One of a set of buildings on the southwest corner of 12th and John destined for development but currently sitting in particleboard limbo caught fire Wednesday morning prompting a fast, large response from Capitol Hill’s Station 25.
Smoke was first reported coming from the building around 9:18 AM. Seattle Fire arrived to find smoke and flames in the basement of the multi-story building covered with boarded windows and graffiti tags. The first sweeps of the building found no victims and the stubborn fire was reported completely out around 40 minutes later.
The 12th Ave structure is one of three at the corner lined up to be replaced by a new 50-unit microhousing development from prolific firm b9 that have been boarded for months. Seattle Police have been called to the corner regularly to reports of trespassers and squatters inside the buildings. Permits for demolition of the buildings moved forward late in 2015 but have not yet been issued by the city.
UPDATE 1/7/2016: A Seattle Fire spokesperson tells CHS that Wednesday’s fire has been ruled accidental and was likely caused by discarded smoking material. There were no reported injuries. The spokesperson said that damages were estimated at $1 — the procedural amount utilized for structures that are planned to be demolished.