Chad A. Kassen : Man Falls Asleep While Smoking, Causes Fire at Abandoned House

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Man Arrested for Starting Fire at Abandoned House in Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — A man has been arrested after falling asleep while smoking, which led to a fire at an abandoned house in the 1300 block of West Lauridsen Boulevard on Saturday afternoon, according to Clallam County Chief Criminal Deputy Amy Bundy.

Chad A. Kassen, a 33-year-old Port Angeles resident, was taken into custody on charges of first-degree criminal trespassing shortly after 6 p.m. on Saturday. The abandoned house, where three people were reportedly living, caught fire, and one occupant was missing. The other occupant was not arrested.

Kassen is currently being held in the Clallam County jail with a bail set at $10,000. No court date has been scheduled yet.

Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue and the Port Angeles Fire Department responded to the structure fire at around 1:40 p.m. on Saturday. When they arrived, the house was already fully engulfed in flames.

According to Clallam County Sheriff’s Sgt. Amy Bundy, the sheriff’s office took over the incident since the house was located in the county. She mentioned that the house had a history of problems with squatters.

A witness outside the burning residence reported to the authorities that he had been smoking a cigarette inside the house when he fell asleep and woke up to find the house on fire. The man was later identified as Kassen.

Bundy stated that Kassen’s statement was consistent with the location where the fire started. Kassen was treated for smoke inhalation at Olympic Medical Center before being booked into jail.

Port Angeles police confirmed that two of the three known occupants were safely out of the structure. However, they were unable to determine the status of the third person initially. It was later discovered that the third occupant had left the property with a van.

The building, which was reported as an abandoned structure by the Port Angeles police, was known to have up to three squatters residing there, according to Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue.

Firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control within 30 minutes of their arrival. Fortunately, the flames were contained to the building, and there was no damage to the surrounding storage buildings.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and authorities are working to determine the full extent of the damage caused by the fire.

________

For more information, contact Reporter Brian Gawley at brian.gawley@peninsuladailynews.com.

Leave a Comment