Tukwila Firefighter Cleared Of Arson Charges

Tukwila Firefighter Cleared Of Arson Charges
EVERETT - A charge of attempted first-degree arson against a Tukwila fire lieutenant has been dropped because someone else is taking responsibility for setting the firefighter's house on fire, authorities say.

Philip Scott Lyons, 48, a 25-year veteran firefighter, returned to his regular duties after the case was dropped last week, nearly five months after he was arrested, Tukwila Fire Chief Nicholas J. Olivas said.

"We're very happy about it," Olivas said. "We're definitely glad to get him back on shift."

Lyons was placed on administrative leave after he was arrested Aug. 27, 17 days after a fire at his house in Mountlake Terrace. He was allowed back to work in early October but limited to administrative duties.

The charge was dropped after "another person accepted responsibility for the fire," Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Jim Townsend said Thursday. "This person made statements to numerous people and statements officially" to Mountlake Terrace police.

Townsend would not identify the person who came forward or say whether the individual was a man or a woman. A decision on charges was pending, he added.

Lyons put out and reported the fire on the side of his home late the night of Aug. 10 after his wife noticed something glowing through a window.

Investigators found the charred remains of a napkin and fire starter stuffed into the framing of the house, and a police dog that was asked to track whoever had been in the yard went repeatedly to the front door of the house, according to documents filed by prosecutors in court.