Clark County

Triangle Motors fire suspicious; owner questioned

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) --- Ten cars, a boat and 2 buildings belonging to Triangle Motors went up in flames late Wednesday night in Longview in a blaze investigators believe is suspicious.

Around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Longview fire crews rushed to the 1000 block of Washington Way with the fire fully involved. Crews got the fire out within 90 minutes and no one was hurt.

Longview Police Detective Sgt. Chris Blanchard told KOIN 6 News the fire has not yet been ruled an arson, but there are suspicious circumstances around it.

"Well that location was the site, or a site of, a previous investigation Longview police conducted with [the owner] Jay Douglas several months ago," Blanchard said. 

On March 15, 2018, Douglas was arraigned in Cowlitz County Superior Court on numerous child sex crimes, including child rape and jumping bail. Blanchard said the allegations involve a victim who was 12 or 13 at the time. 

Douglas told KOIN 6 News off-camera that he doesn't believe there were any victims related to those charges. 

On Wednesday, he had a hearing related to his upcoming trial, which is scheduled for July 10.

Douglas, who was at the scene when the fire started, was taken to the police station after the fire for questioning but has not yet been charged.

"He wasn't aware of how the fire began, however, he stated he attempted to put it out with a garden hose," Blanchard said.

Blanchard said there are a variety of possible motives.

"One of the main ones, was that location was a potential evidentiary location from a prior case last year," Blanchard said. 

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this case.


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