Crime

Police arrest suspect in Birchwood neighborhood arson

Firefighters quickly extinguished a deliberately-set fire on the porch, which wraps behind this house at 3036 Edens Ave., Bellingham Fire officials said.
Firefighters quickly extinguished a deliberately-set fire on the porch, which wraps behind this house at 3036 Edens Ave., Bellingham Fire officials said. robert.mittendorf@bellinghamherald.com

Police arrested a Bellingham woman in connection with an arson at a Birchwood neighborhood home in foreclosure late Monday, Oct. 3, officials said.

Christina Dianne Hogg, 52, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on a charge of second-degree arson following a small fire at 3036 Edens Ave., according to Bellingham police and Whatcom County sheriff’s records. She remained in custody pending a court hearing Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Hogg, however, is not suspected in a recent string of Bellingham arson fires over the past several weeks, said Assistant Chief Bill Hewett of the Bellingham Fire Department.

“We do believe that this fire was an isolated incident,” Hewett said. He said no one was injured in the fire.

Hewett said damage from the 9:15 p.m. Monday fire was confined to the porch and items on it. Bellingham police Lt. Bob VanderYacht said a secondary fire scorched the concrete front steps and foundation, but didn’t spread.

“There was minor damage to the outside. It was a quick knockdown,” Hewett said.

Hewett said a neighbor noticed the fire behind the house and called 911, telling the dispatcher that a white Toyota Corrolla with a loud muffler had just left the home. Hewett said no one was home at the time of the fire.

VanderYacht said Hogg’s daughter is one of the owners of the home.

“Hogg told officers something to the effect of the stress of the foreclosure is unbearable and she just wanted the house to be gone,” VanderYacht said.

The single-story 1,124-square-foot house is owned by Matthew and Caryn L. Myers, who list the home as their mailing address, according to Whatcom County assessor’s records. Its value was $169,492 in a 2015 assessment.

Hogg is named as a corporate officer of Ladybuggs LLC at 3001 King St., which until recently operated a Curves fitness center. A call to that business indicated the phone was out of service or disconnected.

Hewett said after Bellingham fire investigators determined the cause was arson, the case was forwarded to Bellingham police, who also are investigating several arson fires, including at least two incidents involving vehicles and a Sept. 26 fire at Cosmic Comics. Police investigators and Hewett were confident that Hogg is not responsible for those fires.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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