UPDATE: 2-alarm fire at South Delridge apartment building, arson suspect arrested

7:50 AM: SFD is at a building in the 1700 block of SW Barton and has just called for a second alarm. At least one person is reported injured. There was also a callout to the same address early yesterday, but that one was quickly downsized. Updates to come.

7:55 AM: The fire is reported to be under control, firefighters told dispatch. According to online records, this is a three-story, 14-apartment building.

(WSB photos)

8:06 AM: They’re continuing to search inside the building to be sure no other victims are inside. We’re at the scene now and are adding photos.

8:12 AM: Still smoke on one side of the building.

They’ve just told dispatch the fire is “tapped, all three floors.” SFD’s investigator is reported to be on the way.

8:28 AM: So is an SFD chaplain. We don’t have details about victim(s) yet but a public-information officer has just arrived so more details should be forthcoming. … They are also calling for the Red Cross to help displaced residents.

8:38 AM: SFD says the person who was burned is a 35-year-old man, taken to a hospital in serious condition.

8:55 AM: Police are investigating too. Now that the fire’s out, the most heavily damaged side of the building is visible:

9:16 AM: At the scene, SFD spokesperson Heather Reichmann tells us six units were damaged in this fire. She described the incident yesterday as “minimal” – logs show that most of the initial dispatch was canceled before even arriving – but two incidents in two days is why SPD is investigating.

10:06 AM: Some firefighters are still on scene after about 2 1/2 hours and are reporting a small “hot spot.”

11:56 AM: Via Twitter, SFD also says a cat and parakeet were found dead in one unit.

3:51 PM: SPD has announced an arrest in this fire – the person who was taken to the hospital:

Police spoke with witnesses who reported seeing a man on his porch light an item on fire then walk away. This man was also seen setting fire to items in his apartment before he himself caught on fire.

SFD provided medical aid to the 35-year-old male suspect with non-life-threatening injuries. He was later transported to Harborview Medical Center.

The apartment building sustained extensive damage to several units but no one else reported injuries.

The suspect was arrested for arson and will be booked into King County Jail once medically cleared.

36 Replies to "UPDATE: 2-alarm fire at South Delridge apartment building, arson suspect arrested"

  • Lisa February 12, 2023 (8:03 am)

  • Wavy David February 12, 2023 (8:08 am)

    The SFD was called out yesterday to that same address? Hmm. There’s been quite a number of substantial fires out here in recent years. As far as I know they are all unrelated. Just bad luck I suppose—like the occasional murders that happen around here.

    • flimflam February 12, 2023 (12:49 pm)

      I read elsewhere that “supposedly” a man tried setting his apartment on fire yesterday, was arrested, released and he came back and tried to set the building on fire.

      • Ts February 14, 2023 (7:45 am)

        So he was a danger to himself and others as he tried to start a fire in his unit that he was currently occupying as was his neighbors units and he was still released anyway? Can we get an explanation as to why he was not held for 48 hours?

  • Mike February 12, 2023 (8:24 am)

    Chaplain dispatched.

  • Ana February 12, 2023 (8:34 am)

    Unfortunately this is a hot spot for calls in general. The police seem to be at this apartment complex weekly. 

  • Marianne February 12, 2023 (9:12 am)

    This is an interesting building.  Units are regularly boarded up.  I am sorry for the residents.

    • WSB February 12, 2023 (9:44 am)

      City records show the building ownership was cited for a violation just last month after a complaint about “several boarded up and broken windows.” Will check further on that tomorrow.

      • Delridge Resident February 14, 2023 (7:59 pm)

        @WSB – Any update on this or comment from building ownership? Thanks! 

        • WSB February 14, 2023 (8:49 pm)

          So far, the followup is slow going, although I expect to be able to write something tomorrow. Some of what I have so far:

          -DESC says it does not manage the building. It has placed “some” tenants there.
          -We went over to the building this morning, no one in sight, either displaced tenants or work crews.
          -The person who was arrested was still in the hospital as of midday today. A decision on charges is likely soon. I still don’t know his name, which makes it pretty much impossible to research the claim he was previously arrested/booked, but if he is charged in this, that may be in court documents. – TR

          • Joy February 18, 2023 (7:55 am)

            I understand that 11 of the 14 units are master leased to DESC. So “some” = almost all.

  • ~hockeywitch~ February 12, 2023 (10:15 am)

    They were at the same address for what the scanner said was a small deck fire.. they asked dispatch to call for a Marshall and SPD. SFD said over radio that the person that started that fire, is known to them as a fire starter. 😞

  • Joy February 12, 2023 (10:31 am)

    This building is privatley owned, but the City of Seattle pays a nonprofit called DESC to manage this building and provide support services there to assist residents.

    • WSB February 12, 2023 (12:36 pm)

      If that’s so, it would be through the “scattered sites” notation here:
      We’ll check on that tomorrow too.

      Regional Homelessness Authority of King County administers funding now, no longer the city.

      • Joy February 12, 2023 (8:14 pm)

        yes – you’re correct. It’s is considered DESC “scattered site” housing.

  • Mel February 12, 2023 (12:59 pm)

    Why is no one calling out that police (according to sources) are saying this fire was intentionally set by a man trying to burn down the building? He’d been arrested for previously trying to set his unit on fire too. Then released and now trying to burn down the building. 

  • Lauren February 12, 2023 (2:21 pm)

    Is there someone coordinating resources for the displaced people? Would love to connect with them.

    • waikikigirl February 12, 2023 (4:06 pm)

      Lauren, There is a woman on ND that lives/lived in those apartments and said the Red Cross put them up in a hotel in Tukwila but the hotel won’t let her keep her Dog, not allowed. She is asking if someone can come get him and take care of him until she finds another home/apt. She is  and in a wheelchair, her name is Gene White (spelled correctly)  I can’t take the dog because of our cat, he’s 19 and grumpy! “overview” will take you to the Hotel website.  I’m sure she will appreciate any help anyone can give her. She also has a cat and a parakeet…hoping the ones the SFD found were not hers. :>(overview

    • lisa easter February 12, 2023 (7:29 pm)

      My name is Lisa my friend Rick lived at this apartment and was involved in the fire as a victim and is at my house as we speak most of the tenants got put up at the Ramada and tukwila to DESC but we’re needing lots of things because everything got destroyed or at least really bad smoke damage on one side and then burned on the other 

  • WSB February 12, 2023 (3:55 pm)

    SPD has announced the arrest of the person who was taken to the hospital – info added above. As for coordinating resources, the Red Cross is the only agency mentioned so far.

    As for whether that person had been arrested/released previously, I checked all 19 of the “released in past 24 hours” listings on the KC jail registry and there was no one who’d been booked for arson or similar, but that info would emerge at a probable-cause hearing, depending on when he’s booked now – TR

  • KD February 12, 2023 (6:09 pm)

    Very sad, frustrating and disgusting all around. Even if the man (who allegedly set the fires) is mentally unstable and burned, besides the chaos, terror and loss he created, the woman who lost her pet cat and bird in the fire, to me that is murder, but being ‘only animals’ probably in the courts eyes, he may not be charged for the loss of their lives, or the pain their owner is going through. She can’t even have her surviving dog with her at the hotel the Red Cross set her up at. Poor little one must be so traumatized and now confused. Anyone that follows her frequent posts on Nextdoor know of (I’ll refer to her as ‘GW’ her initials for privacy for now) her dog, and now sadly deceased in the arson fire, cat and parakeet. What they went through .. it’s still murder!!  Hope they get justice too. 

    • Hector February 12, 2023 (8:15 pm)

      I think the same thing about the whole thing just because they are pets they are not going to get any kind of justice dieing in a fire whenever you are human or pet is something horrible. 

  • James February 12, 2023 (8:03 pm)

    I had to go help my friend because he has COPD and other problems I cook dinner and and took him to a new location after going to target for clothes 

  • waikikigirl February 12, 2023 (8:06 pm)

    I mentioned her name earlier up above and she was interviewed by Deborah Horne on KIRO. I agree with you on the loss of her Cat Zoe and parakeet. :(N2S3WJ43AZF3HBLLJMYJYH6HSQ

  • civil February 12, 2023 (8:55 pm)

    The Red Cross needs to do better.  This woman shouldn’t have to be separated from her only family (her dog) at such a devastating time. Red Cross needs to find her a different place.  Citizens and corporations have paid millions of dollars to Red Cross to keep families safe and together in disasters. Come on, let’s do better. Have a heart someone, this is a tragedy to lose your home and half your family within minutes. Then be told your last surviving family member cannot stay with you? Plus being in a wheelchair.  UGHH 

    • my two cents February 13, 2023 (4:36 am)

      Civil – I find your comments about the Red Cross disheartening. It must be nice to sit from your position lobbing over what the Red Cross “needs” to do according to you. 

    • LilWash February 13, 2023 (7:07 am)

      It also needs to be noted that the dog not being allowed to stay is a registered emotional support animal and even after showing papers at the hotel the dog still couldn’t stay (per Owner GW on ND).

      • CarDriver February 13, 2023 (6:39 pm)

        Civil;Lilwash. What are YOU doing to help those displaced-other than complaining that someone else isn’t meeting your standards.

      • Ts February 13, 2023 (9:38 pm)

        What agency would the animal be registered with? Also curious as to what papers are/from who? Doctors note? Training school? I am only asking because when info like this gets into a discussion it can lead to others asking for the same of the disabled when there is no registry for service animals (emotional support are not protected service animals) and it is no ones business why someone has one and there is no official paperwork or vests. That being said….shame on the hotel for not excepting a emotional support animal with someone experiencing such a trauma.I am reaching out to a few organizations comprised of members of the disabled community to see what can be done to help. Are any medical supplies needed that aren’t available from a drugstore or are but unable to get right now?

    • Betsy February 13, 2023 (5:08 pm)

      Hey Civil and others, I work for the Red Cross. We provide financial and other assistance to individuals who have experienced a home fire, but unless we’ve set up a shelter, we don’t dictate where they stay.  The choice of hotels is up to each individual client. 

  • Curtis February 12, 2023 (10:16 pm)

    This building has become a real problem over the past year.  I wondered what is going on because it looks abandoned but at the same time there are some really sketchy folks in and around it.  Looks like an episode of The Wire most of the time.  “Just shelter the homeless” they say, well what do you do when they burn down their shelter?

  • Delridge Resident February 13, 2023 (10:07 am)

    Their initial plan is to attempt to rebuild the structure and move residents back in. From case workers on the scene.  

  • The Earl February 13, 2023 (4:39 pm)

    DESC and buildings administered by the SHA are wonderful neighbors.

  • ltfd February 13, 2023 (5:32 pm)

    Mental illness be damned. All they need is housing.

  • Laraine February 14, 2023 (1:13 pm)

    Go Fund Me for one of the tenants who is disabled and also lost her cat and parakeet and all of her belongs…just can’t imagine something like this happening to anyone, so sad.

    • Laraine February 14, 2023 (2:06 pm)

      ^belongings^ but you all knew what I meant!

Sorry, comment time is over.