October 20, 2007

Three Are Charged in Stevenson Mill Fire

By Kathie Durbin, The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash.

Oct. 20--The Skamania County Sheriff's Office arrested three people Friday in connection with the Sept. 21 fire that destroyed the Stevenson Co-Ply mill west of Stevenson.

Jordan Lee Reeves, 21, of Vancouver; his cousin, Brad Lee Reeves, 19, of Kalama; and a 16-year-old were charged with first-degree arson and second-degree burglary. Jordan and Brad Reeves were being held at the Skamania County Jail, and the 16-year-old was being held at the county's juvenile detention facility.

Undersheriff Dave Cox said the arrests resulted from an extensive investigation and a tip from a concerned citizen. He declined to identify the juvenile or give further details about the information that led to the arrests.

Agencies assisting Skamania County detectives in the investigation included the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office and the Kalama Police Department.

"With that one tip and the extensive help we got from ATF on this, the guys were able to come up with these three folks," Cox said.

The mill property is owned by WKO Inc., a Carson wood products company. The mill was no longer in operation. In recent years it had been used to store flammable materials including wood stove pellets and wood shavings.

"We're very pleased with the efficiency and the dedication of the local law enforcement on this," said company spokesman Rob Evert. "It's a relief to know what caused the fire. That puts a lot of concerns at ease." He said he did not recognize the names of the two adults arrested.

Evert said the company is still trying to address cleanup issues at the mill site and is in the early planning stages of deciding what to do with the industrial site.



The Co-Ply mill in Stevenson burned to the ground Sept. 21.

What's new:

Three people were arrested Friday and charged with arson and burglary in connection with the fire.

What's next:

The property's owner is still working to clean up after the fire and is just starting to consider what to do with the site.

First online

This story was posted at 3:24 p.m. Friday at www.columbian.com


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