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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Spokane man set ex-girlfriend’s house on fire because he was upset about house party, police say

UPDATED: Tue., May 12, 2020

Spokane police on Monday arrested a 52-year-old man who is suspected of lighting on fire the home of his ex-girlfriend’s mother overnight Sunday.

The mother reported Thomas D. Willoughby III poured gas from a 5-gallon can on the front porch of her home on the 1200 block of East Heroy Avenue around 10 p.m. Sunday because he was upset that his ex-girlfriend had a party there on Saturday night, according to Spokane police. The mother said Willoughby lived there with her and her daughter, though their relationship ended recently.

The mother said she washed the gasoline away with a hose while her daughter was asleep inside, according to Spokane police. She said Willoughby then lit a cigarette and threw it on the porch, but it did not spark a fire due to the amount of water on the ground.

Officers collected a cigarette and a gas can as evidence, according to Spokane police.

Willoughby was arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree arson because the house is valued at more than $10,000 and the residence was occupied, according to Spokane police. It also appeared he maliciously and purposefully set the fire while his ex-girlfriend was asleep inside.

Willoughby remained in Spokane County Jail as of Tuesday afternoon, according to jail records.

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