Fire at Columbia Park Campground

Because the suspect is only facing, for now, reckless burning charges, it's possible they are a transient.

Kennewick Fire Crews and Police officers responded to a call about a fire in Columbia Park, early Sunday morning around 5:25AM.

The fire engulfed two buildings that are part of the old Columbia Park Campground, just east of Columbia Center Boulevard North. You may recall decades ago that section of the park had a winding road the led through the trees, and there were a number of small iron barbeques on posts at each campsite.

However the campground was closed many years ago and is not accessible to vehicles. It is not longer used for camping.

There are a few old buildings that housed bathrooms and showers at the site, when fire crews arrived two of them were engulfed in flames. Police have arrested a 49-year-old man in connection with the incidents, Brandon Patrick, who is believed to have started the blaze.

However, his has not (yet) been charged with arson; it's quite possible he is a transient and the fire resulted from him starting a campfire in the area. He's facing the Reckless Burning charge. Given the circumstances of the fire, that is a possibility. However, Police did not confirm that.

The last couple of years, there's been a growing number of incidents involving fires, vandalism and other issues in the park related to transient persons, despite the park being 'closed' after 11pm or midnight to traffic.

Officers say no other buildings were threatened, and there were no injuries. The damage to the two buildings was said to be extensive.

 Unlike this story, where the suspect was located, here's a look at some that are unexplained.

 

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