Update: House fire on 51st SW in Brace Point ruled arson; 1 arrested

March 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 23 Comments

(1st photo from scene, by Patrick Sand for WSB)
9:36 PM: Seattle Fire is responding to a reported house fire in the 10000 block of 51st SW (map). It’s on a dead-end street in Brace Point. More to come.

(This photo & next 2, by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
9:45 PM UPDATE: Via scanner, firefighters report they have the fire “knocked down.” Our crew has just arrived and sees some flames from a corner of the roof on the 3-story house. Strong smell of smoke even here in upper Fauntleroy more than a mile north.

10:12 PM UPDATE: Nobody was home when this started, our crew at the scene has been told. Flames are out now. (Added: Video of firefighters on the roof – note the smoke and also the water rushing down the driveway:)

SFD’s investigator is there to try to figure out how it started.

11:53 PM UPDATE: No cause announced yet; the investigation is still under way, per SFD.

WEDNESDAY 10:06 AM: Police have announced they believe this was arson – finding a gas can inside the house – and a resident of the home has been arrested. Details on SPD Blotter.

10:23 AM UPDATE: We’ve checked the background of the 54-year-old woman who is in jail for investigation of arson; she does not appear to have a criminal record.

12:32 PM UPDATE: Since she wasn’t booked until this morning, her bail hearing won’t be until tomorrow, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE: Her bail was set today at $100,000, according to the jail register. We won’t have other details from prosecutors until Friday.


  1. Hope all is okay, lots of sirens

    Comment by Laura — 9:40 pm March 25, 2014 #

  2. Lots of siren sounds and Smells of burning plastics at 9000 block of California AVE near Fauntleroy.

    Comment by LB — 9:44 pm March 25, 2014 #

  3. Sounds like a pretty large response from up here on California, across from The Bridge.

    Comment by fargo2seattle — 9:44 pm March 25, 2014 #

  4. Hope everyone is ok

    Comment by LB — 9:45 pm March 25, 2014 #

  5. Huge response with a thick smell of smoke at 46th and Brace Point.

    Comment by Brian M. — 9:45 pm March 25, 2014 #

  6. Major response; we live on Fauntleroy near California and no less than 7 fire dept. vehicles have passed in the last 5minutes.

    Comment by hawkbit — 9:46 pm March 25, 2014 #

  7. Huh – are all the sirens we just heard going past 35th/Barton at 9:45 pm related?

    Comment by desertdweller — 9:46 pm March 25, 2014 #

  8. I heard the sirens! Sounds like a big response!

    Comment by westside gal — 9:46 pm March 25, 2014 #

  9. At 21:44 we heard sirens of response vehicles crossing 35th heading down Barton. My sweetie counted at least 2 engines, 1 ladder & an aid car.

    Comment by Kaya Hoffmann — 9:47 pm March 25, 2014 #

  10. Lots of sirens. Hope for the best.

    Comment by jan van pelt — 9:48 pm March 25, 2014 #

  11. I can always count on WSB to tell me why sirens are blasting by my house. Thanks for being the answer to my questions.

    Comment by Jewel — 9:50 pm March 25, 2014 #

  12. I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to get any rescue apparatus down into that neighborhood, much less several vehicles! Good job SFD :)

    Comment by moji — 10:09 pm March 25, 2014 #

  13. Thank heavens no one was hurt …. Living right in the same neighborhood on Brace Pt., we always wondered whether the big rigs could make the tight turn down to 51st SW !

    Thanks and great job to the SFD !!!

    Comment by S. okamoto — 10:26 pm March 25, 2014 #

  14. My kids got out of bed and wanted me to check the blog because of all the sirens!

    Comment by Bonnie — 7:24 am March 26, 2014 #

  15. this just in: http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2014/03/26/woman-arrested-after-setting-fire-to-her-west-seattle-home/

    Comment by HelperMonkey — 9:59 am March 26, 2014 #

  16. Yeah, I just got that from Kyle, who I had hit up for the cause earlier today and am adding the link. No earlier indication it was a crime – so we had focused our followup with SFD … TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:05 am March 26, 2014 #

  17. Komo said it was a female owner of the home that set it on fire!

    Comment by AN — 10:19 am March 26, 2014 #

  18. As noted in the SPD Blotter item to which we have linked and from which all media outlets are getting info on the arrest, them and us and whomever else is reporting on it – the person in jail for investigation of arson is on record as an owner of the home. I have added some information beyond that and we’ll be checking with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to see if she’ll have a bail hearing this afternoon. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:32 am March 26, 2014 #

  19. the news reports are also saying that she has mental health issues…

    Comment by JanS — 9:20 pm March 26, 2014 #

  20. Which is also directly taken from SPD Blotter, same item we linked above this morning. Citywide media didn’t even bother going to the fire last night. We’ll find out more when she appears for a bail hearing tomorrow.

    Comment by WSB — 9:28 pm March 26, 2014 #

  21. In regards to the ruling of the arrested woman, her bail has been denied. I was the first one to report the fire after seeing it from the front door window and also inform the fire marshals of someone I had noticed prior to the fire. It’s sad to say that I do know the woman and her family very well.

    Comment by Suji — 10:39 pm March 26, 2014 #

  22. The woman was denied bail and does have mental problems. I was the first person to report of the fire and to be questioned by the firefighters and two others. I provided information that led to the beginnings of suspecting the woman. I’m sad to say that I do know the woman and her family very well.

    Comment by Suji — 10:47 pm March 26, 2014 #

  23. Suji, thanks. “Bail denied” is the initial status for most accused of major crimes, and I know that’s what is on the register for her, but the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said that since she was booked this morning, her bail hearing – at which a bail amount almost certainly WILL be set – would be tomorrow. They are the official source of that information for those of us in the media. Once there is a bail hearing, they also usually release the probable-cause documentation that is supplied to the judge for her/his decision on bail, and that’s where we get a few more details of what happened. If mental-health trouble renders someone incompetent to stand trial, that generally will be determined as they go through the system. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:12 pm March 26, 2014 #

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