Local News

Suspect in Astoria arson fires arrested

The suspect in a string of arson fires in Astoria’s Uppertown neighborhood is in custody.

Preston Powers, 18, was arrested by sheriff’s office deputies in Gainesville, Florida where he is accused of making multiple bomb threats toward Buchholz High School in August 2021.

According to Paul Charas, a deputy district attorney for Clatsop County, the bomb threat investigation in Florida revealed other information linking Powers to the arson fires that occurred in Astoria in 2018.

Powers was indicted Monday on two counts of first-degree arson and two counts of second-degree arson.

Though Powers would have been a juvenile at the time of the alleged crimes, Charas says the district attorney’s office plans to charge him as an adult.

The fires Powers is accused of starting in Astoria occurred along 38th Avenue south of the Goonies house and the Franklin Avenue overpass and on Harrison Avenue. At the time, Powers lived on the block where the fires occurred.

Officials have asked for Powers to be extradited from Florida to Clatsop County. Charas isn’t sure when this might happen. He said Florida may want to resolve local charges against Powers first before sending him on to Oregon.