Fire during Ballard Church service under investigation for possible arson

In the middle of a worship service at Ballard Church yesterday, witnesses called 911 to report smoke and flames coming from a bathroom. While the congregation evacuated the smoke-filled building, a few church patrons used fire extinguishers to put out the blaze. No one was injured.

Photo courtesy of Ballard Church

Now the Seattle Fire Department says the blaze was “set,” and it has called in the Arson and Bomb Square to investigate.

“Although the exact cause of the fire is still undetermined, Seattle’s Fire Investigator, Seattle Police, and Seattle’s Arson and Bomb Squad all agree that arson is the most likely cause,” explains a blog post on Ballard Church’s website.

Photo courtesy of Ballard Church

The fire damage was limited to the first floor women’s restroom. “Before the fire trucks arrived, Ballard Church staff and interns evacuated the children and discharged multiple fire extinguishers to help fight the fire, until the smoke became too overwhelming,” explained the church’s blog post, noting that Sunday was its biggest attendance ever — nearly 300 people.

Ballard Church opened its doors at 1460 NW 73rd St. in September of 2011. The fire started just after noon. The damage estimate is $25,000. We’ll keep you updated on the investigation.

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