Police said a Washington teen has admitted to setting a fire that destroyed a portable restroom Friday night at Phoenix Park.
The 17-year-old suspect also confessed to setting a fire Monday afternoon in a trash can at Lions Lake, police said.
Police plan to seek felony charges of second-degree arson and knowingly burning against the suspect, The Missourian was told.
Officer Greg Garrett, the first responder to the Phoenix Park blaze, found the restroom engulfed in flames that were reaching the height of gutters on the new permanent restroom and pavilion at Phoenix Park.
Washington firefighters arrived and quickly doused the flames but by that time, the only thing left was the steel support members, police said.
Darren Dunkle, Washington parks and recreation director, reported at Monday night’s council meeting that the fire did not damage the new pavilion building.
Trash Can Fire
Shortly after noon Monday, police and firefighters responded to the city park to the fire in the trash can. Damage was limited to the trash can, police said.
During that investigation, a witness came forward with a description of a vehicle that was seen in the vicinity of the fire. Later Monday afternoon, Officer Eric Saavedra stopped a vehicle matching the description and questioned individuals in the car.
That led to questioning the 17-year-old suspect who confessed to police. He was booked and released pending a decision by the prosecuting attorney’s office on felony charges.
Find Molotov Cocktail
Minutes after fire and police officers responded to the trash can fire, police received a report that someone found a Molotov cocktail and a small can of gasoline in a trash can behind a business in the 500 block of West Fifth Street.
Police seized the items as evidence and later determined the discovery was not related to the previously set fires.
Officers are talking to possible suspects in connection with that incident, police said.