KING COUNTY, Wash. -- Investigators say fireworks are behind the fire that left a 70-year-old man and his dog dead on the Fourth of July in the Highline neighborhood of unincorporated King County.
A firework is something that is generally used in celebration, but has become a source of pain and confusion in Highline.
“It’s a lot worse than I thought. I hadn’t even really looked at it... burned the roof right off of it.”
Dave White has thought about the tragic fire in his neighborhood for days. When Q13 News talked with him the day after the fire, he said fireworks were to blame, and he was right.
“I want it to stop. I won’t say what I feel about fireworks, but I almost just said it.”
70-year-old Roland Kennedy and his dog died when a firework caught his neighbor's home on fire and spread to his, according to the fire investigator with the King County Sheriff's Department. It isn't that simple, though.
“We are in unincorporated King County, and fireworks are legal in the area. So there were a lot of people shooting off fireworks that night.”
Sgt. Ryan Abbott with the King County Sheriff's Department says the investigation will be a long, complicated one.
“They wanna be 100 percent sure before they determine it because they could ultimately destroy someone’s life if they blame it on a person, where in reality it wasn’t that.”
Investigators are asking for help with this case.
“If anyone happened to be in the area that night or has any information—maybe they saw something out of the ordinary or they noticed somebody running around with fireworks or just something caught their attention to please call us.”
Investigators are trying to piece things together, and Dave is hoping they catch the person responsible.
“I hope that they are able to track down somebody—if somebody is responsible for his death, then they need to answer for it.”
The investigation is ongoing. Officials are still working to locate a second dog that went missing after the fire.
If you have any information on this case, please call the King County Sheriff Fire Investigation Unit at 206-263-2070. You can also submit a tip by calling 1-800-55-ARSON.