The Pike/Pine utility pole poster fires CHS has been reporting on have seemed nearly comical. Somebody setting fires to the layers of old rock posters and multilevel marketing flyers that build up on the power poles and light standards of Capitol Hill seems a little ridiculous. But an incident two weeks ago early on a Sunday morning might show that the acts are anything but funny.
CHS has learned of a fire intentionally set inside the Odd Fellows building early on Sunday morning, October 4th. Around 3:30 AM, two workers from the Tin Table smelled smoke and found a bulletin board on the building’s first floor where flyers and posters are displayed had been set on fire. According to a report filed by the police officer who responded to the incident, posters were once again the target. But this time, somebody left a message.
According to the report, a poster on the bulletin board had been written on and set on fire. Part of the message burned away. What remained were the letters “AG” scrawled across the paper. On another bulletin board in the main entry to the building, the officer found a copy of the same poster with a message written across it: “I’m thinking my.” The second poster was not burned. It is unknown if the message was written by the same person who set the fire, according to the report.
The incident was being investigated as an arson with anti-homosexual bias, according to the report.
Seattle police said they were looking for a man and woman ‘wearing black’ who were seen setting fire to posters on poles early last Tuesday morning near 10th ave and E. Pike.
In late September, a midday fire set to pole posters at the intersection of 11th and E. Pine caused smoke and commotion but little damage.
The Odd Fellows building is emblematic of the changing Pike/Pine neighborhood. What once was an aging building with relatively low rent and a tenant roster of artists has been redeveloped into a popular dining and, soon, retail destination. Children’s clothing store Flora and Henri is set to open in the space to be joined shortly by a new store called Nube Green.
Last week, CHS asked the Seattle Police Department if there is an investigation to determine if the Pike and Pine utility pole fires were connected. Spokesperson Renee Witt said she could not provide any information at the time. We’ve now contacted SPD about the Odd Fellows incident and will update this post when we hear back.