Fire destroys Burien Department of Corrections Office vehicles, declared arson

BURIEN, Wash. — Authorities in Burien say an early morning fire beneath a State Department of Corrections building was intentionally set.

The fire broke out around 6:48 this morning at the DOC Community Field Office on 8th Avenue Southwest near “Old Burien.”

Flames quickly raced through three state-owned vehicles in the parking lot. A DOC employee escaped the building unharmed. He was working construction across the street when he noticed the fire.

“Well, I was over here working and happened to look up through the window, this big window where we work at,” said Norvel Aesquivel. “And there were flames just going up and four vehicles started you know going and exploding flames. I mean we had to rush for a phone to call 911.”

It didn’t take long for investigators to determine that someone had set the fire.

Investigators say burn patterns across the three DOC vehicles led them to the melted gas can, confirming their suspicion that the fire was deliberately set.

Gasoline was also poured on a fourth vehicle but it did not catch fire. A single DOC employee inside the building managed to get out safely.

“We heard the fire trucks from inside,” said Clyde Figueroa. “Came out, saw the flames, the smoke, the firefighters, the police.”

Figueroa works across from the DOC office. He said by the time he got outside, the vehicles were already ablaze. Still, he is surprised that this has been ruled arson.

“Pretty scary area,” said Figueroa. “It’s kinda sketchy. People come here all the time. We’ve had our windows busted out of our vehicles.”

Firefighters said the interior of the building was not burned at all. But the office where those on community supervision meet their community corrections officers is now closed, at least for a week.

Fire investigators are asking anyone who might have video to come forward. They want to catch the person who did this.