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 Swan Lake Fire can be seen from above on Monday, Aug. 26 on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Alaska Wildland Fire Information)
State lifts burn suspension

Residents may now obtain permits for burn barrels as well as for small and large-scale brush fires.

A chart produced by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services shows four risk factors in being infected by COVID-19. (Graph courtesy Alaska Department of Health and Social Services)
17th Alaskan dies of COVID-19

There were 23 new positive cases of COVID-19 announced Tuesday.

Noah and Eddie Land of Grace Acres Farm in Kasilof set out produce Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at the Farmers Fresh Market at Kenai Peninsula Food Bank. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Freshness times 2

DoubleUp program helps seniors, families eat healthy

In this July 20, 2013 file photo, several thousand dipnetters converged onto the mouth of the Kenai River to catch a share of the late run of sockeye salmon headed into the river in Kenai, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file photo/Rashah McChesney)
Dipnetters banned from retaining kings

Dipnetting on the Kenai River opens Friday.

The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna, Alaska, is seen here on June 1, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Application period for borough relief funds begins Monday

Borough residents can apply for these grants July 13 through July 24.

A young volunteer chases three piglets named Mary Hamkins, Petunia and Sir Oinks-a-lot through a race during the pig races at the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Kenai Peninsula Fair canceled this year

Cotton candy, carnival rides and racing pigs will have to wait for… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
State reports 30 new cases; hospitalizations reach new high

The cases include 28 residents and two nonresidents.

photos by Megan Pacer / Homer News 
                                A youth rider takes a turn riding a bull calf during the 60th annual Ninilchik Rodeo on Saturday, July 4 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik. The rodeo lasted throughout the July Fourth holiday and celebrated a return to the event’s roots.
Riding high in Ninilchik

Ninilchik Rodeo celebrates 60 years with events new and old.

A closed sign is posted at a retail store shuttered due to the new coronavirus, in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to vote on relief funds for businesses, nonprofits

CARES Relief and Recovery Grant funds would be rolled out in two phases.

Most Read