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Seattle, Washington – Park Fire Due to Arson

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Posted on April 30, 2019

Seattle, Washington (April 17, 2019) – Officers came to Frink Park 1st Avenue South and South King Street around 8 p.m. after multiple reports of a suspect lighting fires in the wooded area of the park. Upon arriving, officers found six substantial brush fires in the area, which endangered nearby homes. Fortunately, the fires were extinguished before the homes could be damaged. No one has been reported injured in the incident.

The suspect, David Lawrence Tait Jr., was found in the middle of the area holding a burning lighter in his hand. The suspect has had a criminal history and was also wanted for possibly starting two other fires earlier in the year, one in Pike Place Market on March 18, and another at a bar in Capitol Hill. These two events are still under investigation.

About Fire

While this particular case of brush fire is due to arson, accidental brush fires are also common. Washington counts as the 5th state most prone to wildfire from 2017 wildfire risk analysis, and ranks 8th in a 2018 study by number of fires that happened. The US Fire Administration has recorded 15 home fire fatalities this year within Washington, showing the destruction fire is capable of doing. Similar to what happened in this case, a lot of brush fires happen near homes, and left unchecked, fire can easily spread to any structure.

In another brush fire incident, a speaker from the Eastside Fire and Rescue has mentioned a few reminders on how to prevent brush fire. Homeowners are urged to complete their spring cleaning, and to create a defensible space around the home by clearing trees and brush. Additionally, the limbs of trees should be cut to at least 15 feet off the ground. Any object that send out fires should be handled with absolute care. Common objects such as lit matches and cigarette butts can also easily cause a fire within dry brush. Should fire be used in an outdoor space, one must assess the surroundings to make sure fire would not have a possibility to spread out. Finally, before leaving an area where fire was used, one must ensure that any fires must be extinguished completely. Preventing brush fires from happening is everyone’s responsibility, and careful use of fire can ensure the safety of not only one’s self, but hundreds of others.

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