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Man charged with arson, burglary of South Kitsap home
A Lakewood man faces felony charges in connection with Sunday’s fire at a South Kitsap home.
Matthew James Bedkar, 33, was charged Dec. 2 with first-degree arson and residential burglary in Kitsap County District Court.
The fire was reported about 11:34 p.m. at a home in the 7100 block of SE Truman Street.
According to South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Ron Powers, while firefighters attempted to extinguish the blaze, several oddities were discovered and Powers requested investigators from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and Kitsap County Fire Marshall’s Office.
Charging papers stated that fire officials found a number of items that were “staged” around the yard of the home.
Investigators interviewed Bedkar, who said he was homeless and visiting residents at the home. One investigator recognized Bedkar name from a Washington ID found with the victim’s clothing stashed in a brush on the victim’s property, court records stated.
Bedkar was arrested on an outstanding warrant and transported to Kitsap County Jail. A black stain, which appeared to be soot, was found on the suspect’s shirt, along with a smell of gasoline. Bedkar denied being involved in the burglary, fire or being inside the home, according to court documents.
Powers said a neighbor, who was watching the home while the owner was on vacation, reported the smell of smoke in the house, but didn’t enter.
Firefighters discovered the fire was in the basement. Powers said the attentiveness of neighbors helped prevent the house from being destroyed.
“The fire was isolated to the basement with some smoke damage to the main floor,” he said. “It is unknown the value or what items may have been stolen.”
Fire and smoke damage is estimated at $30,000 with additional loss to contents in the basement.