Payette man charged on suspicion of local arson

By Statesman staff

This booth was seriously damaged by an early morning arson at the A&W in Payette.
This booth was seriously damaged by an early morning arson at the A&W in Payette.

Police made an arrest in Payette County after a Tuesday fire at a gas station that could also be connected to a string of Monday fires.

Brad Heater, 50, of Payette, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of setting fire to a Payette Maverick gas station, according to KBOI-TV news. He’s charged with first-degree arson.

Payette Police Chief Mark Clark told KBOI that police believe Heater is connected to all of the Monday fires, but the current charge is only for the fire at the Maverick gas station.

The Idaho Repository shows that Heater is also charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and felony illegal possession of a firearm.

Other suspected arson attacks include the 12:40 a.m. Monday fire at the A&W restaurant, in which some threw a cinder block through a window and tossed a flaming rag into the building.

The same day, a Payette homeowner on 7th Avenue North spotted someone pouring gasoline on his trailer home, Clark previously told the Statesman. The owner confronted the man, who ran away.

Two subsequent arsons, the A&W on Main Street and a pickup truck on 2nd Avenue South, also apparently involved gasoline as an accelerant, Clark said.

Another business, Health Care With Heart on Center Avenue, reported a brick tossed through its window, but no fire.

Heater has not been charged in connection to those incidents.

He is currently on probation for a felony drug possession conviction in Ada County from 2012. There are no apparent prior arson charges listed in his criminal record.

His next court appearance is set for 10:30 a.m. May 5.