Crime & Courts

Man charged with arson accused of setting fire to East Anchorage home to avoid arrest

An Anchorage man is facing felony arson charges over accusations he set fire to a Mountain View home Friday while trying to evade police officers.

Authorities say the fire prompted neighbors to evacuate their homes, but no other buildings were damaged.

Eyob Imlach, 27, was charged with first-degree arson, second- and third-degree assault and misconduct involving weapons, and he remained in custody at the Anchorage Correctional Complex as of Tuesday.

Officers were first called to the 400 block of North Lane Street around 4:20 p.m. after someone in the house said Imlach had pointed a gun at them while arguing about a vehicle, according to a summary of police reports included in charging documents signed by Assistant District Attorney Matthew Kaste. Imlach had been staying at the house for roughly a week, the charges said.

Police set up a perimeter around the home, and two men came out but Imlach did not, the charges said. One of them told police Imlach had hit him several times, according to the charges. Imlach barricaded himself inside, and officers with the SWAT and crisis negotiation teams responded, police said.

Officials tried contacting him and asked him to come out of the house for about an hour before smoke began filtering from the building, the charges said. Imlach left the home with a gun in his hand and walked into a shed, the charges said.

The Anchorage Fire Department responded with police, said Assistant Fire Chief Alex Boyd.


The home was fully engulfed by flames, the charges said. The SWAT standoff altered firefighters’ approach, but Boyd said specially trained tactical EMS medics worked with SWAT officers to get hoses to the front lines and prevent the fire from spreading to nearby homes.

Neighbors were evacuated from some nearby homes, and flames spread to vehicles on the property, according to the charges.

Imlach left the shed and went back into the burning building and tried to run out the front door and away from officers, police said. He was arrested before 7 p.m. Friday, police said.

Fire crews were able to suppress the flames after Imlach was taken into custody, Boyd said. The home was a total loss, he said.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at