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Driver from last summer’s deadly Onalaska wreck back in court

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 8:28 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Joseph W. Rogerson is at risk of losing his deferred prosecution on last summer’s DUI, related to a head-on crash in Onalaska that left three teenagers dead.

Rogerson, now 37, was found to have been traveling in his own lane and not to blame for the July 13 wreck on state Route 508.

The Land Rover was carrying eight young people. Killed were its driver, Arnold W. Mullinax, 17, and Taylor N. Thompson, 13, both from Onalaska. Dakota L. Dunivin, 18, from Chehalis, died the following day at the hospital.

Rogerson, formerly of Chehalis, is being monitored because of his case in Lewis County District Court, but today he went before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court, charged with third-degree assault of a child.

Judge Richard Brosey noted the new case includes an allegation he was drinking and asked if prosecutors have filed a motion to revoke his deferred DUI.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said he had not, at this time.

Deferred prosecution is an arrangement in which a defendant can ask the court to defer a finding of guilt in return for agreeing to abide by certain conditions for a certain amount of time, according to Meyer.

Brosey today ordered Rogerson to wear an alcohol monitor bracelet which will detect if he drinks.

Rogerson was arrested on Friday by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office following an investigation involving a 7-year-old girl who told a counselor at R.E. Bennett Elementary School her step-father hit her in the arm, leaving a bruise.

The sheriff’s office said yesterday the girl, her mother and step-father had gone shooting out in the woods near Pe Ell the weekend before and when the girl tried to get Rogerson to stop hitting her mom, he punched the child. Charging documents in the case indicate the girl told him to stop and hit him in the arm, then he hit the girl in her arm.

Both adults denied it happened, but the girl’s older brother corroborated her statement. Both children told law enforcement they thought the grown ups had been drinking, according to court documents.

Rogerson was released yesterday on $10,000 unsecured bond, and was back in court today after the felony charged was filed.

Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke asked that the conditions of release be altered to allow Rogerson to go back to his home in Pe Ell, saying he was his grandfather’s sole care provider and the child is now with her actual father, based on a court order.

Rogerson’s arraignment is scheduled for June 16.
•••

For background, read “No felony charges forthcoming from triple-fatality Onalaska wreck” from Friday October 30, 2015, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 2:03 pm
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•••

Updated at 6:52 p.m.

BURGLARIES AND OTHER THEFT

• A business on the 1700 block of Industrial Way in Centralia was burglarized during the night, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department yesterday morning. Missing were bolt cutters, a camera and a 12-pack of soda, according to police.

• Police were called to a business on the 2000 block of  Industrial Way in Centralia just after 8 a.m. yesterday where someone had broken in to several buildings. The only thing initially noted as missing was a lighter, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 20-year-old Toledo resident was arrested this morning in connection with a call about 8 p.m. yesterday to the 200 block of Northeast Terrace Road in Chehalis in which a 17-year-old said he arrived home to find an acquaintance stealing his belongings. Numerous items were outside, including a guitar and the suspect fled, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Tavryn L. Lindsey was booked into the Lewis County Jail for burglary, according to police.

• Chehalis police were called at 2 p.m. yesterday to the 400 block of Northeast Washington Avenue regarding suspected theft of medications.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called to the 200 block of West Walnut Street just before 9 a.m. yesterday to take a report that someone went into a garage and stole items from a vehicle.

• Police were called about 8:30 a.m. yesterday to the 300 block of South Pearl Street where sometime during the night, someone stole change from inside an unlocked vehicle.

SCHOOL BUS FIGHT

• Chehalis police were called about 3:50 p.m. yesterday about an alleged assault on a school bus involving two children under 12 years old. No arrests were made because of the children’s’ young age, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Parents will be contacting school and transportation authorities about it, according to police.

MAN JAILED AFTER THREAT TO CUT OFF CHILDREN’S HEADS

• A 40-year-old man was arrested yesterday after he allegedly jumped in front of a moving vehicle on a Centralia street, pounded on the hood and yelled vulgar names at the driver and then allegedly turned his attention to another woman who approached and threatened to cut off the heads of her children. Benjamin R. Hardy reportedly admitted to police to being verbally aggressive, but denied making any threats and said “never in my life hurt another human being.” He was booked into the Lewis County Jail and today charged in Lewis County Superior Court with felony harassment and disorderly conduct. Lewis County prosecutors asked a judge this afternoon to hold Hardy on $100,000 bail, saying he has had at least 54 warrants. Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer pointed out he learned from the victim’s husband they got a letter from the post office notifying them their mail would no longer be delivered to their address because of their neighbor Hardy’s actions. Charging papers don’t indicate the time or location of the alleged incident, but state Hardy lives on West Pear Street. Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke told the judge her client has lived at the same address for 20 years and noted harassment is a class C felony – with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Judge Richard Brosey set bail at $25,000.

AND FROM MORTON

• An officer responded to a 6:11 p.m. call eight days ago to the 200 block of Pleasant View Drive in Morton and found a male bent over grabbing his throat who seemed to be choking. The officer performed  the Heimlich maneuver and whatever was stuck in his throat was dislodged.  The officer stood by for medical to arrive and then cleared the scene.

• An individual was cited at about 2 a.m. on a Saturday, a week and a half ago, for (allegedly) urinating in public.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, trip permit violation, fourth-degree domestic assault, protection order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license,; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, young male driving recklessly, reports of several “kids” on train tracks … and more, among 172 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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News brief: Young teen hurt in fall from bed of pickup onto highway

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 10:12 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 13-year-old Centralia boy was seriously injured when he fell from the back of a pickup truck onto state Route 507 near Bucoda last night.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 8:06 p.m. at the 20100 block of the highway, just south of town, according to authorities.

“From my understanding, he was in the bed, and mom and grandma were hauling hay,” Trooper Shaneka Phillips said this morning. “He was very critical, at the time, he had life-threatening injuries.”

The boy, who is un-named, was transported to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Phillips said she didn’t know the child’s condition this morning.

The investigating trooper reports the 2010 Ford F150 pickup truck was southbound at a slow rate of speed when it happened.

Brenda L. Cleveland, 36, was driving and her passengers also included Debbie Morsbach, 57, and a 10-year-old boy, all from Centralia, according to the state patrol.

The cause is under investigation. Trooper Phillips said as of this morning, there was no reason to suspect any criminal or malicious behavior.

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News brief: How to protect your house from brush, grass, forest fire

Monday, June 6, 2016 at 3:11 pm
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Looking north towards Gore Road chicken farm fire from Toledo area on Aug. 19, 2015. / Courtesy photo

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Each year, wildland fires consume homes built in or near lands prone to such fires.

But, there are actions residents can take to reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

The Lewis County Fire Chiefs Association is conducting town hall style meetings to share information with area residents about strategies to defend their property from the threat of wildfires.

The public is invited this Wednesday evening to the Baw Faw Grange in the Boistfort Valley for such a gathering.

Lewis County Fire District 13 Chief Gwen Turner says everyone is encouraged to show up.

“First 100 in attendance will be served a dinner provided by the Baw Faw Grange, Boistfort Emergency Assistance Group and Boistfort Firefighters Association,” Turner states.

The fire chiefs note studies show that as many as 80 percent of homes lost to wildland fire may have been saved if brush around the homes were cleared and defensible space created around structures.

Chehalis Fire Department Chief Ken Cardinale said last week’s meeting at the Lincoln Creek Grange went well. A similar presentation is scheduled for central Lewis County inhabitants in Salkum on June 18, according to Cardinale.

There is no better time than now to prepare and educate your family, friends and neighbors, according to Turner.

The Baw Faw Grange is located at 995 Boistfort Road. The meeting starts at 6 p.m.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, June 6, 2016 at 1:22 pm
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•••

CHILD ASSAULT

• A 37-year-old Pe Ell man has been arrested for third-degree assault of a child following an investigation that concluded he punched his 7-year-old step-daughter in the arm when she got in between a physical dispute involving him and her mother. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports a deputy on Friday following up on a referral from Child Protective Services learned the trio had gone shooting out in the woods the weekend before and when the girl tried to get Joseph W. Rogerson to stop hitting her mom, he struck the girl, leaving a bruise. Both adults denied it happened but there was a witness who described what occurred, according to the sheriff’s office. Rogerson was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

VICTIM FINDS STOLEN VEHICLE

• A Chrysler minivan stolen from the 700 block of South Rock Street was located by its owner who was able to track it down yesterday because their cell phone was inside. Centralia police called about 9 a.m. yesterday were told the vehicle had been last seen parked about 11 p.m. the night before and the victim used “Find-a-Phone” to find it parked along Yew Street, according to police. A GPS device was missing and about three-quarters of a tank of gas had been used, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said. The odometer showed someone put about 300 miles on the van, Reichert said.

BAD BILLS

• Chehalis police were called about 6:20 p.m. on Saturday to the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue where a customer spent counterfeit money. An investigation is ongoing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• Chehalis police were called to the 1900 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue on Friday afternoon about a license plate getting stolen from a car hauler.

DRUGS

• A 37-year-old was arrested for possession of heroin after he was found slumped over in the driver’s seat of his vehicle on Saturday morning on the shoulder along the 4600 block of Galvin Road in Centralia, with a mirror and suspected tar heroin next to him. Joshua W. Norvell, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A search turned up brass knuckles, so a case for possession of a dangerous weapon is also being forwarded to prosecutors, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

MOSSYROCK HOME BURNS

• A manufactured home on the 200 block of Swofford Road southeast of Mossyrock is a complete loss from a fire on Friday, according to Lewis County Fire District 3. A neighbor reported smoke about 11:18 a.m. and when the fire department arrived, they saw light smoke and flames at the back door, Chief Doug Fosburg said. A search inside for any people was cut short by too much fire and it wasn’t long before the entire residence was engulfed in flames, Fosburg said. The renter was finally located elsewhere, later in the day, he said. One firefighter was transported for minor smoke inhalation, he said. Fosburg said the victim was himself, and it happened when the wind changed the direction of the smoke as he was beginning incident command. It appears fire had been burning in the ceiling for as much as an hour before the fire department arrived but an investigator is looking into the cause, he said.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, drugs, shoplifting, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, no-contact order violation; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, third-degree theft, runaway teenager, suspicious circumstances, child left alone in vehicle, dog and/or cat alone in vehicle, requests to have a petition signature gatherer removed, request to check on a person passed out on a street corner, request to ask a crowd of noisy kids to move along  … and more, among 129 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 1:20 pm
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•••

‘SALT LAMP’ ATTACK

• A 45-year-old Centralia woman was arrested for second-degree assault after she allegedly threw a “salt lamp” at an individual’s face on Friday. Police called about 2:15 p.m. to the 500 block of East Maple Street were told she had also scraped the victim with a knife the prior evening, according to the Centralia Police Department. Diana Y. Eyle  was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

POLICE: FORMER EMPLOYEE IS INTRUDER

• A 40-year-old Centralia man reportedly caught inside his former boss’s residence taking jewelry was arrested for second-degree burglary on Friday. Police responded about 9:15 a.m. to the 500 block of Yew Street and then booked David A. Casebolt into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

LOCKER PILFERING

• Centralia police were called to Thorbekes at the 2000 block of Borst Avenue about 10:20 p.m. on Friday about the theft of a wallet from a locker.

FOOD AND DRINK THEFT

• Centralia police were called just before 2 p.m. on Friday about the theft of dog food and vodka from the 100 block of Harrison Avenue. The suspect fled prior to police being called,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police responded to the 800 block of Eshom Road on Friday morning regarding juveniles spray painting derogatory words and pictures on rocks, windows, pavement, and a yard. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, hit and run, trespass, unlawful transit conduct, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, fourth-degree domestic assault, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more, among 303 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 48-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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Winlock child molestation case from late 1990s resurrected

Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 8:05 pm
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•••

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 60-year-old Toledo-area man appeared in Lewis County Superior Court yesterday in response to a summons, after learning he was accused for the second time of inappropriately touching a 5-year-old girl almost 18 years ago.

Steven M. Nowlen is charged with first-degree child molestation.

According to charging documents, the allegations were investigated when the alleged victim was a child, but recently the now-22-year-old reported the matter to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Nowlen was distressed to learn news reporters were present during his hearing.

“This isn’t going to be in the newspaper is it,” he asked outside the courtroom. “This is embarrassing.”

Nowlen said the allegation was investigated years ago, and suggested he couldn’t understand why it was getting looked at again.

“I took a lie detector and passed it with flying colors,” he said.

The charge, filed on May 18 in Lewis County Superior Court, alleges sexual contact sometime between Nov. 1, 1998 and March 1, 1999.

The allegation is the child was at her aunts home in Winlock, taking a bath with her cousin and the aunt’s boyfriend touched her between her legs when it was time to get out of the tub.

The court documents indicate the case was re-investigated beginning this past November.

Sheriff’s detective Jeremy Almond gathered records and conducted interviews and found the original case records were incomplete. In 2000, Winlock Police Chief Forrest McPherson suddenly died and there is no record of what happened with the case after the child was examined at St. Peter’s Sexual Assault Clinic.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Sheila Weirth wrote in the court documents that information from the medical examination revealed a condition “which can be seen in children who have been sexually abused, but is not a specific finding of sexual abuse.” The clinic recommended further police investigation.

Nowlen when interviewed by the detective denied ever inappropriately touching the child and told him he passed a polygraph in the 1990s, according to Weirth. There is no record of him taking one at that time, Weirth wrote.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey was told yesterday afternoon it appeared Nowlen qualified for a court appointed lawyer. Centralia attorney David Arcuri was appointed.

The offense carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Prosecutors requested and were granted a $10,000 unsecured bond as a condition of release. Nowlen’s arraignment is scheduled for June 16.

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Late incoming Sirens: Police and fire roundup

Friday, June 3, 2016 at 6:43 pm

DRUGS

• A 30-year-old Centralia area man who avoided a felony charge yesterday was promptly re-arrested for drug possession, a different felony. Tyler V. Geist was stopped on Interstate 5 on Wednesday and arrested for second-degree robbery, because Centralia police said he had taken money from the wallet of a female acquaintance and shoved her in the process. Prosecutors yesterday declined to file the felony charge, but Geist’s car had been impounded and a detective going through the vehicle yesterday found inside of it residue in a baggie that field tested positive for meth as well as a container with brown residue, according to prosecutors. Charging documents in the new case state the detective also found needle caps, drug paraphernalia and a digital scale with brown residue. Geist was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine. His bail was set at $10,000.

• A 23-year-old man was arrested for possession of heroin yesterday after he was picked up at his workplace in Chehalis on a state Department of Corrections warrant. In his pocket was a black tube and a folded up piece of foil that tested positive for the drug, according to charging documents. Matthew C. Gilmon was booked into the Lewis County Jail and charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with possession of heroin. The rural Chehalis resident has been working at the same job since he got released almost a year ago on a previous conviction, he and the defense attorney for the day Shane O’Rourke told the judge this afternoon as the amount of bail was discussed. O’Rourke noted he himself had prosecuted the earlier case and recalled that Gilmon remained out of custody after his conviction and returned to court for his sentencing hearing. The judge allowed Gilmon release on a $10,000 signature bond.

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Defendant in Mossyrock knife argument pleads not guilty, will argue self defense

Friday, June 3, 2016 at 2:07 pm
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Grace E. Barker turns toward the gallery in Lewis County Superior Court during her hearing.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend in the neck at his Mossyrock home was found competent so her case could continue and pleaded not guilty yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court.

Grace E. Barker, 26, was evaluated at the Lewis County Jail by personnel from the state’s psychiatric hospital, according to her lawyer.

Barker was arrested on April 6 following the incident at the 200 block of Mossyrock Road West, and subsequently charged with first-degree assault. The offense carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Defense attorney Shane O’Rourke told a judge yesterday afternoon, his client would be withdrawing her previous plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

He told the judge that wasn’t a viable route, based on the work they’d done so far on the case. He didn’t offer further detail.

Prosecutors wrote in court documents that Brian Slater was trying to get Barker to leave his residence when she picked up a knife, and he armed himself with a knife and when he threw his down thinking she had done the same, she stabbed him in the throat.

Slater spent about three days at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a punctured lung and other injuries before being released. He has said the weapon was 10-inch long stiletto.

Concern about Barker’s mental stability led to postponements and the visit from Western State Hospital.

While she was found competent enough to understand and assist in her own defense, she made the plea of not guilty by reason of insanity a few weeks ago. O’Rourke explained that has to do with the question of whether a person is sane at the time of the incident.

Outside the courtroom yesterday, he reiterated they withdrew that plea only for the general reason he gave the judge.

He will be focused on a self defense argument, O’Rourke said.

Slater, her boyfriend and the father of her child, has said he supports her 100 percent and wants to see her get help instead of a jail cell.

Barker’s trial is scheduled for the week of June 20 in Lewis County Superior Court. She remains held on $500,000 bail.
•••

For background, read “Mossyrock argument: Two knives, one airlifted, other arrested” from Thursday April 7, 2016, here

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News brief: Lewis SWAT taking part in training to protect capitol campus

Friday, June 3, 2016 at 12:34 pm
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Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Lewis County Regional SWAT Team is among five such groups which will join with Olympia’s police and fire departments undergoing an “active threat” readiness exercise tomorrow at the state capitol.

The training is important since more than 6,000 state employees work on the campus daily, according to the Washington State Patrol. In addition, an estimated 500,000 people visit, tour and use the capitol grounds every year.

An estimated 200 first responders – law enforcement officers, firefighters and medical units – will be on campus. Participants will also bring about 50 vehicles to support the exercise.

SWAT teams from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, from Pierce County, the Washington State Patrol and from the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be there as well. The Lacey Police Department and multiple divisions from the state patrol are also taking part.

The Washington State Patrol and the Department of Enterprise Serves are coordinating the event.

“While there are no known specific threats to the campus, the training is designed to enhance preparedness, improve coordination and develop consistent response efforts among state, local and federal response agencies should an active threat occur,” the agencies stated in a news release.

Some roadways and parking lots on the west campus will be closed for staging people, equipment and vehicles.
•••

CORRECTION: Washington State Patrol’s SWAT team took part in this exercise.

 

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, June 3, 2016 at 10:33 am
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•••

Updated at 10:58 a.m.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE PROBES INTRUSION DURING MEMORIAL SERVICE

• An 83-year-old Toledo area woman called the sheriff’s office yesterday to report numerous valuables were missing from throughout her home, such as a revolver, a gold pocket watch, a hunting knife, pearls and other jewelry. The resident at the 400 block of Jackson Highway South said she had a memorial back on May 7 for a relative and people knew she would be away, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. There is a person of interest the investigation is focusing on, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning. Also taken was a .22 rifle with scope and coin collections, including five rolls of buffalo nickels, with a total loss adding up to about $2,000, according to Brown. Much of the stolen jewelry was handmade, Brown said.

FUEL THEFT

• Centralia police were called again for an occurrence of theft of fuel from parked vehicles. The incident reported just before 8 o’clock yesterday morning took place at the 200 block of East Van Buren Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called just after 7 p.m. yesterday to take a report of a vehicle prowl at the 1500 block of North National Avenue. There were no signs of forced entry, but someone got inside and took what the report describes as an electrical item, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Centralia police were called just before 8:30 a.m. yesterday after the discovery someone stole cash from an unlocked vehicle at the 1100 block of West Chestnut Street.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, drugs, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, third-degree theft, stolen EBT card, disorderly person, suspicious circumstances, illegal dumping of trash … and more, among 144 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 6:30 a.m. today.

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News brief: Packwood private hydro plant building destroyed by fire

Friday, June 3, 2016 at 8:49 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The cause of the fire that destroyed a commercial building in Packwood was electrical in nature, according to fire investigator Jay Birley.

“He plugged his forklift in, they had a pretty big cable, and it faulted out,” Birley said this morning.

The approximately 50-foot by 60-foot metal-sided structure at the 11,800 block of U.S. Highway 12 belonged to a privately owned hydroelectric company, Birley said. Lewis County 911 Communications described it as near milepost 125, west of Packwood.

The fire broke out about 11 p.m. on Wednesday and burned the building to the ground, according to Birley.

Nobody was hurt but the contents lost included metal fabrication equipment, one large diesel-operated forklift and electric forklifts, he said.

The small hydroelectric plant at Burton Creek was purchased by Colorado investor Sam Perry about three years ago, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.