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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

House fire extinguished near Millwood, man arrested was in standoff with authorities last year at home

A house that caught fire Wednesday north of Millwood is the same one a man was accused of trying to burn nearly a year ago before engaging in a long standoff with authorities.

Firefighters from Spokane County Fire District 9 and the Spokane Valley and Spokane fire departments extinguished Wednesday’s fire. It was reported around 6 a.m., in the 7800 block of Columbia Drive, according to a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office news release.

District 9 Division Chief Nathan Jeffries said the attic and second floor of the home were significantly damaged. There were no injuries.

The cause and origin of the fire are under investigation, according to the release.

Deputies saw 43-year-old Manuel Garcia at the residence and arrested him on a warrant and on suspicion of a domestic violence protection order, deputies said.

The warrant stemmed from an April incident at the same Columbia Drive home where Garcia was arrested after an hours-long standoff with SWAT and other units. At that time, Garcia was arrested on suspicion of first-degree arson and second-degree malicious mischief.

The arson charge appears to have been dropped, but he still faces the malicious mischief charge, according to court documents.

Garcia, a convicted felon, was also arrested last week during a Spokane Valley police retail theft operation, the sheriff’s office said. Garcia is accused of damaging the packaging of a tool and removing a store’s security device before purchasing other items with cash and leaving .

Detectives located a handgun, which was reported stolen, in Garcia’s pocket; $4,765 in cash; about 168 suspected fentanyl pills; and a gray substance believed to be a mixture of heroin, fentanyl, carfentanyl and possibly another substance. Detectives seized Garcia’s 2004 Cadillac Escalade, the cash, drugs and the handgun.

He was booked into jail on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, possession of a stolen firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm and malicious mischief. His total bond was set at $25,000, and Garcia bonded out, the release said.

He was listed in the Spokane County Jail on Wednesday night after his Wednesday morning arrest.