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Apartment Fire, Fatality, Injury in University District Building

Update: Detectives have confirmed that the fire was intentionally set and are investigating the circumstances behind the incident.

Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding a bizarre incident earlier this morning in the University District that resulted in one man’s death, a fire inside an apartment, and another man being treated at the hospital.

Officers responded to a report of disturbance on the 9th floor of an apartment building in the 4500 Block of 7th Avenue NE shortly after 1:00 this morning.  When officers arrived, they could smell smoke coming from the apartment.  Officers attempted to force open the door, but someone had barricaded the door, preventing officers from accessing the room. Officers got the door open and could see a large fire inside the apartment.  Officers could see someone inside the apartment and tried repeatedly to get him to come out, but he would not follow their instructions.  Officers then began evacuating the surrounding apartments on that floor as the Seattle Fire Department was enroute.

SFD arrived and was able to put out the fire in the apartment.  Officers learned that a man, presumably the man they had encountered in the apartment, had jumped or fallen from the apartment window on the 9th floor to the ground below and was deceased.  The firefighters located another victim inside the apartment and transported him to Harborview Medical Center for treatment. 

Officers evacuated the residents from the 9th floor to safety below. The responding officers were treated at the scene by SFD for smoke inhalation.  Detectives responded to the scene and are handling the follow up investigation.  This is preliminary information, as it is early in the investigation.  When additional information becomes available, it will be updated here.