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Lynden business fire deemed arson, owner arrested

Scene of commercial structure fire in Lynden (July 17, 2022). Photo: Dave Brumbaugh

LYNDEN, Wash. — Whatcom County Jail records show the owner of the Lynden tire services business that burned the night of July 16th was arrested yesterday, Wednesday, July 27th, and charged with arson.

Bolton Tire Pros Owner Kerry Michael Bolton, age 46, was arrested by Lynden Police, booked into Whatcom County Jail and charged with suspicion of 1st degree arson. He was released from custody about 30 minutes later.

Shortly after being released, Bolton posted to his Facebook profile to proclaim his innocence, “I did not intentionally burn my shop down, it was an honest accident.”

Lynden Fire Chief Mark Billmire told Whatcom News from the scene the next morning that firefighters arrived to find the structure fully involved. At the time, Lynden Police Department investigators were reportedly working with the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office to determine the cause.

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Billmire said there were no injuries to occupants or firefighters and that a person and a dog were safely able get out.

It had been reported (paywall blocked) that a hotel was planned to be built on the property.

Lynden Police Chief Steve Taylor told Whatcom News via email, “During the course of the investigation, probable cause [was found] sufficient to charge Mr. Bolton with suspicion of arson 1st degree, resulting in his arrest yesterday afternoon on that charge. The investigation is open/ongoing.”

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Correction made 7/28/22 9:25am to reflect that Lynden Police made the arrest and not Ferndale Police as initially reported. This was determined to be due to an error in the jail records and was confirmed with Ferndale Police officials.

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