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At least the building will be destroyed to build more high priced condos no one will be able to afford. Progress towards the gentrification of Cap Hill FOREVER!!!!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | October 27, 2008 1:31 PM

This was TOTALLY everybody's fault but the guy and Saxman. M-hm.

Posted by someone | October 27, 2008 1:34 PM

Can't rule out suicide yet.

Posted by Greg | October 27, 2008 1:36 PM

I live in the building next door- also slated for demolition, I'm to be leaving in January- and it was generally terrifying to be woken up this way.

I was also curious about the balcony with the pile of stuff on it. I guess, now I know.

Posted by Abby | October 27, 2008 1:37 PM

he died in his home - he never had to move.

Posted by max solomon | October 27, 2008 1:39 PM

Congratulations to these gentlemen for successfully reenacting the plot of a Law and Order episode.

Posted by Jesse | October 27, 2008 1:41 PM

Yeah, Saxman is a real hero here...

btw, this is across from where I live and i slept through the entire thing. Only when walking out the front door to work with mikki did we see what happened.

Thank god I'll be outta there at the end of december.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 27, 2008 1:49 PM

Hi Abby,

Yes, that was bad! A three-helicopter wake-up, still dark. I didn't see the fire until the flames went through the roof and illuminated the smoke from below. Word on the street after the sun came up was that it was "a transient."

Posted by Amelia | October 27, 2008 1:51 PM

Addendum: Why did we have to lose one of the few neighborhood buildings with balconies, real balconies?

Posted by Amelia | October 27, 2008 1:53 PM

I am moving tomorrow; a more bus friendly neighborhood, 15 minute ride downtown (30 mins back)- by bike. I HATE MOVING. I can side with this guy. He took only himself; dramatic, costly (taxpayers), no one else could be hurt (but those that use that bus stop in front).

There will be more- moves, more evictions. Koodoos to a man that made his last stance- violent free, except to himself- and even print worthy. Time to wake up from the boom. How do we keep people in their homes without being evicted? (FYI I'm not evicted)

Posted by Kat | October 27, 2008 1:54 PM

I had a very good view of the whole thing from my door, where I was standing clutching my bag (where I'd put my laptop) in case I had to flee.

Then when everything was under control I got kind of bored and went to get dressed for work (and left). Now I'm feeling twitchy after all the adrenaline and really want to go home and check on everything...

Posted by Abby | October 27, 2008 1:56 PM

Kat, theres no sane way to keep tenants in their abodes long after the owner has already done the work to get the building demolished and given time to vacate. I mean, do we really want to set a precedent that makes squatting a viable way of living?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 27, 2008 2:01 PM

@10: no. I live next door and fortunately the fire didn't stray, but it could have (there was definitely debris on my porch, and I could feel the heat). There is no excuse for massive fires like that in a dense residential area.

Posted by Abby | October 27, 2008 2:02 PM

"But guyzzz, he didn't want to haff move all hiz stuuuuff! How he cood?! He's like old n shit~! This is the city of seatols fault and high price condoz and bleblebleh!! feelings!"

Posted by Dial I for some Idiot died | October 27, 2008 2:02 PM

@7: You can't wait to get in my zip code. You dream about it at night.

Posted by Mikki | October 27, 2008 2:03 PM

98102 uber alles!

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 27, 2008 2:06 PM

@ 12; squatting isn't the answer. I can't imagine how someone in his seventies would handle major management fixes ect. I'm not defending the man as a tenant. I'm defending the man as; knowing about those yet to come.

The lot will sit VACANT. It won't be built on . Watch. Who is going to develop this?. Instead of going, oh shit, no one will buy- we leave it as a parking lot. There will be many more to come... even if none can afford gas.

Posted by Kat | October 27, 2008 2:13 PM

Are you moving to the west slope, BA?

Posted by w7ngman | October 27, 2008 2:14 PM

I'm headed up to E Thomas St. Can't wait to pay my share of home owners dues.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 27, 2008 2:21 PM

#1, for being condos "no one" can afford there sure are a lot of people living in them.

Posted by w7ngman | October 27, 2008 2:27 PM

I used to live across the street, where I would have had a phenomenal view of the whole mess.

I remember the old guy - he always had these two station wagons parked beneath the building just filled to the brim with shit. I saw those wagons parked on 12th avenue recently, and thought maybe he moved. But when I heard there was a fatality, I assumed it had to be him.

He was one cantankerous curmudgeon. Sometimes I would sit in my car in front of his building when picking up or dropping off my girlfriend at home, and he would try to chase me away. He'd yell, "Move it or lose it, buddy" and threaten to call the cops.

From a land-use perspective, the building's destruction won't deprive the neighborhood of anything except a dreary little patch of ugly. And that particular lot is possibly the most desirable building site on Pike/Pine in terms of access to, and view of, downtown.

Posted by Eric Arrr | October 27, 2008 2:31 PM

I know someone who lived in that building. He moved out 2 months ago. His first reaction was "I bet its insurance fraud, because halfway though the renovation the owners realized they didn't know what they were doing."

Those pesky helicopters woke me up too. Little did I know it was a big 'ol fire 2 blocks from me.

Posted by Jeremy | October 27, 2008 2:32 PM

@1 you can't gentrify with emaciated young service industry employees.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 27, 2008 2:36 PM

@19 They're a lot less than rent. We can spend more money on important things, like bath products and cocktails.

Posted by Mikki | October 27, 2008 2:40 PM

Awwww you're moving in with Mikki? Are you going to change your name to E Thomas St?

Posted by w7ngman | October 27, 2008 2:46 PM

Word of warning - condo association fees are way more than they tell you.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 27, 2008 2:48 PM

Do you have a crystal ball? Jeesh! GET OUT OF MY MIND!

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 27, 2008 2:48 PM

HAHAHAHAAAA! HAHAHA! He IS! He IS changing his name! Haha!

Posted by Mikki | October 27, 2008 2:51 PM

I've blown like six guys who live on Thomas St. I remember two of them very well, because I didn't really think they were hot, but I lived on the eastside at the time and didn't want to bus home. Word.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 27, 2008 2:51 PM

Where the fuck have you been Poe? Are you still in your apartment?

BA, I hope this means more drunken nights at Summit Pub and Clever Dunnes.

Posted by w7ngman | October 27, 2008 2:58 PM

This man was not just a tenant, he was the building manager and he was at least 85 years old. Even though he didn't move very fast, he was sharp as a tack and I'm sure would have lived at least another five years.

He was a great building manager and I'm very sad and sorry that this happened.

My partner and I lived above his unit for more than two years. It was horrible to see both his and our old unit torched.

I guess they are not releasing his name so I won't either, but he and his late wife (who passed away just a few years ago) were great people. It's a sad day.

Posted by Stephanie | October 27, 2008 3:03 PM

@30 And the Bus Stop, provided it actually opens someday.

Posted by Mikki | October 27, 2008 3:11 PM

I'm still around. Not in the 98102 tho, but within walking distance. Call me.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 27, 2008 3:13 PM

Call you what?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | October 27, 2008 3:19 PM

Hum, seems more and more of the slogger are reppin the 98102. Cause it's the best of the area codes.


Posted by Original Monique | October 27, 2008 3:21 PM

Seriously, motherfucking busstop. I'll help them build their motherfucking bar if it gets them open any sooner.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 27, 2008 3:22 PM

98112! best zip code...

Posted by infrequent | October 27, 2008 3:27 PM

I was just talking with someone who had a promise from the owners that they'd be open by his birthday, which I think was early-to-mid November, but he didn't sound too confident.

Posted by w7ngman | October 27, 2008 3:29 PM

I too used to live in this building, a few doors down from the man who died there. He was a really nice guy, he took no guff from anyone, but was still incredibly sharp for his age and a great, great landlord. I actually ran into him on Friday as I parked below the apartment (they turned the spaces into a pay lot). He was out at 10:30 at night, keeping the grounds clean and yelling at homeless people and random passers-by who might be loitering (he loved doing that). We talked about the economy, he told me how he lived through the great depression and how he was afraid he was going to have to do it again. I remember feeling really sorry for the old guy, as he really had no friends or family left and was clearly living alone in that building, still pretending to be the building manager. I'm incredibly, incredibly saddened to hear that he died in this fire.

If anyone knows anything about funeral arrangements for him, please post and let me know.

Also, I have nothing but contempt for the building owners. While I was living there, about two years ago, they decided they were going to turn the apartments into condos, and they let the residents know this was their plan without ever telling us when. My roommate and I liked the place, so we decided to wait until they told us we had to leave. A few months later they start tearing out all of the walls and electrical systems in the foyer and the hallways. Any apartment that was already vacated was completely gutted, usually by extremely loud work crews at 7 in the morning. The place looked like a warzone, with exposed wires and jagged chunks of wood all over the place.

We moved out shortly afterwards, but I know for a fact that some people continued to live there until recently, basically in the middle of a construction zone. I'm shocked no one was ever injured and that the building didn't completely collapse.

Two years later, the place was still in the exact condition it was in when I moved out, and now this. What a waste.

Posted by Joseph | October 27, 2008 3:38 PM

After reading the address online, I was afraid it was both insurance fraud and election fraud. Couldn't tell from Google Maps whether the building was next to my urban voting precinct, you see. The typical person who would benefit from condo accelerant is more likely to vote R, oder? John Basil?

Posted by Amelia | October 27, 2008 3:40 PM

Just heard police scanner report. Sounds like a gun was recovered at the scene:

Posted by jseattle | October 27, 2008 4:08 PM

@41: I did hear a bang, and then someone yelling "call 911!" before the sirens arrived and I got up to stare.

Posted by Abby | October 27, 2008 4:17 PM

@37: 98112 represent! More trees, less scary halfway houses.

Posted by Jessica | October 27, 2008 4:45 PM

"Why did we have to lose one of the few neighborhood buildings with balconies, real balconies?"

When this building was discussed several months ago on Slog, it was derided as ugly, and it's destruction welcome. I chided gently (I always chide gently) that they were nice BIG apartments with REAL balconies (much like my beloved Olive Crest, which met a similar fate a few years back).

However, everyone was still having their "How-dare-they-name-the-Ballard-Dennys-a-landmark?" glamour fits, and this was regarded as merely another Ballard Dennys.

I didn't know the old man, but I believe I met his wife several decades back when I thought about living there. (They didn't accept cats, so I couldn't) She was a game old gal who'd been a hostess at Vons or Mannings or someplace like that for many years. She was impressed that I worked at the Olympic Hotel. So was I, at the time.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | October 27, 2008 5:09 PM

#31, if it makes you feel better at all, I wrote you in on my absentee ballot :)

Posted by jrrrl | October 27, 2008 7:03 PM

Why does this article state that it "was not known" if the fire started in the man's apartment WHILE ALSO STATING THAT THE FIRE STARTED ON THE FIRST FLOOR, and that the man's apartment was on the FOURTH FLOOR?

First floor = where the fire started.
Fourth floor = the man's apartment was here.

Does it make sense to suggest a link between his eccentric hobbies, his clutter, and the fire THREE FLOORS AWAY? Looks to me like it started ELSEWHERE.

Stay tuned for an oily alliance of the building's owners, Seattle's prim-lipped apologists for business as usual, and those who'd rather believe that flying monkeys did it, than to investigate a member of Seattle's real estate mafia.

We'll be expected to believe that the usual suspects, that is, "transients," or pure chance, or "faulty" wiring performed this remarkable feat of securing a real estate deal precisely on time. And we'll be expected to be NICE about it.

So. Do you feel NICE? Do you believe in coincidences this big, and this profitable?

Posted by Sparrow | October 27, 2008 8:30 PM

206 for the code win.

Posted by Will in Fremont | October 27, 2008 10:53 PM

Apparently the fire was deliberately set according to King 5.

Posted by Eric | October 27, 2008 11:58 PM

Here's a picture of it while it was raging. I took this from my apartment which has the window facing the building that was on fire. Pretty insane waking up at 6 am to this.


Posted by Austin McGee | October 28, 2008 10:16 AM

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