It was a devastating Christmas Eve for one family in the small community of Hockinson, Washington, when they came home from church to find their home had not only been broken into, but also set on fire.
“I opened the door and it was just black with smoke,” Jamon Holmgren told FOX 12.
At first, he had no idea what had happened, but in the process of letting fire crews inside he realized the front door was unlocked.
“One of [the firefighters] came running back out and said, ‘Do you know anything about a gas can in your entryway?’ And of course I had no idea what they were talking about and I told them that, and that’s when it hit me that, wow, this could be arson,” he added.
That’s when Holmgren and his wife checked their home security camera for clues.
They found that at 4:30 p.m. – while they and their four children were at church – a red car pulled up their rural driveway and two men got out. In the audio recording, you can hear one of the suspects call the second one ‘Dan.’
Deputies with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office believe they were there to break in.
A neighbor posted images on Facebook of what appear to be the same two men at his front door only a couple of hours earlier.
Holmgren has no idea who they are.
“For a few thousand dollars worth of electronics, computers and laptops, they were willing to light my entire home on fire,” he said.
The fire itself was contained to the second-story bonus room and staircase, but the entire house has smoke damage. A restoration company told the family it could be four to six months before they’re able to move back in.
Holmgren is grateful for all of the support his family has received and says they’re in good hands while the investigation continues.
He’s thankful his family is safe, and hopes the two men responsible will be caught soon.
“Sometimes it hits me a little bit that wow, we were just opening presents just a little bit prior,” he said. “And to come back and that entire area that we were sitting in taking pictures is now covered with soot and blackened.”
Anyone with information that can help investigators, call the Clark County Sheriff’s Office at (360) 397-2211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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