A Federal Way Police Department vehicle. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror

A Federal Way Police Department vehicle. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror

Kent man charged with arson after setting fire to towels in Federal Way Walmart

Fire caused evacuation of over 150 customers, employees on Aug. 15.

A Kent man was recently charged with arson after allegedly setting fire to towels inside a Federal Way Walmart on Aug. 15.

Simon Karl Hoyt, 30 of Kent, is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. His arraignment is set for 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 2 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Hoyt has had 10 warrants since 2018, and has been previously convicted for driving under the influence, displaying a deadly weapon and theft.

According to the charging documents, Hoyt entered the Walmart Supercenter store (1900 S. 314th Street in Federal Way) around 5:20 p.m. on Aug. 15.

He allegedly set fire to towels in on of the store’s aisle, causing over 150 customers and employees to evacuate.

While employees were able to extinguish the flames, there was an estimated $27,000 of property damage and another $30,000 in loss of sales, according to the store’s asset protection associate.

Hoyt escaped the scene, but was seen on video standing near the towels prior to the start of the fire and seen leaving the store after the fire started, documents stated.

The following day, Hoyt was scene entering the store again and he was apprehended by police.

In talking with police, Hoyt said he started the fire because he was offered $70 by a friend to cause a distraction after the friend’s girlfriend was caught shoplifting.

Hoyt was in possession of five different types of lighters and lighter fluid when he was arrested. Hoyt allegedly told police he started the fire because he needed the money, documents state.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

t
Kent to add red-light cameras at six more intersections in 2023

Cameras already exist at six intersections and pay for body-worn cameras used by police officers

King County Local Dive podcast
Tale of the freeway rock thrower | King County Local Dive

A podcast for King County residents featuring top local stories.

t
Report finds racial disparity among Washington homeowners

Changes to real estate and lending industries, funding and policy revisions are recommended in order to bridge homeownership gap.

Stock photo, Metro Creative Graphics
Median property values up in Kent and other South County areas

Increases of 24% on Kent’s East Hill; 20.4% on West Hill

t
Kent Mayor Ralph proposes a status quo budget to help fight inflation

Higher salaries, costs cause mayor to stay away from new initiatives in 2023-2024

An apartment at the new Madison Plaza Apartments in downtown Kent at West Meeker Street and Madison Avenue. STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter
Apartment rents flat in Kent in September but up 8.2% from 2021

No price increase after slight drop in August from July; median one-bedroom rent at $1,470

King County prosecutor candidates Jim Ferrell (left) and Leesa Manion debate Sept. 28 at Carco Theatre in Renton. The forum was moderated by Renton Chamber of Commerce CEO Diane Dobson (center). Photo by Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing
Prosecutor candidates debate court backlog, working with police, restorative justice

King County voters will choose between Jim Ferrell and Leesa Manion in Nov. general election.

t
Kent Police Blotter: Sept. 15-25

Incidents include robbery, death investigation, burglaries, Lowe’s theft crackdown

t
Seattle man charged for attacking Kent Police officer

The man reportedly had the officer in a headlock before he fought back

Most Read