Engine 30 arrived five minutes later and brought the fire under control. There was no one in the car. Naturally no one saw the car pull up or the driver leave. The fire set off the car alarm which was the horn that woke everyone up.
Engine 30 called for police assistance and a fire marshal, suspecting arson. Several police officers arrived to secure the area and interview neighbors. The fire marshal would be delayed, alas, due to another car fire on Rainier Ave S at S Alaska St. (This other car fire turned out to be due to an electrical short).
The license plate was run and was found to belong to an address in Wallingford. Attempts to contact the owner were not immediately successful.
Shortly after the fire marshall arrived, the police were called to an incident on I-5 involving a fellow officer and some handguns.
The fire marshal was heard to indicate the car fire was caused by a road flare. After completing his report, the fire marshal dismissed the engine company and returned to his base. The burned car was left unattended for about 10 minutes before a police officer finally returned to monitor the scene and coordinate with the towing company.
The impound was complete at about 3:35 am.
Please, folks, if you need to set a car on fire then let the neighbors know first, OK?