PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The July 29 fire at Rachel’s Bar & Grill was started using a newspaper ad and cheese puffs, court documents state.
Detective Joe Luiz obtained surveillance video from a nearby gas station that shows a person buying cheese snacks and picking up a newspaper classified about 23 minutes before the fire was reported.
Luiz took the photos and met with the owner of the bar who “immediately” identified the person in the photo as Dean Edward Maki, court documents state.
Maki, 54, was arrested by fire investigators Monday and has been charged with one count of first-degree arson. He was arraigned Monday afternoon and pleaded not guilty.
Rachel’s Bar and Grill is located at the intersection of Southeast 125th and Southeast Division Street.
Detectives learned Maki had been permanently trespassed from the bar, court documents state.
Maki had recently filed a complaint against the bar with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, court documents state.
On August 19, Portland fire responded to Rachel’s Bar and Grill for another fire that had been set in a similar fashion to the one in July, court documents state.
Firefighters said gasoline had been used in the August fire.
While Luiz was at the bar he noticed Maki walk by the area. It was around 6 a.m. Aug. 19 and another fire investigator also saw Maki, court documents state. Maki has not been charged in connection to the August fire.
Maki admitted he was the one in the video but said he “doesn’t remember why he bought the cheese snack or why he picked up” the newspaper ad, court documents state.
Investigators determined the fire was intentionally set and that “cheese snacks are a fairly well-known accelerant,” court documents state.
Records show Maki has been convicted for coercion and unlawful use of a weapon.
His bail remains at $250,000.