Arson Linked To NYE Fire At Crowded Seattle Gay Bar

A party of some 750 people on New Year’s Eve turned out to be hot for all the wrong reasons after a fire broke out at Neighbours, a popular Seattle gay bar.

Capitol Hill Seattle is reporting that the suspected arsonist poured gasoline on a carpeted staircase and set it ablaze while the club was packed with NYE revelers. Two me helped put out the fire with a fire extinguisher, but as staff tried to clear the club someone pulled the fire alarm.

The Seattle Fire Department estimates the resulting water and fire damage at $6,000, though luckily no one was hurt. It’s uncertain, however, when Neighbors will reopen.

“It’s not just a bar or just a nightclub,” Neighbors patron and LGBT activist Shaun Knittel told KOMO News. “And whoever these jerks are there’s going to be a good number that makes sure they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Proving it’s hard to keep a good queen down, local drag diva Aleksa Manila posted this to her Instagram account:

THANK YOU #SEATTLE for an amazing #nye2013 countdown 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.