Man charged after Northeast Anchorage apartment complex fire

Man charged after Northeast Anchorage apartment complex fire
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 4:08 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On Monday Paul Bryan Bates was brought up for arraignment on charges related to Sunday’s apartment complex fire, including arson.

Bates’ arraignment was delayed until Tuesday due to his unruly behavior in court. The prosecutor and judge decided to delay after Bates interrupted court proceedings with non-cooperation and profanity.

Bates has been charged with two felony counts and a misdemeanor offense in connection with the apartment complex fire in Northeast Anchorage on Sunday, according to charging documents from the Alaska Department of Law.

A neighbor stated that 23-year-old Paul Bates, a resident of the building, had set fire to his own apartment after other tenants would not give him a cigarette.

At 12:19 p.m. on Sunday, Anchorage police officers responded to the apartment complex at 6024 E. 12th Ave. regarding an arson, according to the documents. When officers arrived at the scene the building was on fire, residents were being evacuated and firefighters were fighting flames on the south side of the building.

A spokesperson with the Anchorage Police Department said via an email that police found Bates, who was carrying packed bags, walking on Debarr Road near Delasala Place.

“I did it, take me to jail,” Bates told officers, according to the charging documents.

Bates was then taken to jail and faces charges of first-degree arson, first-degree criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

At least five apartments are considered to be a total loss as a result of the fire, with damages and property losses estimated to be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Bates has previously been charged with second-degree robbery, assault and reckless endangerment in incidents unrelated to Sunday’s fire. Bates’ arraignment was again delayed from Tuesday until Wednesday.