SEATTLE - Seattle Police are investigating a string of arson fires in Capitol Hill. All of the cases have happened along Broadway several blocks apart, but so far there is not enough evidence linking the incidents together.
Someone torched a newspaper box, a dumpster and a bathroom inside Corvus & Co. while bar patrons were having a good time early Tuesday morning.
Corvus & Co. is a lifetime dream of Paul Berryman.
The exposed brick, the unique art on the walls to the bar itself all carved out by Berryman and his business partner.
“Built this place with our bare hands, you know it’s a labor of love,” Berryman said.
All that labor of love could have melted away from an arson fire that started in the bathroom trash can.
“This was stuffed with paper towels ignited from the bottom,” Berryman said.
Police say surveillance video captured the suspect seconds before he entered the men’s restroom wearing sweatpants and carrying a blanket and a blow torch.
“He was carrying like a propane blow torch, he was kind of concealing close to his body,” Berryman said.
A customer spotted the flames minutes after the blow torch wielding man left.
“It wasn’t until someone went to the bathroom where they were confined by a very thick smoke and flames,” Berryman said.
Employees managed to douse the blaze with two fire extinguishers.
“They aren’t after a certain business or person or whatever they just want to start a big fire,” Berryman said.
The randomness of it all is what concerns Berryman.
“The thing that worries me is that maybe someone like this maybe has unsuccessful attempt at burning a place down might get a bit more brazen,” Berryman said.
Seattle Police couldn’t agree more, saying public safety is at risk as long as the suspect is walking the streets.
“We’ve passed the photo along to patrol officers through email so they have it in their cars when they are out driving around going to calls,” SPD spokesperson Patrick Michaud said.
SPD says finding the suspect is a priority and they want the public to call in if they spot the suspect.
Also a warning from the business owner who narrowly escaped tragedy.
“ I just want everyone to be on the lookout and keep each other safe,” Berryman said.
It’s hard to tell exactly what the suspect’s hair color is but police say he is tall, around 6 feet 5 inches.