Arsons put Everett on edge

EVERETT – Neighbors in north Everett fear a serial arsonist is targeting the area after a series of small fires since June 1.

“I wouldn’t say there’s alarm, but there’s concern. Fire is something that really frightens people,” said Lloyd Weller, who lives on Grand Avenue. “We’re on alert, and are watching for suspicious people.”

Investigators don’t know yet whether the fires were set by the same person. But police and firefighters say the method of ignition, time and materials are similar in at least five of the seven fires.

The latest fire, discovered about 12:43 a.m. Saturday between two rental houses in the 2500 block of Grand Avenue, doesn’t appear related, said Everett Sgt. Boyd Bryant.

“It was a different kind, different time and some leads detectives generated” indicate it wasn’t connected, Bryant said.

No one has been arrested in that fire or the previous six, he said.

“I hope they find out who’s responsible fast, because it’s only going to get worse,” said Mary Van Santen, a waitress at the Cookbook Restaurant, where a small fire was set June 3. The fire, set outside the restaurant using some cardboard boxes, damaged the building and a bartender’s car.

“If I lived in Everett, I’d really be on edge,” she said.

Behind the restaurant, James Crow, 19, was helping paint four houses on Lombard Avenue on Monday.

“We’ve made sure the flammable stuff is all picked up,” Crow said, especially the paint, which is locked up at night. “I’m a little more cautious and am paying more attention. I watch out all the time, but even more now.”

Crow, who’s staying with a friend in one of the homes, said he and his neighbors have also cleaned their alleys. That is advice firefighters have repeated often in recent weeks.

Other residents say they’ve cleaned up too.

Weller, who’s a member of the Bayside Neighborhood Association steering committee, said he’s brought in some scrap wood that was out by the alley near his home.

“It’s important to keep our eyes open and stay in contact with our neighbors,” he said, adding that the issue was likely to come up at the next neighborhood association steering meeting.

Some residents said they hadn’t heard about the fires, and others said they weren’t concerned.

“I don’t think they’ll be back,” said Marv Niemela, who lives at the Everett Trailer Park, 819 Broadway.

On June 6, a travel trailer was set on fire there, and two residents were forced to wrap themselves in blankets and jump through the flames to escape.

“If they burn my place down,” Niemela said, “I’ll move somewhere else.”

Reporter Katherine Schiffner: 425-339-3436 or

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

1 pedestrian dead after car crash on I-5 south of Marysville

Around 5 p.m., a car crashed into a pedestrian along I-5. Investigators believed a man had parked on the shoulder to refuel.

FILE - A person walks near the Legislative Building, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington's redistricting commission failed to meet its deadline and on Tuesday, Nov. 16, kicked the job of creating new political maps to the state Supreme Court. The bipartisan commission had a deadline of 11:59 p.m. Monday to approve new boundaries for congressional and legislative districts following the 2020 census. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Do Snohomish County lawmakers want a 2020 presidential rematch?

The Herald contacted seven Republican legislators representing parts of Snohomish County about their primary choice. Five did not respond.

A man walks by Pfizer headquarters, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in New York. Pfizer will spend about $43 billion to buy Seagen and broaden its reach into cancer treatments, the pharmaceutical giant said. (AP Photo / Mark Lennihan, File)
Pfizer backs out of Everett manufacturing plant after $43B Seagen deal

Pfizer finalized the acquisition of the Bothell-based cancer drug developer in December.

Photo provided by 
Economic Alliance
Economic Alliance presented one of the Washington Rising Stem Awards to Katie Larios, a senior at Mountlake Terrace High School.
Mountlake Terrace High School senior wins state STEM award

Katie Larios was honored at an Economic Alliance gathering: “A champion for other young women of color in STEM.”

A view of one of the potential locations of the new Aquasox stadium on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 in Everett, Washington. The site sits between Hewitt Avenue, Broadway, Pacific Avenue and the railroad. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
20 businesses could be demolished for downtown Everett stadium

Some business owners say the city didn’t tell them of plans for a new AquaSox stadium that could displace their businesses.

Kathy Purviance-Snow poses for a photo in her computer lab at Snohomish High School on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Snohomish, WA. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
To ban or embrace ChatGPT? Local teachers fight AI with AI — or don’t

“It has fundamentally changed my teaching in really stressful and exciting ways,” an EvCC teacher said. At all levels of education, ChatGPT poses a tricky question.

In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 7 is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FAA gives Boeing 90 days to develop plan to fix quality, safety issues

The agency’s ultimatum comes a day after a meeting with CEO Dave Calhoun and other top Boeing officials in Washington, D.C.

Flowers for slain trooper Chris Gadd begin to collect outside Washington State Patrol District 7 Headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Police: Lynnwood man consumed marijuana, beer before crash into trooper

Trooper Chris Gadd, 27, was stopped along I-5 when he was hit and killed early Saturday. Troopers suspect Raul Benitez Santana was impaired.

Madi Humphries, 9, Rose Austin, 13, and Eirene Ritting, 8, on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
No grades, no teachers: Inside a Bothell school run by student vote

Each day at The Clearwater School, 60 students choose their own lessons. It’s one vote per person, whether you’re staff or student.

SonShine Preschool inside First Baptist Church Monroe is pictured Friday, March 1, 2024, in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
SonShine preschool in Monroe to close at the end of the year

The preschool, operated by First Baptist Church, served kids for 25 years. School leadership did not explain the reason behind the closure.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside WSP District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed in a collision on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
State trooper killed, 1 arrested in crash on I-5 near Marysville

Authorities said Trooper Chris Gadd had been stopped along the freeway around 3 a.m. near 136th Street NE. A Lynnwood driver, 32, was arrested.

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night on December 11, 2017. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Following lawsuit, Providence commits to improved care for Deaf patients

Three patients from Snohomish County sued Providence in 2022 for alleged Americans with Disabilities Act violations.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.