2 adults, 2 children killed in Seattle fire in barricaded home
Investigators are speaking with an 11-year-old who escaped out a window to determine what happened
By Conrad Swanson
The Seattle Times
SEATTLE — Two adults, a child and an infant were found dead in a Wallingford house that had been engulfed in flames Saturday morning in Seattle.
An 11-year-old child called 911 shortly before 9 a.m. to report someone had died in the house in the 1000 block of North 48th Street, Seattle police Chief Adrian Diaz said. Preliminary reports indicated the child had escaped the fire in the home through a window and fled to a neighbor’s.
Officers arrived within minutes to find the home on fire, Diaz said. They tried kicking down the front door, but it was barricaded from the other side “with some sort of object,” the police chief said.
Overcome with smoke, the officers retreated and firefighters took over, Diaz said.
Fire crews battled the flames for about 45 minutes and worked to keep neighboring homes from igniting, Seattle Fire Department Chief Harold Scoggins said. Once they knocked down the flames, they entered the home. Inside, the firefighters found four people and a dog dead.
The house was heavily charred. Neither chief could say whether the fire had been intentionally set, nor would they speculate on how the victims died. Arson and bomb investigators were on the scene, they said. Firefighters were expected to stay at the house through the early afternoon to put out any hot spots.
Diaz said police investigators were speaking with the surviving 11-year-old to piece together what happened and to find services to take care of the child.
Initial reports indicated someone may have fired a gun, but Seattle police spokesperson Shawn Weismiller said he could not confirm whether there had been a shooting or if officers found firearms in the home.
Shawna Ruff and her husband, who live just a few houses west of the scene, heard police on bullhorns after they arrived in the neighborhood.
“They were saying go inside, stay inside,” Ruff said.
The couple could see the flames from their home. It looked “pretty bad,” she said.
In the past Ruff said she had seen the family around the neighborhood, though they weren’t well acquainted.
The neighborhood, mostly single-family homes with a few small apartments, is a few blocks south of Woodland Park. It’s a “very, very quiet” area, Ruff said.
While police and fire crews investigated, residents walked on the nearby sidewalks and streets, turning their heads and asking each other what had happened.
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