Neighbours only missed one night of dancing in 2014 following the New Year’s arson attempt that left the club slightly singed and totally soaked with water. The club reopened Thursday after two days of clean-up from the New Year’s fire.
CHS reported here on the aftermath of the attempt to start a gasoline-fueled fire inside the packed building, some quick actions to thwart the plan and the subsequent deluge from the sprinkler system that brought the party to a premature end just after midnight Wednesday morning. This video sent to us by a CHS reader shows just how much water was pouring down from the sprinkler system and the scene on Broadway as firefighters arrived:
Despite the club’s long history and place in Capitol Hill gay culture, no evidence has yet been revealed that would mark the arson attempt as a hate crime. The Souther Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog did note the crime at the Seattle club and the club’s past brushes with intolerance including a 1990 pipe bomb plan thwarted by the FBI.
In a statement, Neighbours management provided a few details on this week’s incident and said more information would be made available once the police investigation progresses:
Last night, at approximately fifteen minutes after ringing in the new year, someone or a group of people committed arson by dousing the steps nearest the Broadway Street entrance of Neighbours with gasoline and setting them on fire. The assailant(s) left behind a plastic 1 liter gas container at the top of the stairs.
Detectives with the Seattle Police Arson/Bomb Squad are looking for clues to nail the perpetrator. “If you saw anything suspicious in or around the bar on New Year’s Eve, please call the SPD Arson/Bomb Squad tip line at (206) 684-8980,” a SPD spokesperson wrote.
SPD has told CHS that there will likely be no additional updates on the case until an arrest is made.
Meanwhile, Seattle’s newly elected mayor Ed Murray has told Publicola reporter Erica Barnett that it’s “too soon to jump to conclusions” about the arson as a possible hate crime.