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2 charged with arson for April string of WSU fires

COLFAX — Two former Washington State University students have been charged with arson for a series of fires set on campus.

Prosecutors filed charges of arson and malicious mischief Dec. 24 against David Miner of Tacoma and Ian Copland of Aberdeen in Whitman County Superior Court.

Prosecutors say the two set nine fires on April 21, mostly in trash bins and stairways. No injuries or major damage were reported, but a dormitory complex with more than 900 students was evacuated.

Police arrested the 21-year-old Miner after he was chased and jolted with a stun gun. He led police to the 18-year-old Copland.

KRPL reports Miner and Copland were expelled after their arrest.

Police said the motive for the fires was unclear but the two had been drinking.

Tags: crime, fire, WSU

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Then and Now: Comstock Park

James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.