Arson charge filed after blaze

A man was arrested by Alaska State Troopers after a trooper and Central Emergency Services responded to a fire Monday that destroyed a Soldotna home.

Willard Hutson, 54, was arrested and charged with first-degree arson, a class A felony which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and on an outstanding warrant after he admitted to setting fire as retribution against the owner of the home, according to a CES media release.

Hutson walked up to the on-scene trooper and admitted to setting the fire according to the CES media release. However, Megan Peters, spokesperson for the troopers, said her agency wouldn't normally comment on a confession as Alaska law requires corroborating evidence to a confession in order for a person to be convicted.

Bryan Chapman owns the home, according to the media release. 

Firefighters were dispatched at 2:25 p.m. to 44684 Sunrise Ave., and found the 576 square-foot, two-story home engulfed in flames according to the release. The fire was put out in about 10 minutes and the property was valued at about $39,000.

No one was injured and the incident is still under investigation.

Rashah McChesney can be reached at rashah.mcchesney@peninsulaclarion.com.

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