Remarks from Fire Chief Harold Scoggins in response to downtown protests

Our firefighters are out there working incredibly hard tonight to keep you safe. There have been many vehicle fires across the downtown core and injuries to both police officers and members of the public.

As I said yesterday before the demonstrations began, I support exercising the right to free speech and peaceful demonstrations, and the need to stand up for what is right. But this is not the way to do it, by causing unnecessary chaos and danger.

This situation has escalated quickly and has become dangerous. I want the public to know that our firefighters are doing everything we can to keep you safe. I have called in additional resources on my team and from out of the area in case we need to utilize them. I want to thank our partner agencies for sending in their personnel and resources to assist.

You may have seen us waiting to respond in to fight vehicle fires. I have a duty to keep my firefighters safe, and we are waiting until its safe to enter to extinguish fires, to avoid unnecessary harm.

I want to end with reminding those who are starting fires downtown that fires can have very unintended consequences. Fires can spread quickly and put members of the public in danger and our responding crews.

Additionally, when you block streets, you are blocking EMS emergency vehicles from being able to respond to hospitals for patient care.

We are in this together Seattle and will get through this. Seattle Fire is here for you and we will continue to work to monitor the situation and deploy our resources.