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Butane explosion starts $300K fire in North Beacon apartment

July 11th, 2013 at 5:48 am | 2 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

A leaking canister of butane gas led to a two-alarm fire in a North Beacon Hill apartment building early Wednesday morning that did an estimated $300,000 damage to the structure. The canister was stored in a refrigerator, and ignited when the fridge cycled on, according to the Seattle Fire Department.

All 32 residents of the building at 1100 S. Massachusetts St. escaped safely, and the Red Cross is assisting those who need shelter.

Local tv stations have photos and video here: KING, KOMO, and KIRO.


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Police: South Beacon house fire was arson

January 16th, 2013 at 4:19 am | 1 Comment | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

A house fire in the 2900 block of South Austin Street in South Beacon Hill yesterday afternoon was an arson that started as a domestic disturbance, according to Seattle Police.

Police say that an adult male argued with his girlfriend and then assaulted her. He then went into a back room and set the house on fire before fleeing the scene. None of the eight people inside the home were injured in the conflagration. The suspect is still at large; police are investigating.

KIROtv.com has a photo and video footage of the fire.


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Fire leads to landslide risk at Rizal Park

September 10th, 2012 at 5:18 am | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

By Elizabeth Dinh, KOMO Communities
(Beacon Hill Blog news partners)

A fire at Dr. Jose Rizal Park on North Beacon Hill Saturday night did more than ruin a viewpoint—it has put some motorists in danger.

The area at Rizal Park is prone to landslides—and now that the plants have been destroyed in a fireworks-sparked blaze, the risk of a slide has re-emerged.

Volunteers have spent years beautifying this park, and Saturday night’s fire ruined some of their work. And if heavy rains sweep in before this charred land is reinforced, it could pose a threat to the many people who walk and jog there.

Nine years have passed since Craig Thompson first started putting a lot of time and effort into the park that’s a few minutes away from his home.

“And we’ve done quite a bit of good work,” he says.

Volunteers have planted an apple orchard and put in more vegetation—including thousands of trees.

“We’ve managed to put ivy control measures around about 1,000 trees. We’ve planted upward of 7,000 trees,” says Thompson. He has even worked with Seattle police on how to take back the park from drug lords.

Then, at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday, fireworks touched off flames that raced across the dry land.

“I live about block and a half away from here, and we heard the bottle rockets go off,” Thompson says.

Below the beautiful Seattle skyline is now a charred patch of land that—with rain—could pose a danger to people who visit the popular park.

“This is a historically landslide-prone area,” says Thompson.

The devastation bothers David Choy, a visitor from Texas who’s been coming here for more than two decades.

“That’s a terrible shame,” he says. “I always come through here because this is such beautiful scenery. I brought my uncle and my aunt over here to look at the scenery.”

But Thompson isn’t mad about having to clean up and bring in more plants. He’s only looking forward.

“I look at it, and rather than becoming depressed or angry, I see what needs to be done,” he says.

He sees yet another opportunity to make this a better place. Volunteers already had plans to come out here on September 21 and 22 to clean up the park. Thompson says that with the added work needed to fix up the area where the fire was, it would be nice to have even more helpers come out.


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Crews make quick work of bedroom fire near Jefferson Park

October 2nd, 2011 at 8:11 pm | No Comments | Posted by admin

Photo courtesy of KOMO News (BHB news partners).

By KOMO Communities Staff (Beacon Hill Blog news partners)

Seattle firefighters quickly extinguished a fire inside an apartment complex near the south end of Jefferson Park Golf Course on Saturday.

Crews were called to the building at 4715 Beacon Ave S. about 12:35 p.m. and found smoke coming from the bedroom of one of the units.

The fire was out within minutes, and no one was hurt.

Several adjacent apartment units suffered smoke and fire damage, and those occupants were displaced.

Officials said no one was inside the apartment when the fire broke out, and the cause is under investigation.


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Beacon Bits: T-shirts, gift-wrapping, and the mayor

December 21st, 2010 at 4:16 pm | 5 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

This fire truck at Beacon Hill's Fire Station #13 is festively attired for the holiday season. Photo by Joel Lee in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr.

Neighbor Peter heard sirens last week, and managed to get outside and some photos of a house fire in a boarded-up house on 25th Avenue South, behind QFC. See the photos here.

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News from El Centro de la Raza tells us that Mayor Mike McGinn will be joining them for their Holiday Latino Hot Meal tomorrow, Wednesday, December 22 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm.

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Remember the “Know Where You Came From” t-shirts from NAMSAYIN featuring a #36 bus? Remember how the first run of 56 shirts sold out in one day?

On Wednesday and Thursday this week, the shirts will be re-released at Deli Seattle, 1307 First Avenue. They will have men’s and women’s shirts, as well as onesies for babies this time. Sizes are limited, and the shirts are very cool, so if you want one, don’t let it get away this time.

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Do you have an interest in Pacific Northwest ecology? Do you like to share what you know with others? Are you over 18 years of age? Are you looking for a meaningful volunteer experience? You may be interested in the Seward Park Audubon and Environmental Center Master Urban Naturalist program. The program provides free naturalist training workshops and certification in exchange for 10 hours of donated service and completion of a final project or presentation. More information here.

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The newly-revitalized ROCKiT space has a few things going on that you might want to know about.

Need a good place to wrap Christmas gifts, or want someone to wrap them for you? You can wrap your gifts at ROCKiT space, where your loved ones won’t see what you’re up to. DIY gift-wrapping is $5/day site use fee, plus a $2 supply fee. All materials are supplied. Bring your own wrap and they will waive the supply fee.

If you’re a wrapping klutz or just don’t have time, you can also drop off gifts, and they will wrap them for you to pick up later. The fee is $2 each for small packages, and $5 each for large packages.

On Tuesday, December 28 at 7:00 pm, ROCKiT space is hosting a Tuesday Folk Club with two old time/country bands: Red Dog and Dram County. The minimum donation is $7 at the door or $5 in advance. Tickets are available at Rockit Space during business hours.

The Tots Jam with Suzanne Sumi is continuing on Wednesdays, from 9:00 – 11:00 am , but there is no session on December 29.

ROCKiT space is located at 3315 Beacon Avenue South.

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The Department of Planning and Development has approved an application to subdivide a site at 4010 14th Avenue South into five unit lots for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the lots. The property will continue to be zoned for duplex multifamily development. Read the decision here.

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There is at least one place to ring in the New Year nearby. The new St. Dames restaurant at Columbia City Station is hosting a party on New Year’s Eve, starting at 10:00 pm. The event will include appetizers, dessert and a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Make reservations by calling 206-725-8879. St. Dames is located at 4525 Martin Luther King Jr. Way South.

Do you know of any other Beacon Hill places that are open for New Year’s? Let us know!

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Gage Academy of Art is offering free drop in art classes for teens aged 13-18 in the Rainier Valley. Classes are on Saturdays at The 2100 Building, 2100 24th Avenue South.
Classes will be from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm. For more information, call 206-323-GAGE. Art materials and pizza will be provided.


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Beacon Bits: Public access, opinions, and porketarians

August 17th, 2010 at 6:25 am | 3 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Workers building the Beacon Hill Reservoir in 1911, as shown in an article in Engineering and Contracting magazine.

We recently stumbled on a 1912 article in Engineering and Contracting magazine, “Methods Employed in Constructing the Beacon Hill Reservoir, Seattle, Wash., with Data on Labor Required.” It’s a bit technical but some of you might find the details of how the Jefferson Park reservoirs were built to be interesting. Among other details, the article describes how cement, sand, and gravel were bought to the reservoir site by a tramway that carried the supplies up Spokane Street from the bottom of the hill.

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Want to be a TV producer? Seattle’s public access TV station, SCANTV (Comcast 77/Broadstripe 23) is holding an orientation session on Beacon Hill for those interested in producing programs for SCANTV. The orientation is Wednesday, August 25, from 6:30-7:30 pm at the Beacon Hill Library, 2821 Beacon Avenue South. It is free and open to all, but you need to register in advance by contacting Rita Meher, Community Media Educator, at ritam@scantv.org or 206-522-4758 x104.

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A neighbor tweeted us, concerned about seeing a “creepy older white male in black parked jaguar on street w/kids”. Be careful out there, everyone.

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Photo of the Beacon Hill Library by go-team in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr.

The Seattle Public Library recently released the results of their recent Community Survey. 33,000 people completed the survey in May, and SPL points out that that is a number equal to 5% of the city’s population. Of those who responded to the survey, 4.4% said that they visit the Beacon Hill branch regularly, and 0.9% visit the NewHolly branch regularly. Beaconians make a bit less use of the “hold” service than average; holds are just over 20% of the total circulation of the branch, as compared to 25% for the system overall (and 34% at Wallingford).

The survey asked questions such as “If you had $10 to invest in Library resources, how much would you spend on each of the following? Books and Other Print Resources, Audio-Visual Resources, Online Resources” and “When would you like the Library to offer programming?” The results are interesting. You can download the whole report here.

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Speaking of studies, Knowledge as Power, a non-profit based in Seattle, is running a usability study about the seattle.gov city website. They need participants from Beacon Hill who are willing to sit in a room and let them take notes as you browse for information on seattle.gov. Participants will get $20 in Tippr credit. (Tippr.com is a local “neighborhood deal” company similar to Groupon or LivingSocial.)

They are currently seeking two specific groups of people for the survey: 1) People who use or have used seattle.gov for a business purpose and 2) Ordinary citizens at every level of computer competency. If you are interested, you can sign up here.

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The Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling Club will host the US National Lawn Bowling Championships here in Seattle in August 2011, so they are hosting a Swine and Wine Sunset Dinner at the Greens fundraiser for the championships on Saturday, September 4, from 6:00 – 10:00pm. Guest chef (and Beacon Hill neighbor) Nick Musser from icon Grill will prepare a 4-course “porketarian” dinner “paired with wines, the best sunset in the city, and a side of lawn bowling.”

The event is at the Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling Club, 4103 Beacon Avenue South. Tickets are $75.00 per person if you buy before August 21 ($40 of which is a tax deductible donation), but the price goes up to $85 afterward. Tickets are available online from Brown Paper Tickets. More info at the seattlebowls.org website.

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Neighbor Leslie writes,

“I live two doors down from where the family was burned out of their house on 17th. Today I went to the bank to try to contribute money to their fund, and it was extremely difficult. So difficult I doubt that many people have been able to do it. Apparently the information in the paper/blog is only partly right. First of all, the account name is Alexandra Sarmiento, not Urrea. But even more unfortunately, without a published account number, because a trust or charitable account was not set up, it isn’t actually possible to contribute money to the family’s account. I was able to do it only because I spent so much time at the bank that they took pity on me.”

We apologize for the mistaken information. If donating through Chase won’t work, our understanding is that donations can also be made via the KOMO Problem Solvers fund, but when you give, you need to say in the instructions that your donation is for the Sarmiento/Urrea family.

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A trivial note, but… we noticed today that Google Maps has a new satellite view of North Beacon Hill. The old one, until recently, still featured a giant hole in the ground surrounded by a construction site at Beacon and Lander. The new one shows both the light rail station and the Lander Festival street completed. It looks as if the satellite was flying over our heads earlier this summer or late spring.


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How you can help neighbors who lost everything in yesterday’s fire

August 5th, 2010 at 11:31 pm | 1 Comment | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

The Urrea family, whose 17th Avenue South rental house burned down on Wednesday morning, lost everything they had in the flames including their clothes and their savings. KOMONews.com has a follow-up article that discusses the family’s circumstances, and mentions that you can help the Urreas by donating to the Problem Solvers’ Fund or to a fund at Chase Bank. When you give, please note that your donation is for the Alexandra Urrea family.

More information about yesterday’s fire:


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Beacon Bits: Bees, bandwidth, and Buddhist temple fire

February 15th, 2010 at 3:20 pm | 5 Comments | Posted by Jason

Temple fire — The February 9th fire at the Buddhist temple on South Juneau Street near MLK resulted from a furnace malfunction and caused an estimated $75,000 in damage and displaced several people, but thankfully resulted in no injuries.

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Slow video — Perhaps the most obvious sign that your broadband isn’t quite up-to-snuff is that streaming video stuh-stuh-stutters and re-buffers repeatedly. Sometimes this isn’t entirely an effect of the quality of the lines or the speed your provider is capable of providing to you; sometimes it’s the result of your ISP deciding that, rather than spend the money to improve its switching and delivery infrastructure, it will instead artificially limit how fast you’re allowed to receive high-bandwidth content like internet video. Google now provides a little insight into this situation with YouTube Video Speed History graphs, showing the average delivery speed for YouTube videos to your ISP (and, if you visit YouTube enough, your IP address) compared to the average speed for your city, state, country, and the world.
From BoingBoing via Joel Lee. Thanks Joel!

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Local honey — Spotted on Craigslist:

…I keep bees. I have honey for sale. This is pure, raw, unfiltered honey. It has never been above bee hive temperature, it has never had anything added, and it has local Beacon Hill pollen in it. It is DELICIOUS! (If I do say so myself). I have two kinds: a lighter honey which is mostly maple and mild in flavor, and a dark fall honey which is complicated in flavor and almost spicy. If you plan to buy a bottle or two, I do have a sample jar of each so you can taste it before you buy it and decide which you like best. :) Comes in 8oz oval squeeze bottles. $6/bottle. Providing your phone number will make it faster to arrange pick up.

The only contact information provided is the Craigslist reply email.

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Food health inspections — The Health Department inspected a number of north Beacon Hill establishments recently, visiting Amazon, the Amazon coffee shop, El Delicioso (inside ABC Market), La Bendicion, La Cabaña, Chinatown Cafe #12 (inside the Red Apple), and Golden Daisy. Special congratulations to La Cabaña and the Amazon coffee shop for a perfect zero-violation scores. Anyone know if the Amazon coffee shop is open to the public?

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Attention on appealsPublicola points back here, covering the Hearing Examiner appeal strategy and the opposition to it.


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Early morning shotgun blast

March 13th, 2009 at 12:17 pm | No Comments | Posted by Jason

The Seattle Police Department’s blotter reports:

On March 13th at 4:41 a.m., South Precinct patrol officers responded to the 1300 block of 15th Avenue S to a report of a mentally ill man starting a fire in his yard. The complainant reported that the man also had a shotgun.

Upon arriving in the area, officers reported hearing a gun shot. Officers contacted the suspect and took him into custody without incident. The suspect told officers that he accidentally dropped a shotgun shell into the fire causing it to it explode. Further investigation revealed that the spent shell was located in the chamber of the shotgun. Officers did not detect any injuries or property destruction caused by the gun shot.

The suspect was transported to Harborview Medical Center for a mental health evaluation. The shotgun was seized and placed into evidence.


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House fire on east edge of Jefferson Park

February 3rd, 2009 at 9:28 am | No Comments | Posted by Jason

KIRO is reporting a home in the 3900 block of 24th Avenue South is in flames.

It is currently unknown if any occupants were at home or injured.

I heard the news helicopter hovering in the area as I waited for the bus this morning.

Update: No injuries, cat safe, house insured, owners plan to rebuild.


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