A Kalispell man is in custody after allegedly lighting the trailer he was living in on fire when authorities attempted to serve warrants for his arrest.
Daniel Lee English faces one felony arson charge and two misdemeanors – one for resisting arrest and the other for obstructing a police officer – following an Aug. 27 encounter with law enforcement.
According to charging documents in Flathead County District Court, deputies with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office arrived at English’s trailer on Trumble Creek Road in an attempt to arrest him on existing warrants, stemming from theft and bad check charges in different counties.
When deputies arrived at the trailer, they approached the front and back doors. At the rear entrance, one of the deputies reportedly saw English walk through the back door with a gasoline can.
The deputies shouted to English, telling him to leave the trailer, and reported that he responded with obscenities and threats that he was going to burn the place down.
English then allegedly poured gasoline throughout the trailer, and told the deputies that he was going to light it up. The responding officers saw flames throughout the structure, court record states.
With the fire going, English then ran out of the trailer and refused to listen to the deputies’ commands to stop. The pursuit ended when one of the deputies deployed his Taser on English.
The Evergreen Fire Department responded to the fire, where they saved a dog from the smoke and flames. The trailer’s owner, who lived next to it in her own trailer, was evacuated due to the fire’s proximity.
Prosecutors say English’s use of gasoline to start the blaze placed both the neighbor and the firefights are significant risk of harm from the fire and possible explosion.
If convicted of the charges against him, English could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and over $50,000 in fines. He will enter his plea to the charges in an arraignment scheduled for Sept. 19.
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