A small building in Georgetown is where Elizabeth McDowell stores all of the textiles she's imported from Nepal.
"It is my living, yes,” said McDowell.
It’s a living that was threatened by a few small fires outside her building - one in the recycling bin, two in the flowerpots, another in a trash can at a nearby bus stop.
Most of them were put out by the people who spotted them.
"Everything would go up,” said McDowell, who is worried about the fires. “We'd lose everything.”
But few played close attention until a fire Monday night. A passerby shot video of the flames after someone set the picnic section on fire at the Georgetown play field.
On Thursday, the only signs remaining of the arson were the scorched concrete and pillars. But some people wonder if a firebug is at work, and if they’re looking for bigger targets.
"If they've graduated from some garbage cans and some flower pots to a structure at a park, where are they going to go next?” asked one mother.
The Seattle Fire Department said one of the big problems is that they're finding out about these fires too late, after the fires have been put out and cleaned up.
"Without them being reported, we can't investigate, we can't determine the cause,” said spokesperson Kyle Moore, “if these were intentionally set or accidental fires.”
Four fires in five days are too coincidental for McDowell. She and other business owners have hired overnight security for now.
"At least for the time being we will,” she said, “because we don't want to lose everything.”
Moore said it’s always a good practice to clean up combustibles around your building, and to keep dumpsters at least five feet away from walls and roof lines.