Stubblefields alleged arson harmless, managers say

Employee put out fire with water from sink, alarms did not go off



General manager at Stubblefields, DJ Goldfinger, explains the recent bathroom arson on Monday afternoon at Stubblefields Bar & Grill.

JAYCE CARRAL, Evergreen reporter

The arson that occurred early Friday morning at Stubblefields Bar and Grill was not significant enough to cause damage or evacuate the building, according to the managers.

DJ Goldfinger, Stubblefields Bar and Grill general manager, said an employee who had just finished his shift noticed smoke coming from the bathroom garbage can while washing his hands.

“It was just one of our employees that was downstairs… he was able to see, ‘Hey, there’s a situation here,’” Goldfinger said. “He was just able to deal with it quickly.”

Tommy, Stubblefields Bar and Grill manager who chose to omit his last name, said the employee put the fire out with water from the sink before sending a text message to him.

Tommy said despite not seeing it himself, he knows there were not any flames.

“The fire alarms didn’t go off or anything,” he said. “I know that he was able to put it out with a little bit of water from the sink.”

Tommy said he proceeded to go through security camera tapes to identify who went into the bathroom before the employee.

Goldfinger said there are 23 cameras inside the building, as well as some outside the building and in the neighborhood. He said IDs are also scanned upon entry.

Goldfinger said it took about five minutes to find the individual who went into the bathroom before the employee. Tommy said staff then went to look for the individual they had identified from the security tapes. He said it took about 10 to 15 minutes in total.

Tommy said he and staff, including the head of security, approached the individual and asked to see his ID. Tommy said he also asked the individual to empty his pockets.

“He pulled the lighter out of his back pocket,” he said. “Then I called the police because he had a lighter. That was the last thing he pulled out of his pocket.”

Goldfinger said the staff did not want to panic other customers.

“It was such a small situation,” he said. “We don’t want to run it to evacuating the whole building, because that’s going to cause a panic.”

He said there is an evacuation procedure that is reviewed with the staff before every school year.

Goldfinger and Tommy both said the fire was mostly smoke.

“I don’t want people to walk away [and say there were] three-foot flames in the bathroom,” Goldfinger said. “So it could have been a fire, but it wasn’t.”

Tommy said the Pullman Police Department responded quickly.

Police arrested Jesus Flores German at about 1 a.m. on Friday for allegedly committing the arson at Stubblefields Bar and Grill.

Tommy said the police later brought in a Pullman Fire Department investigator.

Goldfinger said the bar is a safe environment he and the staff have worked on for decades to create.

“Anytime somebody comes here for malicious activity, they should be warned that there’s cameras that surround this whole block, cameras inside this building,” he said. “You’re going to get caught immediately. There’s just no way to beat the cameras.”