TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Kenneth Lewis Massey, 47, with arson in the first degree, domestic violence related. Witnesses saw the fire and Massey running from the family’s home. According to his estranged wife, she and two children got out “just barely” in time.
“Arson is designated a Class A Violent Felony because it’s always dangerous,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
At approximately 10:00 p.m. July 23, 2017, Tacoma Police Officers responded to a report of a possible arson at a residence at 4014 S. Warner St. in Tacoma. When the officers arrived, the house was engulfed in flames and firefighters were attempting to control the fire.
Edna Massey lives at the residence. She told officers that says she and Mr. Massey are going through a separation due to “domestic violence issues.” Mr. Massey stayed at the house off and on, but not for the night. Ms. Massey allowed Mr. Massey to visit the children at the house.
Ms. Massey was inside the house along with her 16 and 13-year-old daughters when she heard a crash and a snapping sound. She saw fire coming into the house from the cracks at the front door. She and her daughters ran out through the back door.
The couple’s 13-year-old son, who was outside when the fire started, said he saw his father, Mr. Massey, running away from the house. Another witness also saw the defendant flee.
Officers caught up with Massey a few minutes later and noticed an “overwhelming odor of accelerants” coming from his body. His clothes appeared to be saturated with some sort of accelerant.
The investigation continues, and may result in additional charges.
Bail was set at $200,000.00
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.