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Uppertown couple stunned by attempted arson

No suspect identified
By Jack Heffernan

The Daily Astorian

Published on January 9, 2018 8:01AM

Last changed on January 9, 2018 11:02AM

Damage to the front porch of a home on 38th Street in Astoria can be seen after a suspected arson attempt Saturday night.

Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian

Damage to the front porch of a home on 38th Street in Astoria can be seen after a suspected arson attempt Saturday night.

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An Uppertown couple awoke to a potentially dangerous scene late Saturday night when someone tried to burn their house down.

Mari Inaba, 31, and Ben Crockett, 32, heard creaking noises at their 38th Street house around midnight. The house is roughly a century old, so they didn’t think much of it at first. They heard the noise again, and their dog began to bark.

“That is highly unusual,” Inaba said.

Crockett checked a side room and walked downstairs before seeing flames near the front door.

“It was very apparent that someone left something there to start the fire,” Inaba said.

After extinguishing small fires on their front porch and the side of their house, the couple found a burned shirt in one spot, a burned worker’s glove in another and a melted gas meter that smelled of perfume or some sort of accelerator. The side of the house sustained some fire damage.

The couple was perplexed, unsure of who would want to damage their home.

“I have no idea,” Inaba said. “My husband and I racked our brains thinking, ‘Why?’”

The couple has since purchased motion-sensing lights and a security camera.

Astoria police have not identified a suspect. “It was a little odd,” Interim Police Chief Geoff Spalding said.



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