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Man accused of setting ex-girlfriend’s Vancouver house on fire

A man who is accused of setting his former girlfriend’s residence on fire appeared Wednesday in Clark County Superior Court.

Steven M. Hir, 36, of Scappoose, Ore., faces first-degree domestic violence arson in connection with the Sunday morning blaze near David Douglas Park.

Judge Jennifer Snider set his bail at $200,000. He will be arraigned May 13, court records show.

At 2:54 a.m., multiple fire engines were dispatched to 722 N. Morrison Road. Once there, crews found the house’s occupants had already evacuated.

The fire was brought under control in less than 30 minutes. No injuries were reported. Fire crews rescued a cat from inside the house, Vancouver Fire Department spokeswoman Eva Scherer said.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, video surveillance captured a man, whom authorities believe to be Hir, entering the backyard through a closed but unlocked gate. He is seen putting on gloves and pouring a flammable liquid on the outside wall of the house. He then uses a lighter to start the fire and flees the scene. The fire spread to the inside of the house, activating the smoke alarms.

Police recovered gasoline containers from the scene.

The intended victim of the fire was not there at the time. She positively identified Hir from the surveillance footage of the incident, the affidavit says.

Since ending the relationship in March, the victim has reported ongoing harassment by Hir and obtained a restraining order against him, court records state.

The fire displaced the victim and two other residents, and caused about $58,000 worth of damage, Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli said. The damage is significant, she said, but the home is not considered a total loss.



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