On Monday, September 15, we reported on the suspicious fires being investigated at a Washington State Univesity fraternity house.
According to reports, several fires were started outside of the Theta Chi fraternity house on Sunday, September 16. Police said that investigators found five separate ignition points near the Theta Chi fraternity house, including in the patio area and front of the house.
The Theta Chi fraternity house was not damaged and no one was hurt in the fire
Following a brief investigation, 19-year-old Isaac Scott DePaolo was arrested and charged with first-degree arson for his alleged involvement in the fraternity fire.
According to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, DePaolo was also charged with two counts of second-degree arson for a dumpster fire and vehicle fire that were reported in the area and one count of unlawful entry into the vehicle to start the fire.
PPD detectives developed leads using surveillance video obtained through numerous sources. Interviews with Theta Chi members then lead to a named suspect. Although DePaolo is a resident of Cheney, he is not a WSU or EWU student.
The fire destroyed a wooden deck behind the fraternity house and was one of several fires discovered around the brick structure on the 800 block of NE C Street, according to a PFD news release Sunday. The release stated several fraternity members were awakened around 5:15 a.m. by the sound of the deck fire. They called 911 and tried to extinguish the fire with a garden hose and worked to keep it from spreading to the structure.
While a motive for the arson has not yet been determined, it appears that alcohol may have been involved.