Seattle fire fighters walked around the neighborhood tonight, passing out arson alert fliers to businesses and residents. The fire department plans to patrol the neighborhood in well-marked vehicles, to try to deter and hopefully catch the arsonist(s) responsible for seven arsons in Greenwood and Phinney since June.
The fliers ask residents to:
- Keep their home and garage doors and windows locked.
- Clean up wastepaper, grasses, weeds, litter, or anything that can burn from around buildings.
- Clear carport areas of anything that could fuel a fire.
- Locate dumpsters, recycle bins and yard waste containers at least five feet away from combustible walls and roof eave lines.
- If possible, keep them in a secured area, and do not allow them to become overfilled.
- Trim shrubbery from doors and windows to improve visibility.
- Install motion-sensor exterior lights or consider leaving lights on during hours of darkness.
- Test smoke alarms to ensure they are working.
- Have a fire escape plan for all family members. Be sure it includes knowing all the exits and a meeting place.
- If you have a fire extinguisher, know where it is located and how to use it.
Businesses are also asked to consider a lock for their dumpsters, and to make sure that all exits are clear of boxes and debris.
If you see anything suspicious, call 911 immediately. And if you have any information you believe may be related to this arson, call the Arson Alarm Hotline 1-800-55-ARSON. You can remain anonymous. A reward could be provided if the information results in an arson conviction.
Neighborhood leaders are organizing a community meeting to discuss the arsons. Here’s an update from the Greenwood-Phinney Chamber of Commerce:
Multiple Greenwood-Phinney community groups – The Chamber, The Greenwood Community Council, The Phinney Ridge Community Council and Greenwood Aurora Involved Neighbors (GAIN) are working together with the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety, the Seattle Police Department and the Seattle Fire Department to organize a community meeting as soon as possible to discuss the rash of arson fires that have been plaguing our neighborhood. Representatives from all of the above named city departments will be on hand to discuss the current state of the ongoing investigation, their strategy to prevent any further fires and offer guidance on what we can do as a community to be involved in its protection. The goal is to conduct this meeting at the very beginning of next week. Please continue to monitor our website with upcoming details on where and when the meeting will be.