Fall City man faces arson, fraud charges for inn fire

Nearly two years after the Snoqualmie Inn was damaged by a kitchen fire, King County Prosecutors have charged a Fall City man with arson and fraud in connection with the blaze.

Prosecutors filed charges of first-degree arson and making a fraudulent insurance claim against James O. Burrows, 59, of Fall City last Wednesday, March 28, in King County Superior Court.

Charges followed a year and a half-long investigation by King County Fire Marshals, who interviewed Burrows, restaurant and inn owner John Patterson and other witnesses to the fire. The property itself is owned by Marque Burbatt.

The fire occurred May 19, 2005, at the inn located off 384th Avenue Southeast in Snoqualmie.

An arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday, April 4, in King County Superior Court. Burrows has not been arrested and is out on his own recognizance.

If convicted on both charges, Burrows faces 26 to 34 months in prison.

Burrows' only criminal history involves some minor traffic violations. This is the only case involving him that has been forwarded to King County Prosecutors' Office, spokesman Dan Donohoe said.

The inn fire case had been forwarded by the fire marshal's office to prosecutors last August, but prosecutors asked investigators for more information. The final report was sent back to prosecutors about two weeks ago.

Contacted last Thursday, Burrows told the Snoqualmie Valley Record that he hadn't been notified of the charges.

Burrows said he didn't have anything to do with the fire, or have a personal motive to burn the inn.

"It's ridiculous," Burrows said. "It's some kind of witch hunt."

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