Ben Towe, this goes back to an earlier point - without approaching in some means, either by negotiator (unlikely due to risk) or remote means (robot; dog with harness mounted camera; etc) they could not KNOW that there was no hostage in the cabin.
Without absolutely knowing that, they should have acted as though there were hostages. That rules out burning down the cabin.
In a thread on GD, it was pointed out that they also ran a very real risk of starting an uncontained forest fire.
These are big deals. People are making very light of things they should take very seriously.
Just because it worked out ok, this time, does not mean that this is a tactic we should see employed again. Everybody who gives this incident their tacit approval, will have to shoulder some of the responsibility if this happens again, and if it results in loss of innocent life.