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Police investigating string of arson fires in Central District and South Seattle — UPDATE

The Seattle Police Department is investigating after a string of arson fires across the southern edges of the Central District and South Seattle Tuesday.

Seattle Fire tells CHS that it responded to multiple fires through the day and into the evening Wednesday and investigators have determined that at least six were intentionally set. CHS has mapped the fires where the Seattle Fire Marshal was dispatched to investigate. SFD says more of the fires could turn out to be arsons.
UPDATE: We’ve replaced our map with the SFD update that includes more incidents.

The string documented by CHS started with a brush fire reported Tuesday morning at Cleveland High School in Beacon Hill and ran into the night with a suspicious fire reported at 16th and King. Most of the fires were small and involved little damage. A fire in the 200 block of 17th Ave was set to plastic inside a house under construction.

Wednesday, Seattle Fire responded to an early morning kitchen fire in a fourth-floor unit of an apartment building at 17th and E Olive St but there have been no fires similar to Tuesday’s string reported.

UPDATE: Seattle Fire reports the string of fires goes back to June 22nd and is advising business and property owners on how to take precautions:

In light of this information, Seattle fire and police departments are encouraging construction sites, businesses and residents to take steps to prevent arson fires:


  • Secure business and garage areas by locking doors and windows.
  • Clean up wastepaper, grasses, weeds, litter, or any combustibles from around buildings and at construction sites.
  • Secure security fencing at construction sites.
  • Install or activate motion-sensored lights and/or cameras at construction sites and businesses.
  • Do not allow dumpsters to become overfilled. Locate commercial dumpsters and containers at least five feet away from combustible walls and roof eave lines. Use only metal or metal-lined receptacles.
  • Place locks on commercial dumpsters or keep in secured area.
  • Test fire and life safety systems, including fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, to ensure they are working.
  • Develop and practice a fire escape plan.
  • Keep exit ways clear of boxes and other debris which could hamper evacuation.


  • Implement your fire evacuation plan, and exit the building.
  • Call 911 to report the location of the fire. If the fire is inside a structure, report to 911 and responding crews if anyone could still be inside.

The Seattle Police Department and Fire Department are investigating the crimes. Please report any information you believe may be related to arson to SPD’s Arson and Bomb Squad at (206) 684-8980. Persons providing information may remain anonymous.


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The Ghost of Capitol Hill
The Ghost of Capitol Hill
1 year ago

Why didn’t the police prevent these fires? Does that cost extra?

Nikkita Oliver
Nikkita Oliver
1 year ago

This. The demands are what matters most. Defund the police, invest in community, and free all protestors

1 year ago
Reply to  Nikkita Oliver

I think suspect one would be someone frequently hopping on and off the 7 or 106 bus around the time these fires occurred

1 year ago
Reply to  Nikkita Oliver

Seriously? You respond to a report on arson with “defund police” (which includes detectives investigating arson, along with the Fire Dept.)?

Come on! How are we ever going to make progress if there is a lack of nuanced thinking?

Yes, to invest in community, but that can mean:

work on policies that support folks staying in their homes and help for those who do not have homes.

work on supplying low cost housing (that’s really low cost),

work on providing mental health experts to assist those who are doing acts like arson, etc.

Ryan A
Ryan A
1 year ago

That’s a lot of sites! I’d guess that camera footage of a suspect might crop up if they’re being so cavalier. Hope this morning’s fire down in the ID is unrelated:

1 year ago

Nikki, stick to poetry slams.

1. Defund the police – 5%, OK.
2. Criminilize criminals, inclusively, without regard to skin color.