‘Darn scary’ neighbors nervous after arson destroyed two homes under construction

VIDEO: 2 Bothell homes under construction destroyed by fire

Snohomish County Fire Marshal investigators believe a new Bothell housing development was targeted by arson, destroying two homes under construction. Snohomish Co. Fire Dist. 7 firefighters were able to contain the fire from spreading beyond the Jamison Estates development, in the 3500 block of 226th Place SE.

“It was very concerning,” said neighbor Brian Lau. “I come out the door, I see this fire and I raced over there.”

Lau lives a few blocks away from the development, shot cell phone video as the raging fire spread from one house under construction to another, after helping firefighters extend a hose line to a distant hydrant.

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“Everybody here started watering (their lawns) just in case,” he said. “Just like 4th of July times twenty!”

Investigators spent Tuesday at the scene searching for clues. Neighbors in this tightly-clustered community still can’t believe in the current dry conditions, the fire didn’t spread to other homes or open woods and fields nearby.

“Darn scary.” said neighbor Lura Dunn. “I mean it wouldn’t take much for a fire like that to reach over the trees down to where we live.”

For investigators, questions now range from who did it--to why they they did it. This neighborhood development started with five homes and was ramped up to 39 houses packed into less than six acres.

“There is a lot of anger in the area from all the trees that are being torn down and the houses built so close together,” said Dunn.

Over a span of three years between 2005 and 2008, several new home construction sites were targeted by arson attacks between Bothell and Echo Lake in Snohomish County. The most devastating attack in March, 2008 reduced and entire row of million dollar homes under construction to cinders. A sign left behind condemned the construction, claiming it wasn’t environmentally sensitive, and it was signed ELF, initials used by the radical Earth Liberation Front.

Neighbors told KIRO-7 they’re disturbed and worried someone would start a fire during a wildfire and smoke crisis, targeting families who have already invested in these sites.

“People have their hopes and dreams invested in this place,” said Lau.

“I just hope that they catch the criminals involved, and I’m glad that nobody was hurt,” Lau said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Snohomish County Fire Marshal at 425-388-3557. You can remain anonymous.