Arson Arrest for Fire at Idaho Daily

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By: E&P Staff

A 21-year-old was arrested for driving under the influence, first-degree arson, possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting and obstructing a police officer after a Sept, 22 fire destroyed part of the building that houses the Shoshone News-Press, Hagadone Corp.’s daily in Kellogg, Idaho.

The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash., quoted the Kellogg fire chief saying that suspect Douglas Mark Burmeister “was just mad at the town.”

The fire was reported before 6:00 a.m. No one was in the building.

The fire station is across the street from the newspaper, but the roof already was aflame when the fire call was received. Most of the fire was extinguished after about 45 minutes, but the newspaper lost part of its archives and those of the defunct Wallace Press-Times. The newspaper offices reportedly sustained heavy fire, smoke and water damage.

Witnesses told police that a man watching the fire from his car nearby was intoxicated and bleeding from his hand. He allegedly had told other witnesses that he started the fire, according to Police Chief Dave Wuolle.

Fire Chief Dale Costa told the Spokesman-Review that the arsonist broke a window to get into the building. It was thought he cut his hand on broken window glass.

“We’re going to have a paper tomorrow, and it’ll be the best paper in North Idaho,” News-Press Publisher Dan Drewry was quoted saying on his paper’s Website the next day.

Coeur d’Alene television station KHQ reported the newspaper’s editorial department would temporarily work from space at North Idaho College.

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