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Fire at E John B&B slated for demolition, ‘small & efficient’ apartment project — UPDATE

E John was closed near 15th and 12th Friday morning as crews cleaned up after an overnight fire in a single family home long used as a bed and breakfast slated for demolition to make way for a new apartment development.

Seattle Fire was called to the “fully involved” fire in the two-story structure in the 1100 block of E John just before 3 AM. According to radio dispatches, the fire on the first floor of the house was under control in under 10 minutes but crews continued to battle flames and search for hot spots upstairs and on the exterior of the building. The Seattle Fire Marshal was called out to investigate the cause of the blaze. The house is currently supposed to be vacant. A search of the house found no victims inside.

A set of old twin houses at the address are slated to be torn down to make way for a new building with 47 “small & efficient residential units.”8446994646_c6447f7b48_o-600x151

As of 6:10 AM, units were clearing the scene and streets were beginning to reopen in the area.

UPDATE 3:00 PM: Seattle Fire says the SPD arson and bomb squad has taken over the investigation —

An early morning house fire at a vacant Capitol Hill house remains under investigation. The case has been turned over to Seattle Police Department Arson Bomb Squad for further investigation.

At 2:47 a.m. a 911 call came into dispatchers at the Fire Alarm Center reporting a fire inside the two-story home located in the 1100 block of East John Street. Engine Company 25 arrived to find a well involved fire inside several rooms of the vacant house with basement. Firefighters searched the residence and did not find anyone inside.

It appears the fire started on the first floor and extended up to the second floor. Firefighters controlled the fire within 10 minutes. It took 35 minutes to completely extinguish the flames.

Medics transported one firefighter, who was not involved in fighting to fire, to Harborview Medical Center in stable condition where he was evaluated and released.


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11 thoughts on “Fire at E John B&B slated for demolition, ‘small & efficient’ apartment project — UPDATE

  1. The fire was larger than it would appear from the scorched façade, on a block packed with wooden structure. The FD response was impressive.

    • It must have been, I live just down the street from there and when I got home early this morning the street was still closed off.
      I’m sad to see these houses go, they weren’t even in bad shape.

  2. As the previous owners of our very much loved B&B this was sad news and a very sad sight to see. As they will be torn down- as will the entire block for renovation, it was inevitable that they would go. But as the power was off, gas off etc, this was obviously foul play. We had said our good bye’s September 1st.
    We will remember them as beautiful in our hearts always.

    • I am very sad to see your former B&B go. Where can I find the plans for the rest of the block that you mentioned will be demolished?

  3. I waled by there maybe the night before and snapped some pictures. Couldn’t believe that they were going to demolish those great little houses. They’re definitely small enough to move about on the property to preserve them while developing the rest of the site. It should be even easier now to preserve the last undamaged house, unless the developer is “that” greedy.

    • The undamaged house came down yesterday. It was standing when I left for work, but then a pile of rubble when I cam home. It’s so sad. It’s weird to see manicured bushes still out front. The victorian houses were attractive and in good shape. There was quite a bit of space around them. I agree that they should have converted the homes and built around them.

  4. I live across the street. I woke up to flashing lights and watched them put out the fire. The firefighters put out a sign that read ‘Staging’, which I thought meant that they lit the fire for training purposes. What does ‘Staging’ mean if not that?

    I just move in to the neighborhood on September 1st. The night of the fire is when I became aware of the plan for these two large beautiful 1903 Victorian homes. There is no way that the building that is going to be in it’s place is going to have the quality of craft and materials that were there. It is such a waste of irreplaceable materials. The proposal it states number one on priority design issues- “Protect and augment the neighborhood’s architectural qualities, historic character, pedestrian scale and natural features.”

    To see the building that they plan to put in, see the proposal at:

    The lack of respect for the history and quality of these old buildings is heartbreaking. The houses were both very large and could have been converted into apartments. They would have not had as many (micro) units, but would have been able to house several households and maintained the history and integrity of the neighborhood. Or convert and build a new structure onto these houses. There is a lot in the back and in between.