Ferndale area mechanic charged with arson

uplands way fire smoke plume 2017-07-18 photo steve nave L
Smoke plume from fire on Uplands Way (July 18, 2017). Photo courtesy of Steve Nave

A fire that destroyed a portable building on July 18th was determined by Whatcom Fire Marshall’s Office investigators to have been intentionally set. Recently, Anthony Daniel Summers, age 43, was arrested by Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputies and charged with arson in the 1st degree.

Summers operates Tony’s Auto Repair on Haxton Way.

The prosecutor’s probable cause statement detailed how Summers had been helping to set up the portable building on a property in the 3000 block of Upland Way for a woman with whom he had been living with for 5 years. According to WCSO Undersheriff Jeff Parks, the woman had moved out and was staying with friends while the portable building was being installed on a friend’s property. Court documents say the two had argued and she informed him he would not be needed once the building was finished.

After the fire, investigators discovered a pickup truck owned by Summers parked on Olson Road near the Uplands Way fire scene. It was seized and searched. Summers’ wallet and two gas containers were found.

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Summers told investigators his pickup had broken down the night before and he had walked back home, a path that passed Lummi Mini Mart at Slater Road and Haxton Way. Investigators say a review of hours of surveillance video did not show Summers’ pickup truck going past or Summers walking past the area at the times he reported to have been.

Two days after the fire, firefighters were dispatched to Tony’s Auto Repair for a fire alongside the business. This early morning fire was also determined by investigators to have been intentionally set. No one has been arrested or charges filed regarding that incident.

Summers was released from custody after posting a $25,000 bond.

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