FOLLOWUP: White Center fire was arson, King County Sheriff’s Office now says

(WSB/WCN photo, Monday)

1:37 PM: Thanks for the tips. We’ve confirmed with the King County Sheriff’s Office that the fire which gutted the LumberYard Bar and seven other businesses in downtown White Center early Monday is now being investigated as arson. Though the original tentative determination was that it was likely accidental, KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Tim Meyer tells WSB that they received “new evidence” that led investigators to “reclassify it as arson.” Though the LumberYard has posted on social media that “This most likely is also a hate crime,” Sgt. Meyer would not speculate on a potential motive. Anyone with any information should contact KCSO.

1:50 PM: We went over to the fire scene to see if we could find out more; no one’s around, but we did photograph the signs asking for tips – 800-55-ARSON. That’s reiterated in this statement we’ve just received from the White Center Pride Committee:

The White Center Pride Committee is deeply disturbed and saddened to learn that the fire at The Lumberyard Bar on July 5th has reportedly been reclassified from an electrical fire to arson. The possibility of this being a hate crime targeted at an LGBTQI+ gathering space is also being investigated. Not only was The Lumberyard Bar destroyed, but also 7 other businesses, many of which were minority owned.

We will continue to stand with all of the businesses and individuals that were impacted by this horrible act. Our community is strong and will never back down in the face of adversity. We implore anyone with information to reach out to the King County Sheriff’s Office with any information at 206-263-2070 or 1-800-55-ARSON.

The fire broke out after 1 am on Monday. No injuries were reported. But along with the LumberYard, it devastated neighboring businesses The Boxing Gym, La Tipica Oaxaqueña, John’s Hair and Nails, Rat City Tattoo, Nuggi, and Dottie’s Doublewide.

13 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: White Center fire was arson, King County Sheriff's Office now says"

  • HS July 9, 2021 (4:06 pm)

    Upsetting. I’d like to say more but I will leave it at that and slowly try to unclench my jaw.

    • K July 9, 2021 (8:53 pm)

      Agreed. Very upsetting 

  • ZF July 9, 2021 (4:06 pm)

    I donated a bit to White Center Pride. Will continue to donate to the Go Fund Me accounts, too. This is devastating for the community. 

  • MrsT July 9, 2021 (4:24 pm)

    Terrible! My heart goes out to those effected directly, and the community at large. I urge anyone feeling a rage against another group strongly enough to engage in violence, instead seek help for yourself because you are doing life wrong. 

  • Beanie July 9, 2021 (6:05 pm)

    Gosh, a tragic situation made even more tragic, that is was intentional and driven by hate. 

  • Tiffany July 9, 2021 (6:16 pm)

    What a tragedy. I feel this pandemic has brought out good in people but also the very worst in people. I hope they are able to find answers and rebuild. I know the community misses all the businesses already <3

  • This July 9, 2021 (7:17 pm)

    ‘The possibility of this being a hate crime’…

    Sounds like this has yet to be determined, but understand the concern and possibility of this.

    So sorry for the gay community, minority groups, and anyone, who experiences hate and violence, because of who they are, who they love, or other circumstances.

    Hate and violence and destruction towards groups or individuals is not okay.

    No understanding of what is going on for people who would intentionally start fires, but would guess either drugs/alcohol, possibly fireworks, or severe mental illness are involved.

    May these businesses have good support and recover stronger!

    • CAM July 9, 2021 (9:43 pm)

      I appreciate what you are trying to say here but people with serious mental illness are less likely to commit crimes than people without mental illness and the majority of crimes are committed by people who do not have mental health problems. There is no reason to suspect a random crime is committed by someone with a mental health problem. Comments like this drive stereotypes that hurt individuals who are already suffering and don’t need added problems. 

      • This July 9, 2021 (10:30 pm)

        Thanks for speaking up and sharing this concern.

        Understand your point, and my sincere apologies if my comment caused anyone pain. It was well intended.

        Would agree the majority of people suffering with mental illnesses are not likely to commit such crimes. And just because someone with a certain illness or other factors has committed a crime doesn’t mean others will too.

        Hope this softens any offense, the last thing I’d want is to deepen negative stereotypes for those who are already suffering.

  • flimflam July 9, 2021 (10:23 pm)

    I wonder what this new evidence is…seems like a pretty big jump from “accidental “ to “arson”.

    • Word July 10, 2021 (1:44 am)

      Video of a person breaking into the building just before the fire.

    • Katie July 11, 2021 (8:37 am)

      Is it a big jump?  I would think many arsonists attempt to make the fires look accidental. 

  • AIDM July 11, 2021 (1:48 pm)

    “The Boxing Gym Westside” is the correct name. I just say this as it could be more helpful for their fundraising efforts if the correct name is used and its been listed incorrectly several times. Thanks!

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