Fatal fire investigated as arson, possible homicide

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Court records show an Oct. 10 fatal house fire near Vancouver, Washington is being investigated as arson and potential homicide after the 75-year-old victim was found strapped to a chair in his living room.

Those records also say there was evidence of possible fire accelerants in each room of the burned house in the Minnehaha area, The Columbian reported. The fire and death investigations are continuing, and no further information was available Wednesday.

The exact manner and cause of John E. McCarty’s death are still pending, according to the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A search warrant affidavit filed Nov. 12 in Clark County Superior Court sought a warrant for investigators to search McCarty’s finances and Veterans Affairs information, including benefits and medical records.

The sheriff’s office detective who authored the affidavit wrote he has been unable to locate any family or friends who “could provide additional insights into (McCarty’s) life or who he was spending time with.”

Shortly after 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, Vancouver firefighters rushed to a house fire and received a report that someone was inside. Emergency crews declared McCarty dead at the scene.

Investigators on scene said firefighters found the deceased man, as well as “a jug container with a clear liquid in a back bedroom with a burn pattern visible in the carpet that is visible from the outside of the home,” the affidavit reads.