A Kalispell man, trying to light wet firewood by pouring gasoline on it, ignited a structure fire that destroyed several Mountain Villa Apartments on West Reserve and US 93 North.
The man, who has not been identified, was arrested on an outstanding warrant, but could also face charges of negligent arson, or criminal negligence. The case has been referred to the Flathead County attorney and is pending investigation.
The fire started after the man doused timber in his wood stove with gasoline, according to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Department. He then tried to extinguish the blaze with a comforter, but only made matters worse.
The West Valley Fire Department and seven other emergency response agencies responded to the fire, which started just after 1 a.m.
Several apartments were damaged or completely destroyed.As a precautionary measure, all the apartment complex ‘s tenants were evacuated and housed by the Red Cross at Glacier High School over night.
Kathryn Hohman, spokesperson for the Red Cross, said those who would like to assist displaced residents should call 1-800-ARC-MONT.
There were no injuries, aside from minor burns on the face and hands of the offender.