Man dies in fire he is suspected of starting in Pablo

by Lake County Leader
| September 7, 2020 7:00 AM

A Pablo man died in an arson fire he is suspected to have started Sunday at the People's Center in Pablo.

According to the Lake County Sheriff's Office, the body of Julian Michael Draper, 33, was recovered from inside the museum and education center that is owned and operated by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

The initial report of the fire came in at 8 p.m.

Fire crews were battling the blaze when they discovered Draper's body in a back office. According to the Sheriff's Office, Draper had barricaded the doors, which made fighting the fire challenging.

The People's Center was severely damaged, the Sheriff's Office stated.

"We are devastated at the destruction of arson on our beautiful museum, gift shop and cultural center," the People's Center posted on social media Monday. "We will update everyone when we can. Thank you for your messages and support. Significant loss."

Draper's body was sent to the state crime lab.

Draper was also suspected of setting a fire in a wooded area near the old Plum Creek Mill in Pablo last month. He was arrested and charged with arson in that incident.