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Seattle Fire busy with 13th Ave E apartment building blaze, encampment fires

Seattle Fire’s Station 25 continues to be busy this spring with an overnight response to a 13th Ave E apartment building fire and a fully involved encampment fire Tuesday morning near Melrose and Roy above I-5.

Seattle Fire says there were no injuries in Monday night’s fire reported at the 13th Ave E address of the three-story Raphael Court Apartments just before 11 PM. UPDATE: SFD says the fire was accidental and started from overheated electrical in the bathroom ceiling. Total estimated loss is $35,000.

Tuesday morning, a pillar of black smoke could be seen rising from the area of a burning encampment at Melrose and Roy. Seattle Fire responded and was attempting to knock down the blaze burning the camp. There were also no immediate reported injuries.

Late Monday, meanwhile, a brush fire at an encampment burned an area of Tashkent Park along Boylston Ave E. There were no reported injuries.


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Neighbor
Neighbor
21 days ago

There was a large fire at a homeless encampment last week in Broadway Hill Park, burning down a massive tent-structure to the ground. It was not reported in the media and I didn’t see anything about it on Twitter. I live half a block away and can attest it was a huge fire. The homeless encampment has taken over the little park, which is now riddled with needles, fecal matter, food wrappers/debris and a collection of broken furniture. The neighbors have noticed a dramatic uptick in drug dealing – out in the open, on the sidewalk with no attempt to hide it, and no one can use the park anymore because of the encampment. Two children, my neighbors, used to go to that park all the time and play. They are 8 and 10 years old and loved that place. People would use the park benches to read, sit in the sun, and it’s a great place for people to be outside…especially during the past year of this pandemic it’s been needed but unavailable to everyone but the homeless and addicts who live there. They have held the park hostage.

While this isn’t healthy for the neighbors and the children who used to use this park, this isn’t healthy for the people in that encampment. They have no running water, no toilet, nothing to clean with. The Seattle City Council have allowed this city to be ruined and they have allowed so many people to just live like that, endangering themselves and the neighbors around them. It’s shameful and sad, and well past time for this homeless encampment problem across Seattle to end.

Other J
Other J
20 days ago
Reply to  Neighbor

Yikes scary stuff. I’ve seen that encampment at the park growing recently. Fires like this are bad news for all involved.

Julie Schick
20 days ago
Reply to  Neighbor

If this is a Seattle City Park, please use the following link to select the issue(s) and report them. If it is not a city owned park, one of the options lists these parks with contact information to report issues. The city is serious about cleaning things up and keeping spaces safe. There is a commitment across all city entities to make sure spaces get cleaned up and folks get the help they need to find safe housing.

https://seattle-cwiprod.motorolasolutions.com/cwi/select

RWK
RWK
20 days ago
Reply to  Julie Schick

Unfortunately, your suggestion will not do anything about the disgusting situation at Broadway Hill Park. Because the City still has a moratorium on cleaning up homeless camps in our public parks, reporting this will result in exactly no response. The only thing that the Parks Dept. does at that park is to empty the trash bin, and they only do that occasionally.

This is not the only fire at this camp. There was another one there about 6 weeks ago, due to a propane explosion.

Caphiller
Caphiller
20 days ago
Reply to  Neighbor

Sigh. I feel the same way. This is what the anti-sweep people have to show for themselves.

Ana che
Ana che
20 days ago
Reply to  Neighbor

There are several huge tents under the vegetation in the volunteer park (west edge). People running gas generators/ hacking on trees/ digging in the ground.
Seattle parks won’t do anything citing City Council.
Is this another fire waiting to happen :(?

C Doom
C Doom
20 days ago
Reply to  Neighbor

Every Council member ought to be required to live in tents among the homeless until things change.

Mimi
Mimi
20 days ago
Reply to  Neighbor

What makes me sad is that I remember all of the community effort that went into creating that park about 10 years ago.

Andrew Taylor
Andrew Taylor
20 days ago

The encampment at Miller Park was emptied recently, and then cleaned up by the City. I walked through it after they were done and noticed two things:
1) Even after being scraped by the City, the ground was littered with dozens of orange syringe needle caps
2) Areas that had been under large tents (or collections of tents) were all riddled with rat tunnels in the dirt. The campers’ food and health must have been severely impacted by the plague of rats.
The City allowing dispersed camping in green belts is one thing – there are people who won’t accept other solutions BUT
The City allowing large encampments is just compounding the problems, and compounding the danger to the campers. Rats are clearly attracted by the concentrations of people, and the frequent fires sweeping through encampments is another danger.

Mimi
Mimi
20 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Taylor

The city needs to have mobile vaccination units go to every homeless encampment and offer people shots. The justification for allowing these encampments in public parks and school grounds due to Covid is no longer justifiable in about a month.

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
19 days ago
Reply to  Mimi

These camps are causing their own non-COVID health crises… shigella, e-coli, hepatitis…. there are good reasons for not permitting them.

Seattle Council
Seattle Council
20 days ago

Taxpayers spend a pile of money building that park several years ago. Now, as usual, the far-left losers running Seattle can’t properly maintain anything so they allowed the new park to be trashed.

KinesthesiaAmnesia
KinesthesiaAmnesia
20 days ago

Seattle needs a federal judge like LA just did to step in and force city govt to shut up or nut up and treat the homeless state of emergency like a real emergency. Letting veterans, women, disabled, disenfranchised and Black people rot in rat infested slums is racism and inaction that’s not unlike when schools refused to desegregate in the 1950’s.

Caphiller
Caphiller
20 days ago

I’m worried the same thing will happen to the new First Hill Park. They just took down the fences surrounding the new grass. The park looks fantastic, and it’s well used. How much longer before we have the same awful situation as these other small parks.

RestoreTashkent
RestoreTashkent
20 days ago

The reported fire at Tashkent on Monday may be a separate incident, but I can report that there was an encampment fire on Sunday evening around 9pm. I went out to see the commotion after seeing the emergency lights from my window. A resident of the recently-expanded encampment there was writing in pain and screaming from his injuries. As best I could see, he had badly burned both of his lower extremities to a point which his skin was falling off. I believe a mattress had caught fire but it was difficult to see clearly in the night with the emergency lights. I feel badly for this man, but this thing is becoming all too common and the city’s refusal to address the problem in any way under the excuse of COVID-19 is putting both the homeless and those who live around their derelict encampments in danger. The fire could not have been more than 15 feet away to the adjacent building. As of Wednesday, the encampment is still there and as far as I know, nothing has been done to address the issue even after the incident that sent one man to the hospital with serious, serious injuries and the endangerment of those that lived in the building adjacent. If you were one of those residents who also witnessed this, I urge you to email (even though it seems futile) our elected official to voice your concern. Be safe, everyone.

C Doom
C Doom
19 days ago

As you are no doubt aware, our representative is Kshama Sawant. The only thing mailing her gets on this topic is a copypasted screed about OUR MOVEMENT and THE RULING CLASSES. She is worse than useless. She is an active enabler of homeless crisis, because it gives her phony movement a fundraising rallying point. She isn’t going to overturn late-stage Capitalism, as much as her deluded followers might wish to, and in the meantime she does nothing useful to help the ongoing crisis. She has the privilege to keep rallying and marching, meanwhile the unhomed and those in need of mental health crisis intervention literally burn alive on her watch.

Callista Graves
Callista Graves
19 days ago

Dammit. I don’t have the solution, but holy shit, can we get some grown ups running things here in Seattle?

Glenn
Glenn
19 days ago

Well, you have to vote for them. I suggest Sara Nelson for Council and Bruce Harrell for Mayor. They are obviously grownups. Support their campaigns, give them a little money, and spread the word.

RWK
RWK
19 days ago
Reply to  Glenn

Yes, and I would add: support the Recall Sawant campaign.