PORT ANGELES — A 50-year-old Port Angeles man who allegedly dropped a lit firecracker into a linseed oil can Saturday morning at The Tempest apartments, creating an explosion, was in the Clallam County jail late Monday afternoon for investigation of first-degree arson.
John Harold Hann had $25,000 bail set earlier Monday at his first Superior Court appearance.
A formal charge of first-degree arson, a Class A felony, could be filed against Hann at a court hearing at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The incident occurred at the multi-unit facility owned by Serenity House of Clallam County at First and Albert streets east of downtown Port Angeles.
Serenity House Executive Director Doc Robinson said Monday there was no significant damage at the facility, which Robinson said provides permanent, supportive housing for homeless individuals who are physically, emotionally or mentally disabled.
Several tenants were evacuated at about 8 a.m. Saturday after it was reported that a fire had been intentionally set.
The Port Angeles Fire Department and city police department responded.
A surveillance camera at The Tempest showed Hann picking up the can of Linseed oil that was sitting on top of a fire alarm, lighting the can and walking away, according to Port Angeles Police Officer Luke Brown’s report.
“I saw the can flame up and then explode,” Brown said.
Linseed oil was sprayed over a second-floor wall at the apartments, and the wall above the fire alarm was charred, Brown said.
Hahn was arrested east of Port Angeles and booked at 8:57 p.m. Sunday into the Clallam County jail.
Hann said he lit a firecracker in a “bone dry” can to celebrate a Tempest resident’s birthday, Officer Sean Ryan said in his report.
“John admitted to placing the firecracker in a blue and yellow can,” Ryan said.
“John characterized his actions as a prank and insisted that he was not being malicious.”
In setting $25,000 bail Monday, Judge Lauren Erickson said there was a risk that Hann would not appear in court.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Steve Johnson said Hann has had “roughly” 58 failure-to-appear warrants filed against him between 1994 and 2018.
Robinson said two other people might have been involved in the incident.
Deputy Police Chief Jason Viada said the incident continues to be investigated.
It is the second arson investigation at a Serenity House facility in fewer than three months.
Denise Kathleen Kovacevic, 40, has been charged with first-degree arson for allegedly setting a March 29 fire at a fourplex at Serenity House’s Evergreen Family Village, 2203 W. 18th St., where Kovacevic had an apartment.
Three units were damaged, two heavily.
A forensic health report from the state Office of Forensic Mental Health Services determined April 18 that Kovacevic, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a 2009 or 2010 zip-line mishap, “lacks the capacity to understand the legal proceedings against her and lacks the capacity to assist defense counsel.”
Competency restoration treatment for Kovacevic was ordered April 19 by Superior Court Judge Brent Basden.
Kovacevic has a possible bed date at Western State Hospital the week of July 18, according to the minutes of a Superior Court hearing Friday.
Her next court hearing is July 12.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.