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Residents of Capitol Hill’s PRAG House begin clean-up after damaging fire

Inside the fire-damage PRAG House (Image via the PRAG House Facebook page)

Inside the fire-damage PRAG House (Image via the PRAG House Facebook page)

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

A photo of an inspiring message scrawled inside the house as residents began to clean up following Tuesday's fire (Image via PRAG House's Facebook page)

A photo of an inspiring message scrawled inside the house as residents began to clean up following Tuesday’s fire (Image via PRAG House’s Facebook page)

The communal residents of Capitol Hill’s PRAG House have some hard work ahead following Tuesday’s fire that partially destroyed the roof and upper story of the 107-year-old mansion on 16th Ave E at E Aloha.

In a post to the group’s Facebook page, resident Bianca Raffety detailed a few very hands on, very local ways to help:

Dear Friends of PRAG! So many of you have reached out to make offers up help. We’re ready for some!!!

We need to get all of our stuff out of the house this weekend if possible. Many of us will need places to store our belongings as well.


-Trucks for moving things

-People to box and move personal items that survived the fire
-Respirator masks for anyone who wants to use one while they are in the house
-Storage locations (short or long term)
-Someone to bring us food and drinks sometime during the day

We will be there from early until there isn’t any light. There is no electricity in the house, but the bathrooms work. Please share with folks who may want to help.

Please RSVP below or ask any questions below if you have them.


(Image shared with CHS with permission)

(Image shared with CHS with permission)

Seattle Fire battled flames in the attic and from the roof of the giant, three-story house for hours Tuesday after a worker accidentally sparked the blaze. One firefighter suffered minor injuries in the response. There were no other reported injuries. The blaze did an estimated $1.25 million in damage and smoke and water damage have left the entire house uninhabitable until repairs are made.

The house has served as a communal residence operated by the Evergreen Land Trust since 1972:

Prag House, located on Capitol Hill in Seattle, was originally purchased in 1972 by a collective of University of Washington graduate students and professors in sociology. They put the property into Trust in 1976 to maintain it as a cooperative house in perpetuity. The purposes of Prag House are to encourage communal living as a viable alternative and to advance the growth of cooperating communities and non-polluting technologies.

The Evergreen Land Trust is a nonprofit formed “to encourage the development of cooperative communities and sustainable land use practices through the preservation of land and housing.”

Seattle Fire said the house was residence to 13 people The residence housed 12 people — and one dog! — at the time of the fire including adults and children.

The CHS reader comments accompanying our coverage of Tuesday’s fire include several additional accounts of the history of the 1907-built house and the important part it and its residents have played in the neighborhood’s community over the years.

UPDATE: The PRAG House has posted an online giving page as the group is seeking to raise $7,500 to help residents — including one whose room was completely destroyed — through the situation — You can give here.

Last Tuesday, June 24, PRAG House had a major life changing fire.  Currently with 12 residents and a dog, this community has fostered low-cost living and environmental stewardship since 1973.  
One of our dear members lost everything as the fire started above her room, but the damage was extensive and affected everyone who lives there.  As you know insurance doesn’t cover immediate needs.  If there is any way you could help out or spread the word, it would be greatly appreciated.

You can also keep up with our progress at

With deep gratitude.

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