Suspect in string of Lynnwood arsons arrested

LYNNWOOD — A man who reportedly has mental health issues was arrested Wednesday night for investigation of arson after a string of Christmas Day fires near Lynnwood.

One fire was set in a garbage can next to a house belonging to his sister, court records said. The blaze in the 20400 block of Cypress Way burned part of the siding of the home, causing about $7,500 damage, Snohomish County Fire District 1 spokeswoman Leslie Hynes said.

People were in the home when the fire started, according to court records.

A man driving by stopped his car and knocked on the family’s front door to alert them to the fire.

The woman who lives in the home told Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies that the fire made her fear for her life and the lives of her family. Shortly before the fire, the woman’s daughter noticed the suspect leaving a bag on the property. The bag contained items that the family believes meant a lot to the man.

The woman said her brother has stopped taking his medication, according to court papers. He has no previous criminal convictions.

The suspect, 34, was taken into custody in the 220th block of Highway 99 and booked into the Snohomish County Jail.

He’s accused of setting the fires between 4:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. Tuesday in the Cypress Way area, south of Lynnwood.

One fire was in a garbage bin at a minimart at the intersection of Cypress Way and Larch Way.

Another fire was reported in a garbage can that was set out by the street in the 1800 block of W. Cypress Way.

The woman said her brother had received mental health treatment in Texas where he’s accused of setting fire to a home a few weeks ago, court papers said.

Another relative of the suspect reported receiving a text message from the man’s phone earlier on Christmas Day. The suspect allegedly thanked him for some gifts and for believing in him, but added, “It is almost cold enough to build fires, from Seattle to Austin to Buffalo.”

The Snohomish County Fire Marshal and sheriff’s offices are investigating.

Bail was set at $25,000 during a court hearing Thursday.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com

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