Arsonist used own mail to start fire, police say

June 18, 2013

By Peter Clark

A Bellevue man charged with two counts of arson in Mirrormont, for trying to set fire to the same house twice, will return to court June 20.

Kamran Monghate, 51, was charged May 6 with one count of first-degree arson and one count of second-degree arson for knowingly setting fire to the same house in the 15000 block of 252nd Avenue Southeast on March 18 and again on April 8.

Investigator Tom Dovino, with the King County Fire/Arson Investigation Unit, said in charging documents that he pieced together Monghate as a suspect through some initially apparent clues.

When Dovino investigated the initial fire March 18, he reported the presence of ignitable fluid and some pieces of paper used to start the fire were mail that listed Monghate’s name and address, according to the certification for determination of probable cause. The house was owned by his brother-in-law’s sister, whose family live in adjacent residences. The relatives said that none of Monghate’s mail was forwarded to them and they had very little contact with him.

After the April 8 fire attempt, investigators obtained a search warrant and found similar mail, flammable fluid and bags like ones located at the burned house.

Police also found an eight-page letter that detailed Monghate’s anger with his sister’s husband and his family.

Police apprehended Monghate and took him into custody for questioning, during which Dovino quotes him as saying that his brother-in-law’s family, “was the cause of all of his pains. That they prevented him from obtaining work and put pins and nails in his head.”

Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff with the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said Monghate asked for a reduction in the $500,000 bail, which was denied. Goodhew said Monghate is in custody at the King County jail in downtown Seattle and that the June 20 court appearance is a scheduling date.

He was arraigned May 6 and pleaded not guilty. Because he has no known criminal history, if convicted Monghate could face between 26 months and 34 months in prison, Goodhew said.


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