He’s accused of setting a fire that threatened a Sehome-area house


A Colorado man is facing gross misdemeanor charges in connection with a fire that briefly threatened a Sehome neighborhood house.

Derek Lance Nolin, 45, was arrested Saturday night on charges of reckless endangerment and second-degree reckless burning outside a house in the 200 block of 34th Street, near Bill McDonald Parkway. He remained in custody Monday at Whatcom County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail, according to jail records.

Firefighters called police after they extinguished the 15- by-20-foot brush fire they suspected was deliberately set near the house. Bellingham Police Lt. Danette Beckley said Nolin told firefighters he set the fire.

“Bellingham Fire Department personnel on scene advised had the fire not been extinguished quickly it would have easily caught the home on fire,” Beckley said. “Nolin admitted to starting the fire with a lighter.”

Nolin had a lighter and matches in his possession when he was arrested, Beckley said.

Both reckless endangerment and second-degree reckless burning are gross misdemeanors under Washington state law.

According to Whatcom County Superior Court records, Nolin was sentenced on Sept. 12 to 15 days in jail for second-degree malicious mischief, a felony. His most recent address was listed on court documents as Greeley, Colo.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Graham said Nolin was freed immediately for time served – because he was arrested in connection with that case on Aug. 27.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty