arrest and booked him into King County Jail on suspicion of arson. No other information has been released.

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