Journalist writes: I have some information that may be “news!” But I checked it out, it’s not. Thank you for reading what I wrote which is actually not a thing.


@1 -- Oh, and now an update. A reader (@3) makes a statement that is obviously not true and would not have been made if they simply bothered to read the article. The three fires aren't related, and quite likely have three different causes (the third being most serious -- I hope they catch the scumbag arsonists).


ok, you get +1 for 'poshlost'.
But -1 for not coming up with a pic of that crazy mural... hours of my life spent waiting for the movie to start staring at that thing and


Couldn't find an image of the mural but remembered that it was a backdrop for an interview in Almost Live's 10th anniversary clip 'tis.


Thousands of drug addicts/anarchists with no consequences = lots of fires.


Seems like perfect time for a struggling or lease-trapped business to use arson to get out of their situation, and double-bonus if they can blame it on squatters/homeless/drug problems.


Hundreds of developers and a landlord with no consequences are ripping down a beautiful church across the way for a 22 story development while a rickety old wooden shack of a theater got saddled with being deemed historically protected. It was intentionally set and/or "stochastically" allowed to happen if it didn't mean shit to the land owners. All along it could be easily pinned on the drug addicts and anarchists. If it meant anything it would have been better protected. Ergo, it didn't mean shit and the land is much more valuable with it gone.


Real, accidental fires are terrifying, especially when cooking, because they spread so much faster than a small burn. People overestimate the same activities they do everyday until some small little detail gets out of place and suddenly there is a wall of flame and a million decisions to make in an instant. If you ever make it out of such a situation in one piece and without losing anything, you'll cherish every blink thereafter.


“Hundreds of developers and a landlord with no consequences ripped down a church”

That sounds like quite a news story! Lol

Church’s are exempt from the landmark preservation laws in washington, and thus the discrepancy. I agree it is a travesty.


Charles - your habit of draping yourself in borrowed ideas and concepts has always interfered with my ability to hear you on occasions when you share truly unique and necessary insights, as here with name dropping “poshlost” [sic]. If you’re going to drop poshlost’ into your writing, it’d be more convincing if you used the adjectival version of it, as in “its wonderfully poshlyi mural...” Bonus points if you understand the concept. The mural may be garish, but that alone is not enough to make it poshlyi. There must be a waft of pretension and hypocrisy, and that mural had neither. America, with its lack of shame and unironic normalization of awfulness, has all but defeated the very concept. For there to be an attempt at feigning sophistication that falls short of the mark in a manner wholly oblivious to its own shortcomings, people need to have standards, they need to care.


The Beacon Hill fire was part of a series of targeted arsons. Proximity to the jungle is purely coincidental of course. Or maybe it could have something to do with the stranger promoting arson with it's sticker patrol. Joking about burning condos is so funny, isn't it.


@7 With housing prices still rising, what motivation do developers have to burn their work?


Everyone knows crackheads love to play with fire


When you're going bankrupt and the only asset you have is your insurance ...


It's not the addicts that are the problem I think. It's the dealers who don't like Karen's and condos calling the cops on their business deals. I'm on favor of drug legalization -- all of it, but illegal drug dealers bring danger to the entire community through their mode of business. I will not be intimidated. I will continue calling the cops on every single one of these vermin I see.


@5- Yay! ... thank you chefgirl, that was all I needed, just the memory jog.


You can find photos of it in multiple places.


@13 was referring to commercial tenants who cant get out of their leases - some landlords are being hard-core enforcement of their leases to struggling businesses.

a developer might want to clear an old/derelict structure quickly for a lot of reasons. The city's permit process causes long delays in scraping the lot & the existing structure, especially if its a rat-hole like this one, er, I mean historical gem worth preserving.


The large number of structure fires in Seattle recently is due to squatters, period, full stop. There have been a few that were exceptions but not many.



Citation, please.


Back in the 90's a nice white boy from a middle class family went on an arson spree, setting over 107 fires, primarily in the north end. Among the places he set fire to was a rest home. That fire killed three people. The arsonist was caught, and is currently up for parole in 2079.

(People on the north end were quite on edge for months. North Seattle is full of nervous types).

Then there was Martin Pang: The privileged son of a successful local family (RIP Mary Pang Frozen Foods, and to Harry and Mary Pang). He set fire to the family's warehouse, and the fire killed four Seattle Firefighters. He spent twenty years in jail and is now a free man (if he's still alive. I didn't bother to check)

Back in 1969-70, a series of arsons resulted in the disastrous Ozark Hotel fire that killed 20 people, and resulted in much more stringent rules for SFO hotel/boarding houses, which unintentionally helped to contribute to the lack of affordable housing in Seattle. That arsonist was never found.

Arson is nothing new. And I seriously doubt that squatters have much to do with the current rash. It's silly to jump to an assumption like that.


Idk have you tried defunding the police and putting the money towards Squatter-Firebug diversion programs?


@22: In at least the Seven Gables fire, it appears it was caused by unauthorized housing refugees either inadvertently or deliberate setting a fire, or to use the vernacular if you prefer: squatters.


@21 - I will cite my 20+ years experience in the SFD. That basis probably isn't good enough for you - so be it. I understand the difference between anecdotal and empirical data. I stand by my statement.

Submit a public disclosure request for causes of all fires over the past few years. The info is kept but might not be subject to release. If you can get the information, look at the trends year over year and draw your own conclusions. You could also stop and ask any Seattle firefighter with 10 or more years of service for their assessment.

@22 - Most set fires are impulsive acts and don't amount to much.


@25 Your SFD experience has little to do with this. I can imagine whoever owned the land said "good" whether it was intentional or inadvertent. The building was owned by somebody so why not hire some security to make the building safe if it was worth anything and the historical and was known to be squatted in? They wanted it gone. That is easy. Now the church site can have a "competing" tower. I know this because I have 20+ year experience in making plaques that say "On this site once stood xxxx." There were no plans for the building other than someday we'll. . . Now the developers can safely move on to plan B and score! Or they could muster up the old blueprints for the building and really rebuild it to spec.


@26: Imaginations are not part of investigations.


... * except for considering the possibilities. Maybe best just to compromise and postulate the fires were caused by stressed-out people.



You've seemed like a pretty stressed-out person these past months, what with your increasing incoherence and detachment from reality...


How about some arson? Or at least annoy their severs. Go to the RSVP tab to order tickets, enter a fake email address, and leave that progress widget spinning for hours or days.


I highly recommend Howard Zinn's History of the United States for anyone who doesn't believe we have a plutocracy running the country or the world. There are no centrists. There are lovers of the status quo who zero in on blaming the downtrodden such as poor people, squatters, drug addicts, single parents, workers etc. rather than checking out the root causes.
Because that could be so inconvenient for them with no one to blame but themselves.
I recommend that book for the rest of us. It can help set us free.


So many fires because people are trying to be warm or want the buildings gone for the insurance etc.? Why let the police give the homeless 15 minutes to leave their shelters with no adequate back up plan of decent housing for them? Genocide by the city authorities. Not pretty.

If Vienna can provide beautiful, low cost housing why can't Seattle? If Helsinki can run a successful housing first program, why can't Seattle? But Seattle continues to have us pay for
a bloated police department that kills Black people and terrorizes the poor. Maybe to protect Amazon so they don't have to pay sick leave and decent wages and to stop any labor organizing? There is much more. Like how the banks cause poverty.


22 I remember that.


There may be a firebug on the loose, such as the sociopath who terrorized the north end some years back, or it could be collateral damage from all the homeless folks camping in abandoned structures. These arsonists can terrorize an otherwise placid city with their destructive, murderous behavior. Hopefully these mysterious fires will soon abate.

Please wait...

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