11:28 AM: SPD and SFD are investigating after another fire at the Longfellow Creek P-Patch shed at SW Thistle/25th SW. We were passing by when we saw Engine 11’s crew, and the smoke, around 10:20 am, and pulled over to see what was happening. Firefighters were extinguishing what had been major flames. This is the third fire at the shed in the past week; here’s our report from last Friday.
Even before this morning’s fire, we were planning to publish a followup today, after hearing from Christina, one of the P-Patch gardeners, who told us via email, “We lost a lot of tools and equipment in the fire and through repeated acts of vandalism and theft. We are hoping to replace that lost equipment and are looking for donations of shovels, rakes, pruners, a gas-powered lawn mower, hoses, or wheelbarrows.” She adds, “We are community gardeners and donate fresh produce regularly to the West Seattle Food Bank as well.” If you can help, donations are being coordinated by Kristin, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meantime, we’ll be following up the the fire investigation.
ADDED WEDNESDAY NIGHT: We still haven’t heard back from SFD regarding the fire’s cause. Since the P-Patch, while managed and gardened by community volunteers, is on city land, we asked the city Department of Neighborhoods, which manages the P-Patch program, about the situation. Here’s the response from spokesperson Sam Read:
We are devastated to hear of another fire at the Longfellow Creek P-Patch. We share in the community’s grief and frustration and our P-Patch staff are working closely with the garden community and City partners.
The shed is not considered city owned, but rather managed and funded by community with occasional support and guidance from P-Patch staff. As such, the gardeners will need to come together to fund any rebuild or repairs.
P-Patch staff are coordinating with Seattle Parks and Recreation on developing a plan to remove garbage and cut trees from the area. In addition, P-Patch staff are coordinating with Seattle Police Department around these incidents. The Southwest Precinct’s Crime Prevention Coordinator has offered to work directly with our staff to organize a personal safety training for Long Fellow Creek Gardeners if there’s a collective interest.
ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: SFD tells WSB the fire”was ruled as ‘incendiary’ (intentionally set). Information was provided to the Seattle Police Department for follow-up. The shed was heavily damaged by fire, and partially collapsed.”