Possible arson destroys building near White Center

Neighbors in South Seattle worry a possible arson is all too familiar as fires have become a repeating theme in their region. 

The latest blaze was captured on camera and it shows someone leaving the scene as flames leap out of a building.

The Seattle Fire Department says the arson team is investigating. The fire that was sparked Sunday evening happened just blocks away from an arson that destroyed several businesses only a few months ago.

The video, obtained by FOX 13 News, shows a person seen walking out of a door just as flames build, then pour out of a window from a structure on SW Barton Street. Neighbors in the area say the video had been shared widely on social media. Business owner Geoffrey "Mac" McElroy saw it, too. 

"It was bone chilling," he said. 

McElroy owns Mac’s Triangle Pub just north of Seattle’s southern municipal boarder along the White Center community in the unincorporated area of King County. On Monday, McElroy’s bar was filled with neighbors and business owners waiting to hear from fire investigators.

"The majority of the ones I can speak to are accidental or transient related," explained King County Sheriff’s Office Fire Investigator Scott Case.

Case had been invited to share his insight with neighbors gathering for a meeting held at the pub, which had been planned for in advance of Sunday’s blaze.

Back in July, the Lumber Yard bar and half a dozen other businesses were destroyed in a fire considered arson and a possible hate crime.  That and several other fires in the area is the reason the meeting was already on the books. Sunday’s fire is a different in that it occurred north of SW Roxbury Street, inside the Seattle city limits. 

During Monday’s meeting, many in attendance appeared shocked that Case was unaware of Sunday’s fire. The red tape of bureaucracy became inflamed when political boundaries slice through crises. 

"It’s just the way the geography runs," said Mac.

Some business owners said there has been talk of hiring private security but that gets prohibitively expensive quickly.

While collaboration between city and county agencies is routine, the fire investigator at Monday’s meeting pledged a strong commitment to sharing and seeking out information about incidents in White Center and Seattle.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: White Center business core hit with another devastating fire

RELATED: Crews battling commercial fire in White Center

Stay connected with FOX 13 News on all platforms:
DOWNLOAD: FOX 13 News and Weather Apps
WATCH: FOX 13 News Live
SUBSCRIBE: FOX 13 on YouTube
DAILY BRIEF: Sign Up For Our Newsletter
FOLLOW: Facebook Twitter Instagram