Man Sets Apartment Ablaze, Tries To Set Friend On Fire, Police Say
An Ephrata man is recovering from injuries after police say he set fire to his friend's apartment.
Crews with the Ephrata Fire Department and officers with the Ephrata Police Department were dispatched to the blaze in the 30 block of Basin Street Southwest at around 1:15 Sunday morning.
Ephrata Police Chief Erik Koch says firefighters arrived to find the man had barricaded himself inside the burning structure.
"The subject was barricaded inside the bathroom and they (firefighters) could see flames in the bathroom from under the door. An attempt to breach the door was unsuccessful, so they ended up putting a hole in the wall to gain access to the bathroom and used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames."
Once the blaze had been extinguished, firefighters exited the apartment as police engaged in a standoff with 37-year-old Andrew Parent, who refused to come out.
Tactical response officers used flash grenades and pepper spray to try and flush out Parent, but when those methods failed, tear gas was used and he threw himself out a second story window.
Koch says investigators later discovered Parent had not only started the fire, but had also tried to set his friend on fire inside the apartment using lighter fluid.
"The friend had attempted to take away the accelerant but Parent then tried to use the accelerant against him. He was squirting the accelerant towards the apartment owner but he didn't sustain any injuries and he did not catch fire."
Parent suffered multiple injuries due to falling from the window.
He was transported to a local hospital before being airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where his current condition was not available.
Koch says it's unknown what predicated the incident but that it's likely Parent was suffering from some sort of mental health crisis.
Koch says Parent will remain at the hospital until he can be properly evaluated and before any charges will be filed.
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