SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan man arrested for arson



June 08, 2013

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Responding to a report of a residential fire near mile 15 North Tongass Highway, numerous emergency vehicles sped to the scene around 6:00 pm Friday. The North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department's fire, water tankers and emergency vehicles, along with the Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers were among the responders. The initial call from a concerned citizen reported smoke could be seen coming from under the eves of the home.

According to Chief Dave Hull of the North Tongass Fire Department, Lt. Greg Brown was the first responder to arrive on scene. Lt. Brown confirmed there was a structure fire and reported seeing flames coming from a bedroom window and heavy smoke. Hull said Lt. Brown immediately requested mutual aide from both the City of Ketchikan and South Tongass Fire Departments. Both departments also responded to the scene with additional fire, rescue equipment and water tankers.

The first responders immediately checked the home for occupants and finding none, set about extinguishing the fire. Hull said they then received a report that a two-year old child was unaccounted for. Chief Hull said they immediately began an "intensive" search of the home's interior. Hull said they later received a report that the child was safe at another location and was not in the home. There were no injuries resulting from the fire said Chief Hull, and they were all relieved to hear that the child was safe.

Investigation on scene by the Alaska State Troopers reveled that Scot Bartholomew, 34 years-of-age of Ketchikan, had assaulted a female member of the residence causing minor injuries. After the female fled the residence, Bartholomew is alleged to have set fire to the home with the fire engulfing the interior.

Chief Hull said most of the fire damage to the residence occurred before the first responders from North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department arrived. Hull said there was extensive damage to the interior of the home and he estimated the damage to be approximately $100,000. Chief Hull said the family lost all their belongings.

Hull said he was "proud" of all the responders and would like to thank the Ketchikan Fire Department and the South Tongass Fire Department for their assistance and expertise. Without their help, Hull said they would have been short-handed.

The investigation of the fire will be continued by the state Fire Marshal Bob Plumb who is in Ketchikan. Chief Hull spoke highly of Plumb and added that Scott Hildebrandt of the North Tongass Fire Department will be assisting Fire Marshall Plumb in the investigation.

According to the Alaska State Troopers, Bartholomew was located at the scene and arrested for Arson I, Assault III and Assault IV (3 counts). He was remanded to the Ketchikan Correction Center without bail.



Editor's Note:

It should be noted, charges are merely accusations and defendants are to be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Sources of News: 

Alaska Department of Public Safety

Chief Dave Hull -- North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department

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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

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