Gas thieves spark Estacada house fire

Gas thieves spark Estacada house fire

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by Jeff Thompson, KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 27 at 3:10 AM

ESTACADA, Ore. -- Two thieves accidentally set an Estacada house on fire while stealing gasoline from the garage Tuesday afternoon, police said.

A witness saw two men park near the large vacant house on South Feldheimer Road and enter the property just before 4 p.m., said Lt. Robert Wurpes of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

While the witness was speaking with a 911 operator, the suspects drove away, Wurpes said.

Nearby deputies were able to stop the suspect vehicle and speak with the "slightly-singed occupants, 48-year-old James Carden (pictured, below left) of Estacada and 22-year-old Richard Gardner of Eagle Creek," Wurpes said.

Photos: Gas thieves set Estacada house on fire

The suspects reportedly said they were trying to steal gas by drilling through a gas tank, and that's how the fire started.

"The suspects told the deputies they were trying to steal gas from a vehicle in the garage by drilling through the gas tank when the fire suddenly started.

The fire spread through the house and caused severe damage before firefighters were able to extinguish it.

The suspects were jailed on charges of first-degree burglary and criminal mischief.

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