The Morning Blotter: Arsonist In The University District

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee March 8, 2010

Update: We've confirmed that this morning's fire was the work of an arsonist. SFD tells us they're going to be putting out more information later today.

Within a 24 hour period, Seattle Police have been called to the scene of at least two suspicious car fires in the University District.

Arson investigators have determined that blazes set Early Monday and Tuesday morning were the work of an arsonist.

At about 12:30 am Monday morning, police and fire crews were called to 41st and 11th Ave NE after someone set fire to a car inside a parking garage, causing $2500 in damage.

Almost exactly 24 hours after the car was torched at 41st and 11th, a number of fire units were called to put out another car fire in the University District, this time at NE 42nd and 7th Ave NE.

Police and the Fire Marshall were on scene, but SPD could not immediately confirm whether this was another case of arson. However, one police officer we spoke with told us that spontaneous car fires "don't just happen."

According to Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick, the fire was determined to be arson.

Several neighbors we've spoken with are concerned an arsonist may be on the loose in the University District. According to neighbors, several cars and dumpsters in the area have been torched in the last few months.

Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick was not immediately able to provide information about recent arson fires in the University District. However, other media reports indicate nvestigators were looking into a string of fires set in the neighborhood as recently as October.

We'll be following this story and will update with more info as we get it.

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