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The City of Portland, Oregon

Fire & Rescue

Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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Portland Fire Investigators Arrest Suspect on Two Counts of Arson

Posted at 9:36 am

On January 11, 2011, at just after 6:00 am, firefighters from NE Portland's Station 13 were dispatched to an automatic commercial alarm at the Madrona Studio apartments located at 10 N. Wielder Street.

Firefighters arrived on-scene less than four minutes later and observed smoke and water escaping from underneath an apartment door on the fifth floor. Firefighters entered the apartment and determined that a small fire had occurred and had been quickly extinguished by a ceiling sprinkler head. There were no occupants in the apartment and firefighters noted that the apartment had no working smoke alarm.

A Portland Fire Investigator responded to the scene to investigate the fire's cause. The investigator conducted a thorough fire scene investigation and determined that the fire was an act of arson.

As a result of the on-scene investigation, the tenant of the apartment, Richard Allen Wymer, was identified as a person of interest. After additional follow up by fire investigators, Wymer, age 65, was also determined to be a suspect in an arson that occurred on January 15, 2010 in a downtown Portland Starbucks because of his physical description.

On January 12, 2011, PF&R Fire Investigators arrested Wymer on two counts of Arson I, a class A felony, and one count of Criminal Mischief, a class C felony with a bail amount of $505,000. Wymer is currently lodged at the Multnomah County Detention Center. PF&R Fire Investigators will testify to their investigative findings before a grand jury on January 19, 2011.