Fire completely destroyed a 1,068-square-foot one-level residence in Clackamas on Friday afternoon as the investigation into possible meth-lab involvement continues.
Clackamas Fire District No. 1 Lt. Jed Wachlin said that the house at 16261 McKinley Ave. valued at $50,420 had been a complete loss. Although it was only a one-alarm fire, heavy police and fire-vehicle presence could been seen on Interstate 205 near the Highway 212 exit to Estacada at 2 p.m. No firefighters were hurt, and they found no one inside as they extinguished the blaze.
Currently the fires under control, Wachlin said. We did have a possible drug lab that was involved with the start of the fire, and thats why there was some additional police presence.
Clackamas County Sheriffs Office deputies learned that the person believed to have set the fire had fled the house and was hiding next door at 16215 S.E. McKinley Ave. They responded to the house and found that back door leading into the house had been kicked in. There was evidence that led the deputies to use a thermal imaging device to search the attic, and a heat signature was discovered consistent with a person hiding in the attic.
Clackamas County SWAT responded and eventually was able to take the suspect, who was described as uncooperative and identified as Kenneth Wayne Mroczek, into custody at 3:31 p.m.
Mroczek is the 47-year-old son of the owner of 16205 S.E. McKinley who was out of town at the time of the incident, and Mroczek was reportedly supposed to be over feeding her cat. The initial investigation, including physical evidence and statements, led investigators to believe that this fire had been set intentionally.
Mroczek was lodged at the Clackamas County Jail on charges of first-degree burglary and arson. His bail was set at $300,000.
Oregon State Police, Clackamas Fire Marshal and CCSO are conducting a joint investigation, and investigators are interested in speaking with anyone that had contact with Mroczek in the 24 hours prior to his arrest or other relevant information about this case. Those with information are asked to call the CCSO Tip Line at 503-723-4949. You can also submit tips via anonymous cell-phone text message to CRIMES (274637 on your phone keypad) with the keyword CCSO as the first word in the message body.
Clackamas Fire also prepared for severe weather this weekend. Sandbags will be available 24 hours a day at the Lake Road fire station at the intersection of Highway 224 and Webster Road.