Firefighter Arrested For Attempted Arson

Firefighter Arrested For Attempted Arson
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE - He spent 25 years fighting fires.

Now, a veteran Lieutenant with the Tukwila Fire department is suspected of setting a fire outside his own house with his wife and children inside.

It's already been an extraordinarily difficult summer for the men and women of the Tukwila fire department.

First came the heartbreaking loss of fellow firefighter, Jack Stevens, who was killed while riding in a charity motorcycle event.

Now, Lieutenant Phil Lyons, a 25 year veteran, is arrested for investigation of attempted arson.

"Well, we were quite surprised, quite shocked by the arrest," Tukwila Chief Nick Olivas told KOMO 4 News.

We attempted to reach the Lieutenant or someone in his family at their Mountlake Terrace home to hear his side of the story, but no one was home.

It was at his house, where investigators believe Lyons set fire to a cardboard box under a window earlier this month.

Lyons put the small fire out with a garden hose after his wife saw it burning.

According to court documents, his wife and children were inside the house at the time of the fire.

Though there was no damage, police did find the charred remains of a napkin stuffed into the exposed framing of the house along with a small fire starter - a device used to start fires in fireplaces.

Lyons' arrest came after detectives learned a grocery store card in his name showed he had purchased several fire starters.

Also in those court documents, Lyons blamed the fire on an arsonist who started several fires in North Seattle.

Those who know him best insist getting arrested doesn't mean Phil Lyons is guilty.

"It's difficult for me to believe that any firefighter would get arrested and charged with arson," said Chief Nick Olivas, "because firefighters train their entire careers and dedicate their lives to protecting people, so I believe that Phil is innocent until proven guilty."

Lyons was booked into jail and appeared at a hearing at Everett District Court on Friday where his bail was set at $10,000.