West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 cars set on fire in Sylvan Ridge

(WSB photos)
9:28 AM: Two cars are seriously damaged after someone set them on fire in Sylvan Ridge, east of High Point, early this morning.

It happened around 4:40 am; the cars were parked in front of townhouses in the 2700 block of Sylvan Heights Drive [map]. Residents tell WSB the fire was set in some kind of container placed under the cars:

He also showed us damage inside his car, in the back seat, which held a car seat, not seen in our photo because the fire even triggered an airbag:

No one was hurt; another resident tells us the other burned car belongs to friends who were visiting from out of town, and she says fast action by neighbors kept the flames from spreading to nearby townhomes, which don’t have much setback from the street. This happened four days after an early-morning car fire at 30th and Graham, half a mile away; we never got final word on the cause of that one, but we’re checking with police about this morning’s fires and will be asking again about that one too.

12:50 PM UPDATE: Just talked with SPD spokesperson Officer Lauren Lovanhill. The 30th/Graham fire last week was NOT related – she says that report is in the system now and says the car owner was at the scene and told officers it seemed to be a mechanical problem that sparked when he was trying to start his car. She says that while the SPD Arson/Bomb Squad was notified about this morning’s incident, they didn’t go to the scene, so the investigation is in the hands of local officers, as well as the SFD investigator (Marshal 5), who did respond; no witnesses, so they have no suspect description(s) so far.

12 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 cars set on fire in Sylvan Ridge"

  • Joe October 18, 2015 (9:49 am)

    Related to Graham? This is a big deal

    • WSB October 18, 2015 (9:55 am)

      Don’t know. Don’t even know if that one was ruled accidental or arson, as the report still wasn’t in the system when last I talked to SPD Media Relations that day, my fault for not checking again the next day. Arson cases do not show up on the police-report map or Twitter, don’t know why. But anyway, we’re asking. Big deal even if not related. – TR

  • Egan Fo October 18, 2015 (10:16 am)

    The third picture is actually the right rear taillight melted. That’s how hot the fire was on my car.

    Thanks WSB for getting the word out about this.

    • WSB October 18, 2015 (11:05 am)

      Thanks, EF, that’s what we were pointed to, I’ve just removed that last fragment of description. By multiple accounts, the fire started in some kind of box(es), and another neighbor says at least some of the evidence was removed by investigators.

  • MMB October 18, 2015 (10:22 am)

    Just when I think I’ve seen it all…this is really frightening.

  • alki resident October 18, 2015 (11:54 am)

    Im sickened this happened.Please ask for help if you need to run errands. So sorry.

  • Anthony October 18, 2015 (1:25 pm)

    This is very unusual. I used to live in this neighborhood and moved away a couple weeks ago. It is very quiet and almost like a gated community. I suspect this is an isolated incident.

  • Mike October 18, 2015 (2:34 pm)

    What is required in arson to have arson experts actually investigate? It’s not spontaneous combustion and that’s upwards of over a $35,000 loss when you look at insurance claims. Not exactly a little issue.

    • WSB October 18, 2015 (2:59 pm)

      I asked Officer Lovanhill that, and she didn’t know whether there was a threshold or some other reason, as the report wasn’t in the system yet.

  • themightyrabbit October 18, 2015 (3:42 pm)

    This is pretty disturbing, those are are nice cars, the owners shouldn’t have to deal with this. What losers think this is a good idea. Really hope they get caught soon.

  • dsa October 18, 2015 (4:24 pm)

    This looks to be an attempt to create an explosion, so I say it is worse than arson.

  • No-Mitch October 19, 2015 (12:31 am)

    “…. the Hollywood style explosion that people expect when a car is set ablaze is simply impossible.

    Even if a gas tank is near empty and there is a mixture of vapor and air in the tank that somehow catches fire; the best you could get would be a big ‘woosh’ that I don’t think could even rupture the gas tank. The gas tank in a car just isn’t strong enough to build enough pressure to create a thundering sound or grenade-like shrapnel.”

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