PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Authorities say a Washington state dentist used medical masks and gowns like kindling to try to burn his clinic down last week as he faced eviction.
Bellevue dentist Dr. Mohammed Rafie is facing charges of first-degree arson for torching his own dental office. Rafie was in financial trouble and faced eviction for not paying rent, investigators said.
He allegedly told police it was an accident, that he was cleaning, dropped an oxygen tank and it caught fire. Authorities said the multiple fires and the smell of lighter fluid told a different story.
“That’s really sad I mean, there’s so many people in need of the masks and gowns and everything right now and having that kind of stuff destroyed is just absolutely terrible,” said a community member who wished to remain anonymous.
Police said Rafie was suspected in another attempted arson at his old office in 2017 but was never arrested. That case is still under review.
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