Police hope video will help lead them to culprit in fatal Cave Junction arson

A man was seen lighting and throwing a flare at a house than burned down near Cave Junction, killing one man.

Posted: Jan. 18, 2019 12:44 PM
Updated: Apr. 17, 2019 3:12 PM

CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. —

UPDATE: A video now made public by Oregon State Police (OSP) could help lead investigators to the identity of the person who burned down a Cave Junction home in January, killing one person inside.

OSP is asking for assistance from the public in identifying a vehicle shown in the video.

Investigators have known since shortly after the fatal arson that someone had been seen igniting and throwing a flare at the house that caught fire.

"Investigators also learned there were several other incidents of people throwing lit flares in the Cave Junction area around the same time," OSP said.

The video shows a car pulling into a parking lot, with the driver quickly turning of its headlights. The car then is seen rapidly leaving the parking lot. If there is a flare caught in the video itself, it's incredibly difficult to spot.

"Attached is a video of the vehicle seen in the area throwing a lit flare at a structure," OSP said.

Anyone with information related to this fatal fire is asked to contact the Oregon State Police Dispatch at *OSP (*677) from your mobile phone or 1800-442-2068 Reference case #SP19-017772.

(Updated 4/17/19 at 3 p.m.)


UPDATE: Investigators are treating the house fire in Cave Junction on Wednesday as an arson and are looking for a suspect, according to the Oregon State Police (OSP).

A man was seen igniting and throwing a flare at the house prior to the fire, OSP said. 65-year-old Donald Thomas died in the home as it burned.

OSP Major Crimes and Arson Detectives are investigating the case. Anyone with information related to this fatal fire is requested to contact the Oregon State Police Dispatch at 1-800-442-2068 or *OSP and reference case #SP19-017772

(Updated 1/18/19 at 12:35 p.m.)


INITIAL REPORT: One person is dead following a house fire that flared up near Cave Junction around midnight on Wednesday, according to the Illinois Valley Fire District (IVFD).

Firefighters from IVFD and emergency personnel from AMR responded to reports of a fire in the 100-block of East River Street just after midnight — arriving to find "a single-story wood frame house" with flames pouring from oth the front and sides.

After knocking down the flames, firefighters entered the house to find a single occupant who had died inside.

Crews from Pacific Power also responded to the fire and disconnected power to the house to keep the firefighters safe. IVFD was assisted by firefighters from Rural-Metro Fire.

IVFD said that the cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Illinois Valley Fire Marshal, a fire investigator from Oregon State Police, and an investigation team from the Oregon State Fire Marshal's office.

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