Court docs: Suspected arsonist tried to capture fire on video, posed as media member

KPTV photo.

RIDGEFIELD, WA (KPTV) - A suspected arson was arrested at his home Wednesday night several hours after he allegedly set fire to a townhouse under construction in Ridgefield, Washington.

23-year-old Brandon A. Emery appeared in court Thursday morning; he faces one count of arson in the second degree in connection to the fire off North Canyon Circle near North 32nd Avenue.

Court documents allege Emery remained on scene after setting the fire just after 12 a.m. and tried to capture the flames on video. Emery was allegedly wearing a yellow vest and a lanyard that indicated he was a member of the media.

An officer questioned Emery and, in court documents, said he responded suspiciously. The officer said Emery appeared “to be entranced by the fire activity” and said Emery told him he had heard about the fire through an app on his phone.

The officer after the fire response discovered Emery had previously been charged with arson in the second degree in 2014 and was a suspect in several other arson incidents dating back to 2011.

The officer later contracted Emery at his home and arrested him.

Fire officials Wednesday night said it was lucky the flames didn’t catch other townhomes on fire. A neighbor described the blaze as frightening.

“If there was a serious fire, it could easily spread over here,” Stephen Branch said.

Fire officials have not released an estimated cost of damages. No one was hurt.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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