Pullman Police have made an arrest in a massive fire that burned down an apartment complex under construction in Pullman on July 14.
Bryan Lee Kitchen, 31, was arrested by police Monday for the fire. A sub-contractor who had been working on plumbing at the construction site, he was asked by detectives to come in for an interview and during that conversation made admissions that led them to believe he was involved in setting the fire.
"During an interview during the day he ultimately made some admissions that led us to believe he did intentionally set that fire," Police Chief Gary Jenkins said.
Kitchen, according to police, was a person of interest ever since the day of the fire, when his vehicle was found unoccupied near the scene about the time the fire started.
According to the Pullman Fire Department the fire started in units under construction and spread to surrounding units. Many of the apartments had been leased for the upcoming semester at WSU that begins Aug. 19.
From the moment the first fire crews arrived at the Grove Apartments there was concern the fire was suspicious in nature.
"Flames were about 100 feet in the air by then, so it got off to a good start before we even got here," Pullman Fire Chief Mike Heston said.
Four buildings that were nearly completed, with many units already leased to incoming students, were destroyed. The estimated value of the complex, once completed, was $13 Million.
Kitchen was booked at the Pullman Police Department on a first degree arson charge and is scheduled to be transported to the Whitman County Jail in Colfax. On top of the arson charge, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Spokane is reviewing the case for possible federal prosecution.
"Extremely happy to be able to make an arrest so soon after the case was determined to be an arson in just a matter of days," Chief Jenkins said.