Homer man charged in motorhome arson

Homer Police this week charged a Homer man with first-degree arson, a felony, for allegedly torching his own motorhome. Alen T. Blatchford, 66, also was charged with failure to control or report a dangerous fire. Homer Police found Blatchford standing outside his motorhome on Jenny Way when they went to investigate the fire at about 8:20 a.m. July 4.

Homer Volunteer Fire Department firefighters put out the fire.

According to a criminal complaint, Homer Police Officer Larry Baxter went to the fire after dispatch received a 911 call of a motorhome on fire. Baxter wrote that he knew Blatchford lived in the motorhome because his previous home on the same lot had burned down in December 2012.

Baxter moved Blatchford away from the burning motor-
home. He wrote that Blatchford was babbling and hard to understand. Baxter said Blatchford told him he burned the motorhome down because a pack of 1,000 rats were in it and he was afraid the rats would eat him. 

A neighbor and the man who called in the fire told Baxter he had seen Blatchford outside the burning motorhome hitting random objects with a stick, Baxter wrote. The neighbor said Blatchford had not alerted anyone about the fire and had been acting loud and irrational for the past 12 hours. 

Another neighbor said when he tried to help Blatchford he swung the stick at the neighbor. The neighbor said he didn’t want to press charges of assault.

Blatchford was taken to South Peninsula Hospital after police contacted him.