Dori: `Somebody tried to burn our building down,’ Olympia lawmaker says

Jun 14, 2022, 2:00 PM
Footage from Ring camera showing a lit flare about to be thrown into the building after window was ...
Footage from Ring camera showing a lit flare about to be thrown into the building after window was smashed in

While the Washington State Patrol investigates an early Monday morning firebomb attempt on an Olympia building with space leased to the Washington State House Republican Organizational Committee, Rep. J.T. Wilcox says “an attack like this changes you forever.”

Wilcox (R-Yelm) rents an office in the building from his 2nd Legislative District colleague Rep. Andrew Barkis. Located in downtown Olympia on Fourth Avenue, the building also houses Barkis’ business – Hometown Property Management Inc.

Barkis (R-Olympia) told The Dori Monson Show on Tuesday that “whoever did this had clear intent, clear motive. . . These people had the intent of burning my building down.”

Security camera video captured images of two men with a hammer and incendiary device during the 4 a.m. destruction.

Office of WA lawmaker targeted by attempted ‘arson’ says House Minority leader

“The glass was thick safety glass, so the person who was breaking it was using a tool common for breaking windows out of a car,” Barkis told Dori and his listeners. The first arriving employee smelled smoke before discovering the incendiary device inside.

“It was a flare that burned on the tile floor,” the legislator described. “By the grace of God, it burned in the middle of the room. Four inches to the right, it would have incinerated a desk and some chairs in the lobby and the building would have been history.

“You know the times we’re living in,” Barkis continued. “Now, with the heat of the political season, every attempt is being made to paint people in a certain light. It’s no coincidence. People know me,” he said, adding “I’m usually blamed for being too moderate.”

Barkis, whose 2nd Legislative District includes southern Pierce County, and parts of Thurston County, including Yelm and Lacey, is the ranking Republican on the House Transportation Committee.

“Can you assure me – 100% – that this wouldn’t be some self-inflicted damage to help your fundraising?” Dori asked while trying to assuage any skeptics.

“God no,” Barkis responded. “We stick to the issues. We don’t do this kind of crap.”

“We’ve watched our cities burn – in Seattle, Olympia, and Portland,” he said. “These are tactics are not just throwing a rock or spray painting a building. This came to my front stoop – literally.

“I’m still in shock,” said Barkis. “Somebody tried to burn my building down.”

Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Dori: `Somebody tried to burn our building down,’ Olympia lawmaker says