On Monday, July 22, at about 4:05 p.m., detectives arrested Bryan Lee Kitchen, a 31-year-old Pullman resident, in connection with the July 14 fire. Kitchen had accompanied detectives to the Pullman Police Department for an interview and subsequently made admissions that led investigators to believe he was involved in setting the fire.
Kitchen worked for a plumbing subcontractor at the construction site, but police did not say what they believe to be his motive.
Kitchen was booked on a charge of arson in the first degree, a class A felony, and was transported to the Whitman County jail. After conferring with the county prosecuting attorney, the U.S. attorney’s office in Spokane will review the case for possible federal prosecution.
The Pullman Fire Department was called to the fire site at 1560 NE Brandi Way just after 3 a.m. on Sunday, July 14. Rural fire districts from Whitman County, Colfax and Moscow, Idaho, and the Moscow city department, provided assistance.
Four structures under construction with an estimated completed value of close to $13 million were destroyed.
The investigation at the scene led to a conclusion that the fire was intentionally set.