Police: Man set fire to Marysville garage to cover up his car prowls

MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- A man suspected of trying to break into cars was arrested Friday after he allegedly set a garage on fire to cover up his crimes.

At about 3 p.m., police received reports of a suspect trying to break into cars in the WinCo Foods parking lot in Marysville.

The man left the parking lot, police said, and moved to a garage in the 3900 block of 119th Place Northeast. The man then allegedly grabbed a gas can and set fire to the structure.

The fire quickly engulfed the garage and spread to nearby trees. Fire crews put out the blaze, but the garage was a total loss.

No one was injured.

Police officers spotted the suspect "hiding out" near the fire, police said, and he was arrested. The alleged arson was likely in an effort to hide his car prowl attempts, police said, or a spontaneous act.

He has been arrested on suspicion of second degree arson.

The garage fire caused between $75,000 and $100,000 in damage.

“It exploded and there was a lot of heat then," said Ruth Ann Kyle who lives next to the house destroyed.

All that was left of the garage was framework, rubble, and ash. A destroyed antique car could be seen still parked where the garage used to be.

The owner of the garage, did not want to go on camera, but he says he had been working on the car for years and invested thousands into its restoration.

Ruth Ann Kyle saw the flames from her house. She said they stretched to the tops of the massive trees that surround the property.

Kyle says she's lived in the neighborhood for nearly 40 years; it's full of families, and she says this incident is terrifying.

"Not enough to make me want to move, but something to think about," she said.