Man accused of setting fire to ex’s home while mother inside

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A man accused of lighting his ex’s Frederickson-area home ablaze while a woman was inside is being held on a $500,000 bail.

The 37-year-old man pleaded not guilty Friday in Pierce County Superior Court to assault, arson, burglary, residential burglary and two counts of violating a no-contact order, The News Tribune reported.

Court documents say a no-contact order barred him from going to the home where his ex lives with their children and her mother. The man went to the home Wednesday, uninvited, and spoke with the mother, documents said.

The declaration for determination of probable cause said the mother went to her room briefly, came back out and the trailer was full of smoke so thick she could not see her hand in front of her face.

She escaped. Most belongings inside were damaged.

The man called 911 the next morning and “mumbled something about being back at the residence to handle some business,” the probable cause statement said.

SWAT responded and when the man refused to exit, a chemical agent was used and a police dog found the man in the bathroom, the probable cause statement said.

The man also has a pending criminal case from an August incident in which he's charged with burglary, felony harassment, violation of a protection order and assault related to his ex and her boyfriend. Bail in that case was increased Friday.