Suspect reveals motive behind burning historic Portland church

Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 8:33 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – The Portland Police Bureau has arrested a person suspected of starting a destructive fire at the former Portland Korean Church on Tuesday.

The blaze erupted at the 933 SW Clay Street building just after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and took 80 firefighters to get the fire under control.

Fire crews were unable to get inside quickly as the building had been marked as unsafe, with holes in the floors from previous fires. Crews attacked the fire from the outside and by using ladder trucks.

SEE ALSO: Historic downtown Portland church to be demolished after 3-alarm fire

On Wednesday, suspect Cameron David Storer (also referred to as Nicolette Fait), 25, was taken into custody after an investigation by the Portland Fire & Rescue Fire Investigations Unit. Storer was arraigned on four charges including two counts of Arson in the First Degree, one count of Arson in the Second Degree, and two counts of Burglary in the Second Degree.

Storer allegedly entered the Multnomah County Detention Center and confessed to setting the fire. They told authorities they wanted to “take credit” for the fire, sharing they set the fire with a Bic lighter and heard voices in their head saying they would “mutilate” Storer if they did not burn the church down. Storer also reported taking approximately 10 oxycodone daily due to a previous injury and that they had a history of schizophrenia.

City records show the abandoned church is currently owned by Hadi Nouredine, a Beaverton dentist. FOX 12 visited Dr. Nouredine’s dental office and our crews were told he was not available to speak at the time. Staff at the dentist’s office confirmed Nouredine is the owner of the church.