Man charged with arson in Pershing Hotel fire

PORT ANGELES — A 30-year-old man was charged Tuesday with first-degree arson for allegedly starting the fire that engulfed a third-floor hotel room downtown.

A firefighter and at least three residents sustained minor injuries as a result of the fire.

Several pets died in the fire, officials said.

Police say Billy Ray Barlow admitted to igniting the fire in his room above the Cornerhouse Restaurant and Lounge, 101 E. First St., in an attempt to kill himself.

At an afternoon hearing Tuesday in Superior Courtroom No. 3, Barlow appeared before Superior Court Commissioner William Knebes via a video conference.

The courtroom, normally used for family court sessions, is not equipped to handle criminal hearings.

At the recommendation of prosecuting attorneys, Knebes ordered Barlow held on $50,000 cash bail.

“There is indication that the defendant might be quite despondent,” Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dick Suryan told Knebes.

Barlow is scheduled for arraignment at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

The rest of this story appears in today’s Peninsula Daily News Jefferson County edition. Get the PDN delivered to your home or office by simply clicking “Subscribe.”

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