Firefighter Steven Bentley of Clallam County Fire District No. 2 carries a hose after responding to a fire at 833 Cottonwood Lane east of Port Angeles on Tuesday afternoon. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Firefighter Steven Bentley of Clallam County Fire District No. 2 carries a hose after responding to a fire at 833 Cottonwood Lane east of Port Angeles on Tuesday afternoon. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam deputies suspect arson in house fire east of Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — Deputies booked a 58-year-old man into the Clallam County jail for investigation of setting his own home on fire, according to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

Andrew G. Helman was booked into the Clallam County jail for investigation of arson within an hour after the fire started at 833 Cottonwood Lane east of Port Angeles on Tuesday.

No one was hurt, authorities said.

Sgt. Eric Munger said Helman told deputies he set the fire, but Munger didn’t know why Helman would set fire to his own home.

Munger said deputes are familiar with the home, particularly because of frequent burning complaints, and that he knew Helman to be the long-term resident of the home.

Firefighters were called to the fire at about 1 p.m. to find smoke pouring out of the house, said Mike DeRousie, assistant chief for Clallam County Fire District No. 2.

County records show the property is appraised at $63,783.

DeRousie said when firefighters arrived, a dresser had been pushed to block the front door.

The fire stayed in one room of the house, said Jake Patterson, battalion chief.

The room was filled with plenty of flammable material, creating a potential for a fire that could have taken the home, he said.

Patterson didn’t immediately know the extent of the damage inside the home, but no damage was visible from outside the home.

He said residents used a garden hose to knock down the fire, preventing it from spreading to other parts of the house.

________

Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsuladailynews.com.

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