A man has died after either jumping or falling from a burning apartment in the University District early this morning, according to Seattle police.
Firefighters found another man alive inside the apartment in the 4500 block of Seventh Avenue Northeast.
Police were called to the Seattle Housing Authority building around 1 a.m. on a report of a disturbance or argument in the apartment on the ninth floor, said police spokesman Mark Jamieson. When officers arrived they found that the door to the unit was blocked.
“Smoke was filling the hallway. Once our guys forced the door, they could see the entire apartment was engulfed,” said Jamieson.
Officers went into the apartment and saw someone inside. The man, Jamieson said, refused to come out.
Police then backed away from the apartment and firefighters notified them about a body found on the ground outside, below the fire scene, Jamieson said. Police believe the man found dead is the same person who refused to leave the apartment.
Firefighters put out the fire and found another man unconscious inside the apartment. The man was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition, he suffered smoke inhalation and burns, according to Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore.
Jamieson said investigators “believe it was a deliberately set fire.”
“What we think at this point is it could have been an attempted murder suicide. We don’t know the relationship between the two guys.”
Other residents on the ninth floor were evacuated, but no one was seriously hurt, authorities said.
Moore said the fire damage is estimated at $90,000.