Fire destroys Centralia home, man arrested for assaulting police officer

CENTRALIA — A fire that destroyed a North Walnut Street home in Centralia Tuesday night is being considered suspicious and the state Fire Marshall has been called in to investigate.

All available Centralia City firefighters responded to a call about the fire just before 9:30 p.m. A Centralia police officer was the first to arrive on the scene and reported the home was fully involved.

No one was home at the time of the fire, but witnesses indicate several people were in the area just before the fire erupted.

Centralia police arrested 21-year-old Harion Hawkins at the scene. Hawkins reportedly lives on North Walnut Street and allegedly appeared as if he were about to assault the resident of the home when an officer stepped between him and the woman.

The officer was subsequently struck by Hawkins, who was then arrested for alleged aggravated battery to a peace officer and obstructing emergency services personnel.

He was taken to the Marion County Jail. Firefighters remained on scene for approximately three hours.