Man atop hotel surrenders after hours-long standoff

Blaze damages Quality Inn on Northeast Highway 99

By Paris Achen and Mark Bowder

Published:

Updated: September 29, 2012, 8:31 PM

 
Quality Inn fire
photoA man sits on the roof of the Quality Inn, 7001 N.E. Highway 99 in Hazel Dell, on Saturday during a fire at the business. The man reportedly pushed away ladders when firefighters went to his rescue.

(/The Columbian)

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photoFire crews and onlookers crowd the area around the Quality Inn, 7001 N.E. Highway 99 in Hazel Dell, as fire crews and sheriff's deputies attempt to deal with a man they found sitting atop the roof of the building.

(/The Columbian)

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A man who complicated efforts to fight a fire at the Quality Inn in Hazel Dell surrendered to authorities Saturday night after a four-hour standoff atop the once-burning building.

The man, identified as Angel M Torres-Reyna, 41, climbed down a fire department ladder at about 8 p.m. after extensive discussions with negotiators through a Spanish-language interpreter, ending a tense standoff that began when the fire was reported at 3:50 p.m. Saturday at 7001 N.E. Highway 99.

He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree arson, according to a bulletin from the Clark County Sheriff's Office.

The fire started in the man's room, fire officials said later Saturday. As of 5:30 p.m., negotiators were trying to get him off the roof of the building.

Units arriving on scene found flames coming through the roof of the north building. They also found the man on the roof waving his arms. The man began pushing ladders of firefighters attempting to reach him from the roof.

Firefighters entering the building found smoke in the hallways. Fire appeared to have started in one of the rooms and spread into the attic area.

Firefighters brought the fire under control in about 15 minutes.

A reporter arriving on scene said the man was standing on the roof of the building, shirtless and smoking a cigarette.

Law enforcement personnel and firefighters were working to gain access to the roof. They also called in a Spanish-language translator.

Deputies from the Clark County Sheriff's Office worked to talk the man off the roof as firefighters worked to extinguish hot spots remaining on the roof.

Witnesses on scene report that the man on the roof may have started the fire.

Shortly after 5 p.m., fire trucks were departing the scene. The man remained on the roof as deputies worked to get him down.

After 5:45 p.m., firefighters set up a ladder truck to provide the man easy access to the ground.

Firefighters are giving man on roof "a way down if he wants it," said Clark County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Duncan Hoss. "He can't kick that one down."

As of 7:30 p.m., the man remained on the roof as a harvest moon rose behind him and officers continued efforts to get him to come down the ladder.

This story will be updated.