Update: There were two more fires on Saturday, which we’ve updated here.
Earlier: Fire and police investigators are looking into 13 dumpster fires that were intentionally set in Ballard over the last few days.
The fires began on December 21st, and the most recent fire was reported this morning. Here’s the map, which Seattle Fire says it will continue to update with any additional fires. You can click on any of the markers for the date and block address:
(Seattle Fire says this morning’s fire was located at 54th St. and 15th Ave. and occurred at 5:33 a.m. At this writing, they have yet to add it to the map).
While some may be tempted to write off dumpster fires as a nuisance — or a funny internet meme — Seattle Fire says they’re a serious matter.
“[They] can be dangerous if they catch a nearby building or combustibles on fire,” Seattle Fire spokeswoman Kristin Tinsley tells My Ballard. “A few of the most important [prevention tips] for dumpster fires include keeping them at least 5-feet away from structures, putting receptacles in a secured location or placing a lock on them, and having an outdoor motion sensor.”
— Kiyomi Taguchi (@KiyomiTaguchi) January 5, 2018
Seattle Fire is asking businesses and residents to keep a watchful eye and call 911 if you see any suspicious activity. They ask that businesses and homes:
- Locate dumpsters and containers at least five feet away from walls and roof eave lines. Use only metal or metal-lined receptacles.
- Place locks on commercial dumpsters or keep in secured area. Locks may be available through your contracted service provider.
- Secure business and garage areas by locking doors and windows.
- Clean up wastepaper, grasses, weeds, litter, or anything that can burn from around buildings. Clear carport areas of all combustibles.
- Trim shrubbery from doors and windows to improve visibility.
- Install motion-sensor exterior lights.
- Test fire and life safety systems, including fire extinguishers, to ensure they are working and in compliance with codes.
- Develop and practice a fire response plan.
- Keep exit ways clear of items which could slow evacuation efforts.
The Seattle Police Arson and Bomb Squad is investigating. If you have any information related to one of the previous fires, you asked to call 206-684-8980. You can also contact the Arson Alarm Foundation Hotline at 1-800-55-ARSON or arsonalarm.org. An award may be provided for information resulting in a conviction. Persons providing information may remain anonymous.
We’ll keep you updated…