Fire Blotter: Arson at Retirement Home Claims Holiday Decoration

The weekly Gig Harbor Fire and Medic One blotter compiles reports from Nov. 26 through Nov. 30.

Total calls during this period: 65         

EMS: 44

Fire/Service: 7

Other: 14    

On Nov. 27, police responded to a fire alarm around 1 a.m. at the Peninsula Retirement Home, according to a Gig Harbor Police report.

They discovered that a bow from some Christmas decoration outside one resident's door caught on fire. The resident located the fire and put it out with a pitcher of water. A 42-year-old man, who was also in the hallway, helped extinguish it. 

Around 2:30 a.m., the fire alarm went off again at the same retirement home--this time, a bow on the other side of the same display was on fire. The resident was able to put it out again with a pitcher of water, and she also noticed the same man in the hallway. 

The fire melted the bow and burned holes in the carpet of the hallway. Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One also arrived on scene and determined that the fire was human-caused. 

One employee told police that the 42-year-old man was staying at the facility with his grandparents because he was homeless. 

The employee also said the retirement home was having a contest for the best holiday decoration, and the man's grandmother was also in the contest. The employee thought the man may have started the fire so that his grandmother would have a better chance of winning.

The man denied starting the fire, but police found a lighter on him and a minor burn on one of his hands.

Authorities are still investigating this incident.

On Nov. 28, crews investigated a report of oil sheen in the bay near the Tides Tavern. The source could not be located, and it appeared to dissipate and unrecoverable. With the changing tide, it was difficult to determine the source of oil.

On Nov. 28, an unknown type fire was reported under the Fox Island Bridge. On arrival, a small smoldering campfire was located. Firefighters extinguished with sand.

On Nov. 29, a 75-year-old man was riding an exercise bike at the YMCA when he became lightheaded and pale. He was evaluated and recovered without transport.

On Nov. 30, a 13-year-old girl suffered from an allergic reaction while at school.  Medics evaluated her on scene, and the girl was released to her parent.


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