Ten years ago this month a deadly house fire in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle killed four children and a young woman – all were members of Seattle’s Ethiopian and Eritrean communities.
This tragic fire was the deadliest fire in Seattle in over 30 years and greatly impacted members of the Seattle Fire Department and the wider community. This tragedy was especially difficult for Seattle’s East African communities.
Shortly after the fire, Seattle Fire Department members met with community leaders to begin gathering ideas on how to reach more East African communities with fire safety information. The Community Fire Safety Advocate (CFSA) program developed as a response to this tragic day. This program became the fire department’s primary outreach and educational program targeting East African community members within weeks of this devastating fire.