Neighbors worry Bethany arsonist will strike again

There will be extra security at the development site

Three homes under construction in Bethany were destroyed by fires on August 16 and August 27. (KOIN)

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — Detectives are on the hunt for an arsonist who set fire to 3 homes in North Bethany in August, where another house under construction went up in flames last week.

The cause of the most recent suspicious fire is still under investigation, but the Washington County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed the August fires, which destroyed 3 houses, were arson. 

Fire destroyed this home at near NW 169 and Madrone in Bethany, August 27, 2017 (TVFR)
Fire destroyed this home at near NW 169 and Madrone in Bethany, August 27, 2017 (TVFR)

The development site has 26 others houses still being built and neighbors are worried it will happen again.

“Residents are living in fear,” Praba Selva, who lives in North Bethany, said. “The kids are frightened to go to bed.”

Dozens of neighbors heard from fire investigators Wednesday night to learn more about what authorities are doing to protect their homes.

“What I can tell you is I’m not ready to release any names of any suspects we may be looking at,” Detective Mitch Coley said.

Not much else was said about the investigation, but the property developers are taking protective measures.

“We’ve hired private security to patrol the subdivision at night,” Mike Frey with Noyes Development said.

Deputies will also be making more rounds, but some neighbors don’t think that’s enough.

“This community has been targeted. They struck us 3 times back-to-back and we need a better system to prevent a fourth from happening,” Selva said. “The area itself is very large and there are a lot of loopholes. People can enter this community from any corner of the highland.”

A vacant, under construction home was damaged by fire in the Bethany area. (KOIN)