Port Angeles police officer T.J. Mueller looks over the scene of a fire that left four dead and destroyed two mobile homes early Saturday at the Welcome Inn RV Park in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles police officer T.J. Mueller looks over the scene of a fire that left four dead and destroyed two mobile homes early Saturday at the Welcome Inn RV Park in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Person of interest arrested following discovery of four dead in Port Angeles fire

Matthew Timothy Wetherington jailed on investigation of murder, arson

UPDATE, 11 p.m.:

Matthew Timothy Wetherington, the 34-year-old man identified as a person of interest after the discovery of four people believed to have died in a mobile home fire early Saturday morning, has been booked into the Clallam County jail.

Wetherington was booked at 10:09 p.m. for investigation of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of arson.

Sgt. Josh Powless said Saturday night that Wetherington was “located at a campsite in the woods” and was arrested without incident.

He said police are not looking for anyone else in connection to the fire.

He would not say where Wetherington was arrested, but said he was questioned by detectives.

“I can’t comment on any of his statements,” Powless said.

He said investigators are expected to return to the scene of the fire Sunday morning and that he anticipates more information to become available then.

OUR EARLIER REPORT:

PORT ANGELES — A woman and three children are believed to have died in a mobile home fire at the Welcome Inn RV Park in west Port Angeles early Saturday, police said.

Detectives had not confirmed the identities of the deceased as of Saturday night.

But Port Angeles Chief of Police Brian Smith said four residents — Valerie Kambeitz, 34, Lilly Kambeitz, 9, Emma Kambeitz, 6, and Jayden Kambeitz, 5 — had not been seen since the fire.

“We’re comfortable enough saying those four people are not accounted for,” Smith said.

Local and state detectives were working with Clallam County Coroner Mark Nichols and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents to determine what caused the fire and how the victims died.

“This is a complex fire investigation,” Smith said at the scene.

“We’re very sorry for the family members in terms of their loss.”

Police received information from neighbors and other witnesses indicating there may be a person of interest, Smith said.

Investigators believe Matthew Timothy Wetherington, 34, lived in the trailer where the bodies were found.

Wetherington is unaccounted for and is considered a person of interest, Smith said.

Anyone with information on Wetherington’s whereabouts — or knowledge about the fire — is asked to phone the Port Angeles Police Department at 360-452-4545. Ask to speak with an investigator.

Matthew Timothy Wetherington, 34, is unaccounted for following the fatal fire in Port Angeles on Saturday, according to police. Investigators believe he lived in the trailer and is a person of interest in the fire.

Matthew Timothy Wetherington, 34, is unaccounted for following the fatal fire in Port Angeles on Saturday, according to police. Investigators believe he lived in the trailer and is a person of interest in the fire.

Investigators will continue to search for evidence Saturday night and Sunday.

“The place is burned heavily,” Smith said.

“Pretty much everything is charred.”

Nichols, who is also Clallam County’s prosecuting attorney, said outside resources were retained to assist in the death investigation.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct autopsies, Smith said.

“It’s going to be a slow process working through the crime scene,” Smith said Saturday.

“We’re going to be here today, tonight and probably all day tomorrow.”

A Port Angeles Fire Department pumper truck keeps station near the scene of Saturday’s fatal fire at the Welcome Inn RV Park in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

A Port Angeles Fire Department pumper truck keeps station near the scene of Saturday’s fatal fire at the Welcome Inn RV Park in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

The Port Angeles Fire Department responded to a fully-involved structure fire at the RV park at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Crews extinguished the fire after it had destroyed two trailers and a vehicle.

All of the victims’ bodies were found in one trailer on the west side of the RV Park off Bean Road.

An incident command post was established at the RV park.

The Port Angeles Police Department is the lead investigating agency. The Clallam and Jefferson County sheriff’s offices, Sequim police and a State Patrol crime scene unit were helping with the investigation.

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

Reporter Jesse Major contributed to this report.

The shells of two mobile homes and an automobile are guarded behind police tape Saturday morning at the Welcome Inn RV Park in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

The shells of two mobile homes and an automobile are guarded behind police tape Saturday morning at the Welcome Inn RV Park in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

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