PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) — A 39-year-old man is facing arson charges after admitting to starting dozens of fires throughout the Portland metro area, according to court documents.
Allen Michael Singerhouse was arrested on Nov. 21 following an investigation. He is facing five counts of first-degree arson and two counts of second-degree arson.
The charges are connected to multiple fires, including a four-alarm fire that occurred in northeast Portland in August. The fire started in a field that used to be a driving range near Northeast 85th and Siskiyou Street, according to court documents.
The fire forced evacuations and destroyed two commercial buildings, five homes, and around 50 vehicles, sending up smoke that could be seen for miles around the metro area, according to firefighters.
Fire officials said the fire caused over $2 million in damage.
In a news conference on Tuesday, Portland Fire & Rescue Chief Sara Boone called Singerhouse a “prolific arsonist” who “threatened the welfare of communities across the city.”
In addition to the fire in August, Singerhouse sparked two dumpster fires, including one at Concordia University at the Columbia River Campus that caused an estimated $8,000 in damages, court documents state.
Surveillance video was obtained from the four-alarm fire and Concordia University dumpster fire.
Officials said several community tips, including surveillance video from a northeast Portland business, helped detectives identify Singerhouse as the suspect.
Court documents state that a search warrant was executed at Singerhouse’s home on Nov. 21. Detectives found clothing that matched clothing worn by the person seen on video surveillance near reported fires.
According to court documents, detectives found multiple lighters with no serviceable lighter fluid. Two glass pipes consistent with methamphetamine use were also located.
When Singerhouse was interviewed by detectives, court documents state that he admitted to starting “dozens” of fires around the city, but said he couldn’t explain why he started them.
Singerhouse identified himself as the person seen on surveillance video from the four-alarm fire, according to court documents.
Court documents state that Singerhouse told detectives he intentionally lit the fire, but quickly rode off on his bike when it started burning out of control.
The investigation is ongoing. Investigators are asking anyone with information to call 503-823-INFO.
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