Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Winthrop Apartment Fires - Media Release

For additional information call 253.255.3260.

Issuing Date: 8/20/2009
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Type: Fire and Malicious False Alarms
Incident Location: 776 Commerce Street

Narrative: Over the past two weeks the Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) has responded to a series of malicious false alarms and small fires at the Winthrop Apartments. Fire crews, residents and a sprinkler activation have contained 4 small fires in trash storage areas and in a laundry room and numerous pull station false alarms have frustrated crews and residents. The property management team has increased security and surveillance measures and the incidents are currently under joint investigation by the TFD and Tacoma Police Department. If you have any information regarding these incidents, please contact Crime Stoppers at 253.591.5959.

Probable Cause: 2 fires undetermined, 2 fires open flame device
Fire Disposition: Suspicious
Damages: Trash Storage areas and Laundry Room
Dollar Loss Estimates: $2,500 and $15,000

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

July 2009 Fires

During the month of July, Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) responded to 317 fires causing an estimated $1.3 million dollars of property damage. (TFD's response area includes City of Tacoma, City of Fife, Fire District #10 and City of Fircrest). Of those fires, 235 were hot weather-related outdoor fires involving materials like dry grass, bark, trees and shrubs. This represents a significant increase in the number of fire incidents as compared to recent years (see chart) and record breaking dry and hot weather undoubtedly contributed to the problem. Residents can help us reduce the chance of outdoor fires the remainder of the summer by following a few simple steps:
  • Remove weeds and keep grass cut.
  • Try not to place plants too close to structures and under overhangs or eaves.
  • Provide adequate water to keep plants healthy and green.
  • Trash and debris should be disposed of properly. If you have concerns about excessive debris on someone else’s property check with Tacoma Cares.
  • Store flammable liquids properly.
  • Always dispose of cigarettes in ashtrays.
  • Safely dispose of barbecue ashes.
  • Observe burn bans.