Seattle’s Fox affiliate reports:
Police are searching for an attempted arsonist who allegedly poured gasoline on a carpeted stairway leading to the second level of Neighbours Nightclub and trying to set it on fire. Seattle police said an attempted arsonist poured the gas in the stairway just after midnight New Year’s Day. The arsonist lit the gas and left, police said. Luckily, the fire was quickly discovered and put out with a fire extinguisher. Someone in the club also pulled the fire alarm, causing sprinklers to activate and dousing the flames. Police said all of the 750 patrons celebrating the New Year’s holiday managed to evacuate safely and no one was injured.
Capitol Hill Seattle has a similar report:
The Seattle Fire Department’s marshal was called to Broadway’s Neighbours just minutes after the legendary gay night spot’s midnight 2014 celebration to investigate a suspected arson fire that triggered the club’s automatic fire sprinkler system. SFD’s Ladder 10 was dispatched to the dance club at 1509 Broadway at 12:16 AM. The arriving firefighters found the building’s sprinkler system activated and the club’s 750 or so partygoers were cleared outside. Seattle Police were called to the scene to assist in crowd control to keep patrons and staff from re-entering the building.
Neighbours performer Aleska Manila reacted on Instagram:
THANK YOU #SEATTLE for an amazing #nye2013 countdown at #neighboursnightclub unfortunately, someone tried to burn the club down after midnight. whoever you are – i hope you come forward, or if anyone knows any information, please call 911. this club has been the #1 gay nightclub in the northwest for over 30 years. nothing’s gonna stop us from celebrating diversity & providing a safe space for everyone.
The Seattle Fire Department has issued a preliminary report.
Suspect being sought in arson bar fire. On 1/1/2014, just shortly after midnight, an unknown suspect poured gasoline on a carpeted stairway leading to the second level of a bar and ignited it. The bar in the 1500 block of Broadway was occupied by over 750 patrons celebrating New Years Eve at the time. The fire was quickly discovered before it could spread beyond the stairway and was extinguished with a fire extinguisher. Someone pulled the fire alarm and caused the fire sprinkler system to activate. An orderly evacuation was accomplished and no one was injured. Arson Bomb Detectives (ABS) responded after being notified by SFD Fire Investigators. No suspect information available. The investigation continues.
I’ll update this post throughout the day if more information becomes available. (Tipped by JMG reader Jim)