The new building going up on the corner of 45th and 1st, across from Dick’s, went up in flames early this morning, starting around 6 am. Jeff Garfield, owner of Bedrooms and More, shared this photo of the blaze:
Fire trucks were still on the scene as of late afternoon, and the interior was a dripping, soggy mess.
According the Fire Department, the cause of the blaze is “still under investigation”. The building has been under active construction during the lockdown, from what I’ve seen, but there’s considerable graffiti visible on the upper floors, though, suggesting that people have been entering during off-hours.
“…the cause of the blaze is “still under investigation.”
Let me save SFD the trouble and expense. It was junkie squatters, (aka, our “unhoused neighbors.”) No need to thank me.
Its true – if we did more to support our unhoused neighbors and guaranteed to everyone a right to a safe place to live, then they wouldn’t need to squat and there would be less risk of accidental fires. Excellent point!
Put aside the fact that these homeless junkies (pardon, “unhoused neighbors”) were trespassing on someone’s private property, which they’ve now destroyed, and could easily have destroyed neighboring properties. And put aside the fact that there’s plenty of other places they can go bed down for the night where they wont be hassled by the city. What makes you think this fire was accidental?
Has the cause of the fire been officially determined?
Not yet, as far as I know.
So when you say that homeless junkies destroyed this building you’re pretty much just making that up, right?
Don’t pretend it’s an unlikely guess DOUG
Now Doug, do I need to remind you of last month’s discussion about Metro drivers fearing for their safety because of COVID? You dismissed me then as well, saying “Metro has good safety policies in place.” And you mocked my use of Safe Seattle as a source. And when I provided other sources on top of that, you said nothing more. Well, here we are a month later and I’ve been proven correct about the danger and Metro’s failure to deal with it properly. Can I get a “Yes Phil, you were right?” Yeah, I didn’t think so. 😂
So you want to try for double-or-nothing. OK.
I’m not making anything up when I say this fire was done by junkie squatters. This is an educated guess, based on years of observation. Several times over the last few years I have stuck my neck out online about fires caused by vagrants. There will be a report in the news or on some blog about a fire, but not about the cause of the fire because it hasn’t been investigated yet. Whenever I’ve said publicly it was caused by vagrants, it’s turned out to be true days later. I have been right every single time.
I don’t have some keen sense of intuition. It is just basic common sense. Any time you hear about a fire in a vacant structure or a construction site, a string of arsons, or a “brush fire” by the highway, it’s a safe bet it was done by one of our “unhoused neighbors.”
Now, is it possible that this fire on 45th was perhaps an electrical fire, someone trying to collect an insurance payout, or kids playing with matches? Of course, but I doubt I’m wrong. Of course, we might never learn the cause; the investigation might not confirm it, or it won’t be reported on if they do. But on the off chance that the cause is publicized and I am wrong, I am not too proud to admit it publicly. How about you? If it turns out I’m correct, will I get a “Yes Phil, you were right?”
As a practicing architect, I can say that this building now finally has some distinctive character.
This isn’t good. Now when they tear it down to rebuild, they can revise their permit to gain immediate and almost unlimited Zoning variances, without ANY public input.
Want to build right on the lot lines = Rubber stamp city approval
Want some extra height? = Rubber stamp city approval
Cut down that tree? = Rubber stamp city approval
This is what our council recently approved as an “emergency measure due to Covid-19”. Let there be NO DOUBT who this seemingly liberal and “citizen oriented” council works for, developers……..NOT neighbors!
Good point. I’ve always known that the YIMBYs were more of a threat to the neighborhood than the vagrants. They’ll slap up another monstrosity and say, “Trust us, this will help make housing more affordable.” Perhaps the squatters torched the place to show the YIMBYs what they think of their affordable housing scam.
Isn’t the biggest threat to the neighborhood human that displaced all the animals? Or all the white people that displaced the natives? We can define threats and neighborhoods in so many ways. I don’t think you should use “neighborhood”. You really mean your preferred way of life.
I guess if you consider animals to be a “neighborhood” then maybe you would have a point. As for the natives, the biggest threat to an Indian nation back then was….another Indian nation. Funny how you never seen to mention that part of history.
Well, it has to do with the relative threat. Other nations would occasionally do a raid or two, and the first white settlers were welcomed as potential allies in response to some of those raids. But the feelings changed a few years later when these white settlers, in a matter of weeks, burned down every long house in the Seattle area and banned native people from even setting foor in the city. Those earlier rivalries quickly became alliances in the face of a much more brutal enemy.
Not to mention the fact that the main reason that Alaskan tribes were going on major raides into Coast Salish territories was because of pressure and weapons from the European fur trade.
It is always funny when white folks bring this up. Its like someone says “I took your house, took your kids away, took your land, banned you frome even spending the night in the town you helped build, take away your right to go fishing on your land – but this other guy beat you up once, so its OK.”
If you are fine with what happened with Native Americans, then you should be way more than fine with things like “not having convenient street parking”.
I don’t recall saying I was fine with what happened back then. Could you kindly point out where I said that?
You just implied that by stating that if white men didn’t do it other Native Americans would. My whole point was that you shouldn’t pretend you speak for the neighborhood and the goodness of mankind, when you really meant your own personal preference. What you called monstrosity isn’t the same as everybody else. I still say my idea of partial high density and partial forest land idea is better than the monstrosity we have right now, with a lot of semi-old building that got neither culture or historical value nor practical for what we need. We have basically the same characteristics of Tacoma ghetto in many places, with location being the true outstanding characteristics of the neighborhood.
I didn’t imply anything. I simply pointed out the fact, one that you continually and selectively omit, that the Native Americans DID slaughter and enslave others. It in no way means I’m OK with what was done to them 150 years ago. You use what was done to the Indians generations ago as a bizarre rationale to justify advancing your agenda of upzoning our neighborhood until it looks like Capitol Hill.
And I don’t claim to speak for what’s best for our neighborhood anymore than you do.
If you don’t claim you are speaking for the general folks, you should change your message to be like this:
“Good representation of my perspective. I’ve always known that the YIMBYs were more of a threat to my personal preference of what the neighborhood should be than the vagrants. They’ll slap up another idea that most likely I’ll consider monstrosity and say, ‘Trust us, this will help make housing more affordable.’
Perhaps the squatters torched the place to show the YIMBYs what I believe they’d consider affordable housing that I personally like to intentionally label as scam to annoy them.”
Perhaps a minor point, but they did not approve that measure, Council Bill 119769. I mean, it got a majority of votes, but that kind of action requires more than a majority, and they fell a vote short when Pedersen, Herbold and Morales voted against it.
They’ll try again Monday April 27, to see if an amendment will squeak it through.
Interesting Don. The Developer of the Bill The Butcher site said they have a ton of flexibility due to the councils recent changes re Covid. Can you clarify what did and didn’t pass?
All I know about is the design review changes proposed in CB 119769. That wouldn’t change any standards, it would just change the review process, eliminating the role of the Design Review Board in favor of review by Construction & Inspections staff, until the public DRB meetings can resume in one way or another. DCI is well known to serve developers over the general public, so that’s probably a plus, but it’s about code variances that the DRB might very well approve too. If you haven’t written in opposition, it isn’t too late.
There has been nothing I know of, and I don’t see anything in recent council sessions, that would change or relax standards. That doesn’t mean he’s wrong. There’s a lot of rubber-stamping things that are officially not allowed, like cutting down exceptionally large trees for example. But that doesn’t have anything to do with COVID.
So that does make sense what the developer said, that the only design review now was by the city, so any variances can be granted by the city, without input from the community.
More or less. The only caveats would be 1) it hasn’t passed yet, and 2) the community would have hardly any meaningful input anyway. I mean, that developer clearly does not belong to the enlightened minority that responds to community input voluntarily, and nothing in the ordinary design review process would force him to. The DRB might give this developer a little trouble that he won’t get from DCI, but typically because of more “design vocabulary” issues that are of little practical importance to neighbors. There’s still time to write to the council.
OK, now it has passed – I hear Morales switched sides, haven’t verified that. If you wrote in, though, I’m sure they gave your input every due consideration.
I did write to our council member but I never heard back…..
They will not be allowed to build anything different than what they started both from the permitting and Fire Insurance standpoint and also an economic standpoint. This fire is also a waste of environmental resources and added to air pollution. A empty house was burned down a week ago at 50th and Aurora and other reports of recycle bin fires. There seems to be an arsonist around. I hope they catch them before someone gets killed.
With the current recession/depression that we could see as a result of the pandemic, I am much more worried that they will not get funding or decide the P&L does not pencil out to rebuild, and it will sit there and rot for years.