TDI -- Reporter's Blog

Aug. 21, 2009 at 4:00pm

The Winthrop's Serial Arsonist

While working on this series over the past few months, most Winthrop residents I interviewed told me the biggest annoyance associated with living in the former historic hotel at Ninth and Commerce downtown is dealing with an anonymous person who repeatedly prank-pulls the fire alarm. The alarm forces residents out of the building (usually in the middle of the night), the Tacoma Fire Department responds only to learn there is no fire, and everyone files back inside. As one resident told me, "Lately, we've gone back to someone pulling the fire alarm at 3:30 in the morning. You don't know if there's actually a fire and the building is going to burn down."

Earlier this month, the issue became more ominous when fires were actually set. A 'Crime Stoppers' bulletin was issued yesterday offering $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. According to the Tacoma Fire Department, four fires set since Aug. 3 have caused approximately $15,000-$17,000 in damages. The story made Kong 6 @ 10:30 p.m. / King 5 @ 11:00 p.m. last night.

comments [9]  |  posted under Arson, Downtown, Tacoma, Winthrop


by L.S.Erhardt on 8/21/2009 @ 5:40pm
King 5 News + Tacoma + "Serial Arsonist" = yet more looking bad.

by panachronic on 8/21/2009 @ 6:17pm
Seattle media *never* passes up an opportunity to shit on Tacoma.

A few weeks ago, somebody got killed by a train on the BNSF tracks in Tukwila. According to the Seattle Times, it happened "just north of Tacoma".

by NineInchNachos on 8/21/2009 @ 8:22pm
panachronic you are a stinker wearing that avatar round these parts!


by panachronic on 8/21/2009 @ 8:24pm
I'm just trying to promote what's good for everybody.

by morgan on 8/21/2009 @ 8:33pm
Re: Media -
The downside with no locally owned TV stations (the TNT sold the last one off years ago, thank you very much) is that of course only bad news makes the news. If the city of Tacoma were smart they would bring back public access and also expand TV12 into a real TV channel (not just a government channel) - or better yet, combine the two to make TV12 also a public access channel.

Re: Crime in the Winthrop -
Seems like a no-brainer to me: just install web cams on all the floors.

by NineInchNachos on 8/21/2009 @ 9:09pm
I thought it was interesting to note that all of Todd's Winthrop profiles mentioned the guy who hits all the buttons on the elevator (to burn out the motor) and the guy who pulls the fire alarm all the time.

by jenyum on 8/21/2009 @ 9:54pm
Two can play at this game.

by L.S.Erhardt on 8/21/2009 @ 10:08pm
I feel an avatar war coming on here... I think I need to up the ante with the only avatar that's guaranteed to be the victor...

by NSHDscott on 8/24/2009 @ 2:23pm
In the good old days we had a solution for this kind of troublemaker.


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