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Vacant house cited for past issues with squatters burns at 19th and Pine

(Image: CHS)

A house ordered boarded up and left empty for years burned in a smoky fire Wednesday morning at 19th and Pine.

Seattle Fire responded just after 9 AM to reports of smoke and fire coming from the northeast corner home on properties adjacent the Mt. Zion Baptist Church and lined up for eventual redevelopment.

Firefighters opted to take a “defensive” strategy with the blaze given how much of the house was engulfed and its status as a derelict property, according to radio updates.

There were no reports of people inside the structure and no reported injuries.

While the church owns the buildings adjacent the badly damaged home, it’s not clear who currently holds ownership of the property where Wednesday’s emergency played out. King County records for the address are incomplete. A property owner is identified in orders and violation notices starting in 2015 calling for the house to be boarded up after complaints including campers on the property.

Seattle Fire’s large response came on a block near new developments across from a mix of old, empty houses and offices near the Mt. Zion campus as neighbors looked on from porches and sidewalks. 19th Ave was closed between Madison and Pine during the response.

Seattle Fire says it is investigating what caused Wednesday’s fire.

A fire in another boarded-up house blocks away at 21st and Denny burned in early December killing a 23-year-old man in a blaze investigators determined to have been started accidentally inside the squat house.


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eric1972sea
10 days ago

Someone was taking a little care of that house because they replaced the tarp that was covering it’s roof a couple years ago and cleaned up the back yard area. That made me always wonder if someone lived there. I never understood why the owner didn’t just sell to a developer.