Decision delayed on Camas house fire charges

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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A Clark County prosecutor says he won’t decide until Monday whether to charge a 19-year-old man accused of recklessly burning bank statements and accidentally setting his parents’ Camas house on fire on April 30.

Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Robinson initially said he expected to decide today whether to charge Brian Murray with the felony crime but hasn’t been able to review all of the reports he’ll need to consider in order to make a decision. Robinson’s deadline to charge Murray is 2 p.m. Monday.

Murray, along with his friend, parents and sister, were displaced by the fire. Murray, who sustained second-degree burns to his right leg, was the only person injured in the blaze. The house, valued at about $500,000, was destroyed in the fire. A neighboring house sustained siding and window damage, according to the Camas-Washougal Fire Department.

Camas police arrested Murray Wednesday, but Murray has since been freed from jail on supervised release.

If charged, Murray’s arraignment would be May 16.

Murray's supporters plan to gather at 6 p.m. tonight at the fire site, 3627 N.W. Sierra Drive, to show their opposition to any criminal charges being filed against him.

Murray, a recent Army recruit, was scheduled to head to boot camp on Monday. That has had to be deferred for now, his mother said.

"I just hate to see this young man's life ruined," said Kelly Grall, mother of one of Murray's friends.