Seattle Fire warns Ballard about string of dumpster fires

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.”

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 An award may be provided for information resulting in a conviction. Persons providing information may remain anonymous.

We’ll keep you updated…

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

9 thoughts to “Seattle Fire warns Ballard about string of dumpster fires”

  1. Nope, no crazies wandering the streets of Ballard. None at all. All those zombies and tweaky people you see are simple your “neighbors”, out for a stroll.

  2. @ Andy: WTF does your comment have to do with some jackass setting fires? Can you explain? 3 people here voted for Trump. Do you sing off key at church too? I’ve been watching this slow creep of arson online lately, and it’s about time the word got out. Thank you city council, mayor, and people: next time vote different.

  3. @ Andy: In giving your wonderful comment further thought, I came to this conclusion; we have had democrats in Olympia now for some 40 years in a row, including those 8 years of Obama, and our local government right along there for the ride, including Mike O’Brien and Savant agreeing to everything/anything. Is this what being “progressive” is or looks like? Can you, along with a few more take a little ownership of this mess, please? This is serious stuff and is affecting real people. I think there’s an open mic night though somewhere this weekend

  4. Can somebody please locate the the arsonist so we can set him/her/zhe up with a six-figure diversity consulting job at City Hall?

  5. I think what Andy is getting at is that this up-flux of tweakers and drug addicted campers cannot be laid at the feet of the likes of Sawant and O’Brien so much as at the feet of big pharma. Which is one of the many alters that Trumpsters appear to worship at. Several physicians, both here, and in Everett were essentially running pill mills at the behest of Purdue pharmaceuticals. This is the sort of thing you get when you hand over the reins to unregulated big businesses. Our city is under obligation to clean this problem up it is true. And there is where your informed vote can count. Let’s hope Ferguson’s lawsuit prevails.

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