HAZEL DELL, Wash. -- An “explosive house fire” in Hazel Dell that caused $100,000 in damage and killed the two family pets was set purposefully, according to the Clark County Fire Marshal’s office.
Deputy Fire Marshal Curtis Eavenson said Wednesday that there was enough evidence to arrest Tricia Dezellem for setting fire to the home rented by her family at 412 NW 78th St.
Officials did not say how Dezellem started the house fire, which blasted out the home’s front window, melted nearby vehicles and had to be fought from both inside and outside. Three fire engines, accompanied by Clark County firefighters, sheriff’s deputies and trauma specialists all responded to the fire, which had been reported by passersby.
The initial Clark County report indicated the family had renters insurance but no one was at home except the pets, a dog and cat, both of whom died.
A county spokesperson who initially reported the fire on Monday said that Dezellem had claimed she “was gone,” her husband was “out of town on business” and their two kids “were in school at the time.”
Dezellem’s statement of events and evidence found after the fire had been put out led investigators back to her, Eavenson said.