Crime

Whatcom man allegedly used Molotov cocktail to start fire, then returned 3 days later

Here’s what the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office does

The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office enforces the law in the unincorporated areas of Whatcom County as well as on the county's waterways.
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The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office enforces the law in the unincorporated areas of Whatcom County as well as on the county's waterways.

A Blaine man is suspected of arson after he reportedly twice attempted to intentionally set a home that was under construction near Birch Bay on fire last week, once using Molotov cocktails.

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office booked Landon Lee Larson, 30, into Whatcom County Jail on Sunday, Aug. 17, on suspicion of two counts of second-degree arson.

According to information provided to The Bellingham Herald by Undersheriff Doug Chadwick, the sheriff’s office was called on Aug. 12 to investigate a suspected arson to a home under construction in the 5300 block of Ocean Cove Lane.

The fire reportedly started when vodka bottles containing an accelerant were ignited and thrown against exterior plywood walls and into a covered porch area of the house, damaging the exterior wall and scorching the porch.

Three days later, deputies were once again called to the house after a second arson attempt, Chadwick said. This time, an accelerant was reportedly applied to a wall inside the covered porch and lit on fire, damaging the wall, rafters and plumbing.

The victim had installed trail cameras near a walking trail behind the house, and in reviewing the footage, Chadwick said he identified a possible suspect as Larson, who lived nearby.

Deputies contacted Larson at his home, and he reportedly admitted to trying to light the house of fire. Larson allegedly said he has mental health issues and doesn’t know how to control his impulses.

Larson also reportedly told deputies that he drank vodka on Aug. 12 and filled the bottles with gasoline to throw into the house and put gasoline in squirt bottles to spray on the walls to help start the Aug. 15 fire. He also reportedly told deputies that he targeted the house because he knew nobody lived there yet.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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