Neighbours, a popular Seattle, Washington gay bar packed with 750 patrons was partially soaked in gasoline then set on fire minutes after midnight on New Year’s Day. Thanks to a quick-thinking guest who reportedly grabbed and discharged a fire extinguisher, and staff who reportedly pulled the fire alarm, setting off sprinklers, there were no injuries.
The Capitol Hill Seattle blog reports that Seattle Police “released a preliminary report that calls the incident an ‘arson fire’ and documents that an unknown perpetrator is believed to have poured gasoline on a carpeted stairway leading to the club’s second level.”
Performer Aleksa Manila posted this defiant note about the 2014 NYE incident:
THANK YOU #SEATTLE for an amazing #nye2013countdown at #neighboursnightclub unfortunately, someone tried to burn the club down after midnight. whoever you are – i hope you come forward, or if anyone knows any information, please call 911. this club has been the #1 gay nightclub in the northwest for over 30 years. nothing’s gonna stop us from celebrating diversity & providing a safe space for everyone.
The bar issued this statement via Facebook:
Last night, at approximately fifteen minutes after ringing in the new year, someone or a group of people committed arson by dousing the steps nearest the Broadway Street entrance of Neighbours with gasoline and setting them on fire. The assailant(s) left behind a plastic 1 liter gas container at the top of the stairs. What could have been a catastrophic loss of property and lives was diverted by the quick thinking and professional actions of the Neighbours staff. We are happy to report that the fire did not harm, or even injure anyone, because friends and U.S. service members Christopher Bostick and Mike Casey and Neighbours Seattle bartender Lucas Shipley located and grabbed a fire extinguisher and put the fire out in under 30 seconds. The bar staff pulled the fire alarm immediately after they saw smoke, ensuring the sprinkler system was activated and letting everyone know that they had to vacate the premises. Within two minutes, everyone had exited the building and nobody was hurt. Fire rescue and SPD officials arrived on scene and due to an ongoing investigation into what happened, we cannot, at this time, offer any further comment on the matter except that we are thankful for the fact that no one was hurt, honored that so many of you have reached out with words of support since the incident, and happy for your continued patronage. More information will be made available when we are able to put out the information without the possibility of jeopardizing the investigation.
Image via Neighbours on Facebook
Hat tip: Joe Jervis
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