Man pleads guilty in fatal Everett apartment fire

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — An Everett man who set an apartment complex on fire in 2017 has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and arson, for killing a woman in the fire.

The Daily Herald reports 41-year-old William Matthews pleaded guilty Friday.

Seventy-six-year-old Elsie Flynn died in the Dec. 21, 2017 fire at the Colby Square Apartments.

Matthews used a cigarette lighter to ignite an artificial tree in the stairwell. Flames engulfed the only exit.

Charging documents say Matthews later told police he didn't mean to start the fire, but he'd been so sick of being on the street and needed to do something to get negative attention.

As the flames spread, a neighbor leaned a ladder against the building so Flynn and her daughter could climb down. Flynn was unconscious by the time she reached the ground. She died four days later.

Matthews is scheduled for sentencing in June.

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Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldnet.com