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Corvallis man arrested for setting fire to cat house

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A Corvallis man has been arrested on an alleged first-degree arson charge.

Kirk Daniel Murphy, 68, was booked into Benton County Jail on Sunday, Nov. 28. According to court documents, Murphy allegedly started a fire at his home in Corvallis.

A probable cause affidavit for the case states a Corvallis Police Department officer was dispatched at about 5 p.m. to a report of domestic abuse at 122 SE Rivergreen Ave. in Corvallis.

According to the officer, he had been at that same address earlier for a domestic disturbance between Murphy and Patricia Murphy. Their relationship was not given in the affidavit.

At the time of that call, Kirk Murphy was allegedly “highly intoxicated” and said he was going to leave, according to the officer in the affidavit.

During the next call, Patricia Murphy told dispatch Kirk Murphy had lit a fire to debris outside the house. The affidavit states that, just a few moments later, dispatch upgraded the call to a structure fire.

Upon arriving at the scene, the officer reported finding a dismantled cat house fully ablaze. The cat house was in a pile of dry firewood, he said in the affidavit. The cat house and firewood were in a carport.

The fire is said to have been 18 feet from the house. The officer noted the carport was about 8 feet tall and the flames were about 2 to 3 feet from the roof, which was made of sheet metal and wood.

The fire was near a wooden fence. The affidavit states Patricia Murphy was trying to use a hose to tamp down the flames. The officer then used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

Patricia Murphy told the officer Kirk Murphy had started the fire. At this time, Kirk Murphy was inside the house, asleep in bed. The officer noted that the fire could have easily spread to the house and put the property in danger. He arrested Kirk Murphy on suspicion of first-degree arson.

Murphy was arraigned on the first-degree arson charge in Benton County Circuit Court on Monday, Nov. 29.

Benton County Circuit Court Judge Locke Williams appointed Thomas Hill as Murphy’s defense attorney. The next hearing in the matter is set for Monday, Dec. 6.

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