Man charged in connection with series of West Seattle fires, allegedly told police he was 'looking for help'

SEATTLE -- A 22-year-old Seattle man who allegedly confessed to setting fires in West Seattle because he was an individual "looking for help" was charged Tuesday with second-degree arson,  reckless burning and malicious mischief.

The King County Prosecutor's Office asked that defendant Jacob Alexander Kokko be held in the King County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bail.

Prosecutor Dan Satterberg wrote in the charging documents that Kokko on Oct. 31 set a fire that damaged the Senior Center of West Seattle at 4127 SW Oregon St.

"The defendant was caught on video purposely setting fire to a recycling bin and dumpster under a structural overhang to the Senior Center of West Seattle ... the fire damaged the building's ceiling and could have spread to the whole building and engulfed it in flames."

Minutes later, Satterberg wrote, Kokko set fire to a dumpster adjacent to a nearby building.

"When interviewed, the defendant said that he set the fires because he was an individual who was looking for help," Satterberg wrote.

And on Oct. 12, it's alleged Kokko set a trash can on fire in West Seattle.

Kokko has no previous criminal history.