Seattle marina fire: 58 boats burned, $8.5M in damages as suspect is charged with arson

The man investigators say caused about $8.5 million in damage in a fire at a Seattle marina earlier this week now faces arson charges and a $100,000 bail.

A judge charged 31-year-old Arthur Arakelov with first-degree arson on Friday. 

Court documents say more than 100 firefighters responded to the incident early Wednesday morning at the Seattle Boat Company. Investigators say 58 boats burned and $8.5 million in damages were reported. 

Surveillance cameras at the marina captured video of a man climbing down from the boat rack during the fire, according to court documents. Detectives noted that getting up the rack would require deliberate effort, since the rack has no staircase or ladder.

Investigators say they discovered a second video on YouTube that apparently showed the man climbing off of the rack, then hiding in a nearby boat tied to a dock

Documents say investigators found the man asleep in the boat, with blackened hands, possibly from soot.

Inside the boat, investigators also say they found a torch lighter that did not belong to the owner of the boat.

According to documents, Arakelov refused to answer any questions or provide any identification.

However, investigators heard him talking to medical staff admitting to being at the scene of the fire, and knowing about the fire, but would not give further information about how the fire started, documents said.

Investigators are also linking Arakelov to a break-in that happened at a business in the same area of the fire, around the same time.

According to documents, Arakelov has a felony conviction for possession of narcotics for sale and misdemeanor convictions related to theft.

He also has several pending charges.

Arakelov’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 6.