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Gresham man arrested in alleged apartment arson

GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN 6) – A 29-year-old man is charged with first-degree arson, reckless burning, reckless endangering, and possession of methamphetamine after a fire was reported over the weekend, according to police.

Michael Paul Downey was arrested early Sunday morning, Aug. 23, after police opened their investigation on Saturday around 9 p.m.

According to Gresham Police Capt. Claudio Grandjean, police and firefighters responded to an apartment complex in the 800 block of Northeast 162nd on a report of someone smelling smoke coming from a nearby unit. When crews arrived, they found the ashes of some burned paper and minor damage to the carpet, according to police. The apartment unit was vacant, police say.

When police arrested Downey, they found a meth pipe on him. Downey admitted to starting the fire, but police haven’t provided a motive.

Downey was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. His bail has been set $255,000.