Three more fires bring Vancouver total to 28

Herald staff

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Three more fires were set in the city this weekend, bringing to at least 28 the number of arsons in the area in the past month.

No one has been injured in the fires, which have been set in dumpsters, garages and homes in Vancouver and nearby Hazel Dell since Sept. 25.

The three fires on Saturday night came within a period of one hour and 15 minutes and were located within two miles of each other.

The Vancouver Fire Department has requested help from Portland fire investigators and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which brought a dog trained to sniff for accelerants.

The first 25 fires caused $200,000 damage, but no estimates were immediately available for the latest four.

Rose’s Tea Room and Gifts was damaged Sept. 26, then was destroyed in a second wave of fires Oct. 5. Faruolo Violins’ 1907 home suffered about $75,000 in structural damage last week.

Officials say they don’t have any suspects yet, but the person or persons responsible are probably using a car to flee the scenes.

  • City sets high hopes with budget: Bellevue’s proposed $739 million, two-year budget would bring a lot of changes. Goals include adding 911 dispatchers, putting computers in every police car and selling building permits over the Internet. The plan also sets aside $8.9 million for "audacious goals" such as a performing arts center and more waterfront parks. City officials say it can all be done without raising property taxes, thanks to growth in the city, especially in Lincoln Square and other downtown areas. The city shouldn’t need to raise property taxes through 2006, city officials said. But homeowners will probably see a $3 increase in their water bill because of rising water costs from Seattle and to raise pay for some utility workers.

  • State investigating fire department: Tukwila’s fire department is under investigation for its handling of a brush fire in August. The state Department of Labor and Industries this month began investigating an anonymous complaint that the department failed to establish a proper chain of command during the Aug. 4 fire, which threatened several homes between Interstate 405 and Interurban Avenue. Tukwila has no regular, round-the-clock shift supervisors, and firefighters say that contributed to the problem. Fire Chief Tom Keefe and his two assistant chiefs must drop their administrative duties to respond to large fires. On Aug. 4, Keefe was driving toward Kent when he was paged about the fire. By the time he arrived at the scene, confusion had already set in, the complaint says. Radio procedures were unclear and there was no staging area established where fire crews from four neighboring departments could receive instructions. Keefe said the city’s administration has refused to pay the $360,000 a year in salary and benefits it would cost to hire three battalion chiefs who could supervise 24 hours a day.

    Talk to us

  • More in Local News

    A few weeks before what could be her final professional UFC fight, Miranda Granger grimaces as she pushes a 45-pound plate up her driveway on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Her daughter Austin, age 11 months, is strapped to her back. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    Daily Herald staff wins 5 honors at annual journalism competition

    The Herald got one first-place win and four runner-up spots in SPJ’s Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest.

    Panelists from different areas of mental health care speak at the Herald Forum about mental health care on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    At panel, mental health experts brainstorm answers to staff shortages

    Workforce shortages, insurance coverage and crisis response were in focus at the Snohomish forum hosted by The Daily Herald.

    Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
    Report of downed hot air balloon turns up farmer’s tarp near Snohomish

    Two 911 callers believed they saw a hot air balloon crash, leading to a major search-and-rescue response. It was a false alarm.

    People gather for a color throw at Stanwood and Camano’s first-ever Pride celebration on Saturday, June 4, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    ‘We’ve at least come a little ways’: Snohomish to host first Pride event

    A 10 a.m. parade on First Street will be followed by a pop-up market with 60 vendors, a downtown wine walk, queer cabaret and more.

    The site of a former 76 gas station and a handful of century old buildings will be the location for new apartments buildings at the corner of Pacific and Rucker on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    Old gas station demolished for apartments in downtown Everett

    A 200-unit apartment complex between three and seven stories tall is proposed at Pacific and Rucker avenues.

    Kamiak High School is pictured Friday, July 8, 2022, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
    Kamiak football coach fired amid sexual misconduct investigation

    Police believe Julian Willis, 34, sexually abused the student in portable classrooms on Kamiak High School’s campus.

    Police: Marysville man fist-bumped cop, exposing tattoos of wanted robber

    The suspect told police he robbed three stores to pay off a drug debt. He’d just been released from federal prison for another armed robbery.

    Cat killed, 9 people displaced after duplex fire in Everett

    None of the people were injured in the fire reported around 1:15 a.m. in the 11500 block of Meridian Avenue S.

    Gabriela Kelpe at her home on Friday, June 2, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    Long waits, big bills: Everett mom’s painful search for dental care

    When she learned she needed a root canal, Gabriela Kelpe read an infection could go to her unborn baby. But she struggled to get affordable care.

    Most Read