Update 9:40 a.m.: Seattle Fire confirms that both fires this morning were intentionally set.
“Fire investigators have determined that two fires that occurred early this morning were intentionally set by an unknown suspect,” SFD Spokeswoman Dana Vander Houwen says. “Fire investigators believe that both fires were set by the same person.”
Vander Houwen says neighbors used fire extinguishers to help contain the fire on the back porch at CPA Seattle before fire fighters arrived. The fire did not extend into the business. Damage is estimated at $5,000.
The fire half an hour later at Rosewood Guitar also did not extend inside the building. Damage is estimated at $20,000.
This brings the total number of neighborhood arsons in the last few months to seven, plus another arson just north of Greenwood in Bitter Lake late Monday night.
Firefighters were called at 3:30 a.m. to a small fire at the CPA Seattle office at 338 NW 85th St. The fire began on the back deck, scorching the back of the building. Neighbors extinguished the blaze, and firefighters promptly called for an investigator. While crews were waiting for the investigator to arrive — and checking our identification for their records — a second call came in for a fire at a business on Greenwood Ave. at 84th St., just three blocks away.
We arrived just as firefighters pulled up, and flames were shooting from the roof of the Rosewood Guitar shop, right next door to the Cobblestone Used Furniture store. The fire department called in extra units to fight the blaze, and the fire was knocked down several minutes later. The media quickly descended on the scene. KOMO 4, KING 5, and KIRO 7 all have stories and video online. As of 5:30 a.m., Greenwood Ave. remains shut down at 84th St.
“It absolutely instills fear when you see building, after building, after building,” said Dave, a nearby resident who woke up with the sirens this morning. “It’s like a localized form of terrorism. He’s scaring people. We never know when he’s going to strike next, where he’s going to strike next.”
There are now seven unsolved arsons in the Greenwood area over the last few months (see map). Two weeks ago, a fire destroyed four Greenwood businesses. “We’re talking about a not-for-profit coffee shop, a locally-owned guitar shop. We’re not talking about big business,” said another resident who didn’t want us to use his name. “They’re not hitting the man, they’re hitting small town people with small town values. This is disturbing to me.”
If you have seen anything suspicious, you’re asked to call 1-800-55-ARSON. As always, we’ll keep you updated on this story…