July 24, 2013 in City

Pullman arson suspect pleads not guilty

From staff reports
Associated Press photo

Firefighters work to contain a fire at the unoccupied Grove apartments complex in Pullman on July 14. Firefighters responded to the blaze that took almost two hours to contain. The apartment complex was about two weeks from completion. Bryan Kitchen, 31, is suspected of starting the fire.
(Full-size photo)

A man accused of burning down a Pullman apartment complex pleaded not guilty to the charges in federal court Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Bryan L. Kitchen, 31, set fire to the Grove apartment construction site on July 14. He faces charges of setting fire to property used in interstate commerce.

Kitchen said in Whitman County Superior Court on Tuesday that he was drunk on July 14 and a voice in his head told him to burn down the complex.

The fire caused $13 million in damage and destroyed 88 units, leaving some Washington State University students scrambling to find housing.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno ordered that Kitchen remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Kitchen will appear for a bail hearing on Monday.

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