May 1, 1997 in Washington Voices

Fire Destroys Log Cabin Built In 1885; Arson Suspected

By The Spokesman-Review

Arson may be to blame for a fire that destroyed a Valley log cabin that was more than a century old.

The blaze at about 9:30 p.m. Friday reduced the unoccupied cabin at 4100 S. Sunderland to rubble.

“All that’s left now are a few logs,” said owner Henry Phillips, who bought the cabin in 1951.

Deputy Fire Marshal Eric Olson said the fire is suspicious and may have been started by youths. Olson interviewed a witness Tuesday and was investigating potential suspects.

The cabin was built in 1885 and has been owned by several people, Phillips said. He bought the cabin as a place for a hired hand.

The cabin, vacant for the past several years, gradually deteriorated after youths began breaking into it, Phillips said.

On Friday, Phillips returned from a trip to Coeur d’Alene to find fire trucks surrounding the cabin.

“The people kind of enjoyed that old cabin,” Phillips said. “We feel kind of bad that it burned.”

Lights smashed at office

A burglar who broke into a Valley attorney’s office early Sunday apparently was spooked by an alarm and left before taking anything.

The burglar smashed lights in front of a building that houses the Herman, Herman and Jolley law practice at 12340 E. Valleyway, cut the wiring to the rear security lights and broke a bathroom window about 2:25 a.m.

Once inside, the burglar riffled through several draws. It was not known what the burglar was looking for, but nothing appeared to be missing, Reagan said.

Typically, personal computer and lap-top computers are sought in office burglaries, Reagan said.

“I don’t know that that was the target in this instance,” he added.

School vandalized

Vandals smashed a window at Pratt Elementary early Sunday and left when the school’s alarm sounded.

Deputies used a sheriff’s dog to search the school at 6903 E. Fourth but did not find anyone inside. A window on the north side of the school had been broken, but deputies are not certain anyone got inside the school, Reagan said.

A witness who was awakened about 2:30 a.m. by a loud car saw three teens leave the school in an early 1970s Chevrolet four-door car. The car was dark in color and had a loud muffler, the woman told deputies.

Minutes before the alarm sounded at the school, the woman saw the teens walk into an alley between Third and Fourth avenues. They returned carrying something in their hands, stopped at the car briefly and went to the school.

, DataTimes

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