• Southeast Seattle neighbors rally against alleged illegal hostel's new location

    By: Rob Munoz

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - Owners of an alleged illegally run hostel in SeaTac said they’re opening a new location in Hillman City, and potential neighbors are rallying against it.

    "I think that they're in a difficult position, but it's also one of their making, or mismanagement,” said Joya Iverson, owner of Tin Umbrella Coffee.

    The proposed location is along Rainier Avenue in Hillman City.

    “I don't want to see this hostel here. I don't think we have a choice, but I'm not excited about this,” said Iverson.

    Hillman City business leaders voiced their concerns at a business association meeting where they let it be known that they have serious reservations about it.

    "You have a business that you're afraid to go into. I don't want that happening in our neighborhood,” said one potential neighbor to the hostel management.

    “We’re going to get all of the proper licenses,” Second Home Hostels manager Andy Fischer told the 15 or so people.

    Fischer, along with his two family members, were the managers of Second Home Hostel in SeaTac.

    KIRO 7 investigated their SeaTac location last week after residents complained of unsanitary conditions.

    Residents said the conditions deteriorated to include bedbug manifestations, excrement in a bucket, and an eviction notice that came after the landlord the Fischers were subleasing from became aware of the residents crammed into their home.

    Fischer provided KIRO 7 with a Washington State business license, but acknowledged that they did not have a WA State Department of Health inspection and license or a City of SeaTac business license.

    The State of Washington told the Fischers the facility had to shut down in January because of the conditions.

    They say they shut the hostel down, but in order to pay the leasing bills they packed the house with at least 20 residents, according to people living there.

    Soon after, the landlord of the SeaTac property says she discovered the Fischers were running a hostel and not a bed and breakfast with just a handful of people staying there.

    The residents told KIRO 7 management then stopped paying attention to them and the conditions rapidly deteriorated.

    The Fischers said the 20 or so people at the home was fine because they classified those people as “roommates,” and they blamed the roommates for the unsavory conditions.

    "They threw cigarette butts, they did a whole bunch of stuff right before they called you. They have some sort of vendetta, and I don't know why,” said Nichole Fischer.

    Residents tell KIRO 7 that’s when the Fischers abandoned the facility, and Hillman City business neighbors say that’s their concern.

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