PORTLAND, Oregon – Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that Cameron David Storer, 25, was arraigned on four charges including two counts of Arson in the First Degree, one count of Arson in the Second Degree, and two counts of Burglary in the Second Degree.
The charges stem from an incident in the early evening of Tuesday, January 3, at a building off Northwest 10th Avenue, which was previously the Portland Korean Church. The church was vacant for a decade prior to the incident. Portland Fire and Rescue were dispatched to the church at approximately 5:24 pm after multiple reports that the building was on fire and arrived on the scene six minutes later. By 5:40 pm the south side of the church had partially collapsed immediately followed by the roof. A neighboring home was evacuated and it was later determined that the exterior of the home ignited as a result. Response and suppression of the fire required extensive resources including 12 fire engines, six ladder trucks, four battalion chiefs, and 75 Portland Fire and Rescue Personnel.
On Wednesday, January 4, Storer entered the Multnomah County Detention Center and confessed to setting the fire. Storer stated that they wanted to “take credit” for the fire and shared a series of details about the incident during a subsequent interview with law enforcement including that they set the fire with a Bic lighter. Storer stated that they heard voices in their head saying they would “mutilate” Storer if they did not burn the church down and that they had planned it up to one day in advance. Storer also reported taking approximately 10 oxycodone daily due to a previous injury and that they had a history of schizophrenia. Throughout the interview, Storer asked to be referred to as “Nicolette”.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges, including an offense for which Oregon law permits pretrial detention, and is requesting that Storer remain in custody and be held without bail.
A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Storer is innocent unless and until proven guilty.