West Seattle, Washington
Checking the court files, followups on two people whose cases we’ve been following:
GREGORY THOMPSON: Since last we checked on Thompson in late April, the Puget Ridge man police say was found with drugs and guns, he’s gotten out of jail again – and been booked back in again. After his April 23rd arrest on warrants, he got out on May 5th. Then on May 9th, he was arrested again – not just in connection with the previous cases, but also related to a new charge: Possession of a stolen vehicle. Court documents say surveillance video links Thompson to a vehicle reported here on WSB after it was stolen – a red F-250 pickup truck – and that a WSB reader found it parked in front of a house in Westwood. Thompson’s in jail in lieu of $125,000 bail.
KIERRA WARD: The defendant in last October’s Admiral stabbing attack has another new court date. Today Ward’s trial-readiness hearing was postponed again, this time to June 8th, because of ongoing trial preparations. Ward has been in jail in lieu of $400,000 bail since the day she was arrested, after a mother was stabbed while out for a walk with her baby.
All around the peninsula, sellers and shoppers are getting ready for tomorrow – the 14th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day. At WSB, we’ve been coordinating this huge neighbor-to-neighbor event since its fourth year, and so we have a few reminders for you:
THE MAP: Whether you want to search for who’s selling something you’re seeking, or if you just want to see which of your neighbors are having sales, the clickable/zoomable/searchable and printable versions of the map and listings for all 320+ sales can be found here.
CHECK FOR LAST-MINUTE CHANGES: We’ve had a few cancellations since making the map, as usual, and while we’re able to note those on the clickable map, we can’t update the printable map, so if you are using that, be sure to check the map page, where we’ve listed late cancellations, and scratch those sales off your copy.
THE LISTS: If you’re trying to decide where to start – your own neighborhood, of course, but beyond that – we have some lists linked on the map page too (benefits, businesses, block sales, lemonade).
THE WEATHER: Absolutely perfect.
YOUR PHOTOS: We’ll be covering the day as it unfolds, as always, but we can’t be everywhere, so we invite you to share a pic of something you bought, someone you met, a cool sign you saw, or … please include the sale #, and e-mail us during WSCGSD at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on Twitter or Instagram (@westseattleblog on both).
THE AFTERMATH: For sellers – or for those shoppers who enjoy buying stuff they can turn around and donate to nonprofits – here’s our updated list of who’s accepting items afterward and where to go for dropoff.
Here’s to an awesome West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day!
Two SDOT updates on local projects bring news of closures ahead:
18TH/MYRTLE: On Puget Ridge, the project near Sanislo Elementary continues, with an unanticipated closure in a week:
This week, our crews continued work at SW Orchard St, 18th Ave SW, and SW Myrtle St. We worked with Seattle Public Utilities to relocate a fire hydrant and worked with Seattle City Light to relocate light poles along SW Orchard St. We were also able to pour concrete to complete more sidewalks and curb corners. Our crews worked on adjusting driveway thresholds along SW Orchard St.
During our earlier excavation work, we discovered the roadbed under the intersection of SW Myrtle St and 18th Ave SW was in worse shape than we had expected. Because of this unforeseen circumstance, our crews will have to completely demolish and reconstruct the intersection. We are scheduled to do this work on Saturday, May 19 – this work will require full closure of the intersection of SW Myrtle St and 18th Ave SW. Our crews will begin work as early as 7:00 am as we hope to complete this work by Sunday morning to minimize impact to school related traffic. Detours will be in place during this work. The newly paved intersection will have a smaller traffic circle footprint to widen the street around it and allow for larger vehicles more space for turning movements.
Then later this month, the start date is set for the long-planned closure for drainage work related to the Arbor Heights sidewalk project:
35TH/104TH: SDOT also sent an update about the Arbor Heights sidewalk project:
We will be starting construction work on 35th Ave SW between SW 100th St and SW 106th St on the week of May 21. Our crews may begin moving construction equipment into the area and begin preparation work as early as late next week. We will begin full closure of 35th Ave SW between SW 104th St and SW 106th St on Tuesday, May 29. This closure will last through mid to late June for our crews to replace the stormwater drainage and detention system underground. Detours and reroutes for access to Arbor Heights Elementary and Westside School have identified. A map will be available and included in next week’s update.
We hope everyone’s aware of this scam by now but just in case – we got a call from Luna Park Café a little while ago, and they had just received the infamous utility-scam call. Businesses are a favorite target of these scammers, who claim your power’s about to be cut off unless you pay some money right now. Utilities including City Light say they don’t do business that way. But if you get a call like that and somehow fear you might be in arrears, you can call the utility to be sure. All the info you need is here.
11:13 AM: Thanks for the tips. There’s both a full-response Seattle Fire Department turnout and what appears to be a SWAT callout near 42nd SW and SW Findlay. Avoid the area. We are on our way to find out more.
11:16 AM: Our crew headed north to the scene can see black smoke and flames even from some distance away.
The King County Sheriff’s Office confirms it’s their SWAT team and is sending a public-information officer. You’ll see/hear at least one TV helicopter in the area shortly.
11:22 AM: Also avoid California in that area, as it’s blocked off and more SFD equipment is on the way. This house is right on Findlay – our crew, just arrived, says it’s the one at the southwest corner of 42nd and Findlay that you might know for the old vehicles parked outside.
Here’s what Rasmus Rasmussen recorded a short time ago:
— Rasmus Rasmussen (@theprint) May 11, 2018
(Video courtesy Rasmus Rasmussen, who narrates)
11:34 AM: SFD has just upsized this to a two-alarm fire. They also have a public-information officer at the scene so we should find out more soon. The sheriff’s SWAT arrival preceded the fire – we had just been getting tips about it and were starting to head that way when we got word of the fire callout.
(Video courtesy Bruce Butterfield)
11:47 AM: Commenter says at least one citywide reported this had to do with the eviction. KCSO is the agency accountable for those, though not usually with SWAT teams. We cross-referenced court records and have found documents confirming that today was the deadline for a person whose address was shown at that house to get out; the action was filed by the estate of the owner, apparently a relative. Researching more. Again, avoid California/Findlay/42nd – California is blocked north to Brandon.
NOON: There’s also a power outage in the area – wires are down because of the fire. Not on the City Light map so far.
12:15 PM: Now the outage is mapped – 1,595 homes/businesses.
Meantime, the fire is mostly out. (added) We just talked to SFD. They say the fire started in the basement and spread to the rest of the house. They also say KCSO had warned them there might be ammunition in the house. Since the fire is mostly out, they and SWAT will be going in soon to find out if anyone was inside.
12:30 PM: Here’s what KCSO just told WSB’s Christopher Boffoli: The SWAT team was there to try to evict the resident because 24 firearms were registered to the residence. They did NOT fire any shots nor use any incendiary devices. Neighbors hadn’t seen the resident – the son of the house’s now-deceased owner – since December. He was to be evicted because the house was to be sold. Officers had tried to get in by piercing the screen door, and KCSO says that’s when they realized the house was on fire. They don’t know yet if the man, in his 50s, was inside. (added) SFD meantime tells us the fire went to a second alarm not because of its size but because it was a complicated situation.
12:55 PM: KCSO is gearing up with breathing masks to go inside the house. They also tell us that there was some indication the 51-year-old man had mental-health challenges, so they had brought a mental-health professional with them when they arrived to try the eviction.
1:13 PM: KCSO confirms a body has been found. Meantime, we’re continuing to read the court documents associated with the eviction case. The 51-year-old son of the owner was originally ordered to leave more than a year ago – April 30, 2017. Also: A drone will be used at the scene soon to “evaluate for hazards,” according to scanner traffic.
1:59 PM: The Sheriff’s Office also says that it won’t be the one to confirm whether the body is that of the house’s resident and eviction target; that will be up to the Medical Examiner. KCSO is saying only that the dead person is a man. They will remain on scene investigating, with help from SFD and SPD.
2:18 PM: California is back open. The power is back on in the area, too. Those, we have verified in person; via scanner, we hear that authorities have set up a “hot zone” around the house while continuing to investigate what’s inside it. Also, added above the 12:30 pm update is Christopher’s video of the briefing given at that time. (added) KCSO says via Twitter that “an explosive device was located inside the house,” therefore the extra caution.
2:52 PM: An update from KCSO – never mind, it was NOT an explosive device:
UPDATE#2 There is NO EXPLOSIVE device in the residence. On further exam, BDU personnel were able to determine the device they found was not explosive. They are continuing to search the house at this point with machines until they are sure it is safe for Deputies to go in.
— KingcosoPIO (@kingcosoPIO) May 11, 2018
3:15 PM: Elaborating at the scene, KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Jason Houck says the alleged “device” turned out to be a CD case with a bunch of wires. Meantime, as the investigation will continue for some hours, side streets in the area including SW Findlay will remain closed TFN.
4:01 PM: No further updates. KCSO and SFD were downsizing the scene at last report; we’ll be going back over in about half an hour to check on the status of things. Meantime, some lingering after-effects of the earlier power outage – West Seattle Nursery, at California/Brandon, says its phones and registers are continuing to have some trouble so while they’re open, you might consider waiting until tomorrow instead of visiting today.
6:31 PM: Stopped back at the scene a while ago. Findlay is open; 42nd was still blocked. Firefighters are still on site:
Below those two, the burned house was partly visible through the shrubbery along Findlay:
The old vehicles, still parked along the alley, apparently undamaged.
ADDED SATURDAY: We received this photo from Dan, who says this is some of what KCSO brought out of the house Friday night:
We’re reaching out to KCSO with followup questions, though we might not hear back until Monday.
SATURDAY NIGHT UPDATE: We did just hear back from KCSO Sgt. Houck – but he says reports with the full tally of what was found won’t be available until Monday.
Looking ahead to the rest of your Friday – from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
KIDS’ CAFE AFTERSCHOOL MEALS: The kids-hunger-fighting program continues at High Point Library. 2:45-3:30 pm, anyone under 18 can eat for free. (3411 SW Raymond)
SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS: West Seattle vs. Garfield in the Metro League tournament game for third place, 5 pm at Southwest Athletic Complex. (2801 SW Thistle)
WINE AND CHEESE: Special 5-8 pm rosé tasting at Sound and Fog in The Junction. (4735 40th SW)
ART LOUNGE: Bring your project(s) to Highland Park Improvement Club starting at 7 pm for the monthly Art Lounge – 21+. (1116 SW Holden)
PREVIEW THE WEEKEND … with a look at our full calendar.
Congratulations to Meghan Fiso from the third-place-in-state West Seattle High School girls’ basketball team! She has been honored as the Pacific Northwest Basketball Officials Association‘s Female Player of the Year. As explained by the PNBOA:
This award, as voted on by the officials who officiated your basketball games, is given to the player who shows great sportsmanship and leadership while also being an outstanding player.
Fiso, who’s a sophomore, received the award at a banquet last weekend. Thanks to proud mom Julie Fiso for sharing the news and the award photos!
7:07 AM: Good morning! So far, no incidents reported in/from West Seattle.
ROAD-WORK REMINDER: Repaving work is scheduled to continue today on Admiral Way between 57th and 59th.
I-5 LANE CLOSURES THIS WEEKEND: Here’s what WSDOT has planned.
7:11 PM: Speaking of I-5, there’s a problem in the right NB lane at I-90 – stalled semitruck.
7:30 AM: That has cleared.