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Man who died in 21st and Denny fire identified

(Image: SFD)

The man who died in a fire inside a boarded-up building near 21st and Denny last week has been identified.

The King County Medical Examiner’s office says Benjamin Bess, 23, died of smoke inhalation in what investigators determined was an accidental fire that started inside the squat house.

CHS reported here on the deadly Wednesday night, December 2nd fire in the fenced-off structure near new development in the area of 21st Ave E.

Seattle Fire says that Bess was found unresponsive in a room adjacent to where the fire was burning. “Unable to safely access the occupant from within the home, Ladder 10 sawed a hole into the room to quickly rescue him,” SFD reports. Paramedics performed lifesaving efforts and transported him to Harborview Medical Center but Bess did not survive.

SPD said the structure “is a known vacant house that is, at times, occupied by various individuals.”

A CHS commenter who knew the victim provided more details about Bess “He was a gentle soul,” the commenter writes. “He left behind a beautiful son, was a talented artist and is missed.”

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