Oregonian. July 28:
Oregon man claims he torched former boss’s cabin to retaliate for back wages
A 54-year-old Oregon man who approached a state trooper at the scene of a burning cabin July 23 in Kenai, Alaska, told authorities the home belonged to his former boss and said he started the fire.
His reason: He says he’s owed $25,000 in unpaid wages, and figured the cabin was worth about that.
Alaska State Troopers say 54-year-old Willard Hutson’s math is a little off. The cabin was valued at $39,000. It was unoccupied at the time of the fire — Hutson’s former boss, Bryan Chapman, was on a fishing trip when his cabin burned last week.
Troopers say Hutson gave a detailed description of how he set the fire, using gas-soaked rags and a propane torch. He was arrested and charged with first-degree arson. A preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 3.
The Peninsula Clarion reports Hutson was carrying Oregon identification when he was charged with first-degree arson. Public records indicate Hutson now lives in Astoria.