PPB: ‘Historic arrest’ made in sprawling arson case


The press conference was on Tuesday morning at 8 a.m.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Fire and Rescue joined forces with the Portland Police Bureau to detail the arrest of a man who admitted to having caused some of the “most devastating arson crimes to hit Portland in recent memory.”

The press conference was held at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. In the press conference, police said the suspect is linked not only to the August blaze but also 2 dumpster fires in the area, including one set at Concordia University.

Allen Singerhouse is suspected of starting the fire near Northeast 85th and Siskiyou Street on August 26, 2019. (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

Allen Singerhouse is accused of setting the 4-alarm blaze that burned down multiple buildings in August of this year, Portland Fire and Rescue announced on Monday. Once he was arrested on November 21, detectives began tying him to other unsolved fires over the years.

Detective Meredith Hopper said several tips led them to identify Allen Singerhouse after surveillance footage was made public.

“The financial cost of this fire is estimated at over $2 million without including the cost of city resources utilized and the inconvenience to the public,” said Hopper.

The Northeast 85th and Siskiyou Street fire destroyed a townhouse, a gym, and dozens of cars.

“This is a historic arrest of an arsonist who is dangerous and has shown no regard for the safety of others,” said PPB Deputy Chief Jami Resch. “He is connected to cases which have had a significant negative impact on our community.”

Court documents revealed that when first questioned, Singerhouse denied any involvement in these fires. However, once Hopper confronted him again he admitted to starting the 3 fires in question as well as various others around the area.

He could not explain why he lit the fires.

“There are few moments in a person’s career where such an operation is so significant that the arrest of a suspect has a profound impact on the city at large,” said Fire Chief Sara Boone. “This prolific arsonist instilled fear throughout the public domain and threatened the welfare of communities across the city.”

Singerhouse will appear in court for his indictment later in the day. KOIN 6 News will continue to cover this story.

A 4-alarm fire destroyed buildings and damaged homes in Northeast Portland on August 26, 2019. (Courtesy Wyatt Chapman)

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