Arson arrest made in Auburn storage facility fire

A four-alarm fire destroyed or damaged 70-80 of the 105 units at Auburn Way Self-Storage on July 11.  - Courtesy photo/VRFA
A four-alarm fire destroyed or damaged 70-80 of the 105 units at Auburn Way Self-Storage on July 11.
— image credit: Courtesy photo/VRFA

Fire investigators from the South King Fire Investigation Task Force, working with several law enforcement agencies, have made an arrest in connection with the July 11 arson fire at Auburn Way Storage.

Authorities arrested Michael Aguilar on the charge of arson in the second degree. Within a few days of the warrant being issued, Aguilar was located in Maui, Hawaii. Law enforcement officials from the island of Maui made the arrest and are holding Aguilar in custody until law enforcement officials from the King County Prosecutor's Office can return him here to face charges.

"We are pleased that closure has been brought to this investigation, especially for the families that lost so much," said Administrator Eric Robertson of the Valley Regional Fire Authority. "Through a large, cooperative multi-agency effort and outstanding investigative work, a dangerous fugitive will be brought back to King County to face the justice system."

Several agencies assisted the VRFA and the fire investigators in the capture of Aguilar including; the Auburn Police Department, Kent Regional Fire Authority, Snohomish County Fire Marshal's Office (K-9 Team), Kent Police Department, King County Sheriff's Office, King County Prosecutor's Office, Maui Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

A person is charged with arson in the second degree if he or she knowingly and maliciously causes a fire or explosion which damages a building. It is a class B felony, and if found guilty, Aguilar faces a term of 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both.

The four-alarm fire took several hours to extinguish and is estimated to have caused nearly a million dollars in damage to the building and contents. Nearly 70 firefighters from many south King County and north Pierce County fire service agencies provided assistance during the firefighting operation.

The SKFITF is a joint venture between the VRFA and the Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority to provide high-quality fire investigation services to both agencies and their contract partners in south King County.

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