Kenai man arrested for Safeway arson

A Kenai man has been arrested and charged with arson after an early-morning incident at Kenai’s Safeway store.

Kenai Police responded to the store around 12:15 a.m. Thursday after management requested they remove someone who had started multiple fires from the business, according to a Kenai Police Department press release. Sean Mills, 26, was arrested and taken to the Wildwood Pretrial Facility. He faces seven charges including first-degree arson, criminal mischief and several minor assault charges, according to online court records.

He had an arraignment scheduled for Thursday morning at the Kenai Courthouse, and his arraignment was continued over to Friday.

“Witnesses in the store reported that just prior to police arrival, (Mills) had used an aerosol can and a lighter as a flame thrower to start a fire in the store, and had started more than one fire in the store,” the release states. “Two witnesses attempted to subdue the suspect and at least one of those obtained a minor injury.”

A Safeway employee also attempted to put out one of the fires in the store and was injured, according to the release.

Mills first fled from officers when they arrived, and was later apprehended, said Sgt. Paul Cushman.

“He was pursued from the store,” Cushman said. “He ran from the store as officers arrived. Obviously at that time we didn’t know who it was.”

Cushman said officers were able to get Mills’ identity when they caught him.

The Kenai Fire Department responded to Safeway to put out the fires, but employees had already extinguished them, according to the release. The building was also evacuated, though Cushman could not say for how long. A representative for Safeway did not return a call for comment by the time of publication.

This story will be updated with further details as they become available.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

The badge for the Kenai Police Department (Clarion file)
Walmart briefly evacuated after bomb threat

The investigation is ongoing.

Peninsula Clarion file
Merry voices to fill Kenai chamber

Historical society carolling event returns after hiatus

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State officials urge vaccination as omicron spreads in US

Omicron was first identified as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization on Nov. 26.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
1 hunter dead, another missing after boat hits rough seas off Whittier

The pair were reportedly hunting on Wednesday on Esther Island in Prince William Sound.

Kenai City Council members James Baisden (left) and Deborah Sounart (right) listen as member Teea Winger (center) speaks in support of legislation opposing government COVID-19 mandates, during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, in Kenai.
Kenai council declares opposition to mask mandates

The statement does not change city code or supersede federal law.

Signage indicates that face masks are required for entry to the Soldotna Public Library on March 25, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Soldotna City Council voted Wednesday to make mask-wearing optional in city facilities. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Masks recommended, not required in Soldotna city buildings

Council amends measure to make mask-wearing optional

Nick Begich III, seen here in this undated photo, is challenging Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives saying Alaska needs new energy in Washington D.C. (Courtesy photo / Alaskans for Nick Begich)
Nick Begich III touts fiscal conservatism in US House race

GOP candidate challenges Young’s record

Sockeye salmon. (Photo via Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
Fish and Game seeks comment on 2022 sport fish stocking plan

The Sport Fish Division plans to release approximately 7 million fish into the Alaska water systems over the next five years.

A map shows which parts of the Chugach National Forest are open to motorized winter recreation use for the 2021-2022 season. (Map courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)
Parts of Chugach National Forest open to snowmachine use

The 2021-2022 winter motorized season will run through April 30.

Most Read