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Gunshots, house fire lead to Beaverton mans arrest

Motive isn't clear after five bullets hit neighbor's house before blaze starts
by: Jaime Valdez, Beaverton Police Det. Dennis Marley carries evidence Tuesday morning from Larry Dykstra's house on Southwest Nehalem Lane after a fire damaged the house.

Larry Dykstra was arraigned Wednesday afternoon, hours after he was arrested by Beaverton police in connection with gunshots and a house fire that spooked residents in a quiet Beaverton neighborhood Tuesday morning.

Beaverton police arrested the 59-year-old homeowner around 10:25 p.m. Tuesday when officers spotted Dykstra walking through the parking lot of the Beaverton Town Square. He apparently had been to a 24-hour Starbucks coffee shop nearby.

Police were searching for the Beaverton man as a 'person of interest' in the fire and shooting that took place earlier in the day.

'They took him into custody without incident,' said Officer Mark Hyde, Beaverton police spokesman. 'He was not armed at the time of the arrest.'

Fire investigators believe the fire in Dykstra's home, 6605 S.W. Nehalem Lane, was intentionally started using ignitable liquids. The fire caused an estimated $150,000 in damage to the house.

Dykstra was lodged in Washington County Jail on first-degree attempted assault, arson and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Early Tuesday, police said Dykstra disappeared before firefighters showed up to battle the blaze in his house.

A neighbor across the street told police that someone fired several shots at her house just prior to the fire alarm. The house is directly across the street from Dykstra's home.

Firefighters were called at about 9:40 a.m. to 6605 S.W. Nehalem Lane, where they found heavy smoke and fire coming from the home.

Six crews from Beaverton, Cooper Mountain and Aloha stations were called to the fire. On the way, they were told that Beaverton police were headed to the neighborhood to investigate reports of gunfire in the area.

When firefighters arrived they found heavy fire and smoke coming from the front door of the two-story, split-level home. They began battling the fire at the front door and second story of the home, while a second crew entered the garage to attack fire in the basement.

Other crews used ladders to get into the second story and fight the fire from there.

Firefighters had the blaze under control in 12 minutes.

After the fire was contained, police learned that the home was not occupied and they could not find Dykstra.

The gunfire victim's home was hit by at least five rounds from a semi-automatic weapon. She was home at the time but was not injured.