Noose Found Hanging Inside Fire Station Sparks Investigation

A noose was recently found hanging inside a fire station in North Seattle, Washington sparking an investigation, according to the Seattle Fire Department.

The noose was discovered on February 17 by one of the firefighters in Fire Station 24 and supervisors were immediately alerted.

Black firefighters told news station KIRO 7 that the incident "definitely makes you feel uneasy. It definitely makes you want to look over your shoulder."

On February 18 following the incident, Chief Harrold Scoggins sent an email to department staff, stating that an investigation is underway.

"I want to commend the firefighter for the courage to report what they found and the officer for making sure this was brought to SFD leadership," Scoggins wrote. "I also wish to acknowledge how this affects our Black firefighters and professional staff. I see you, and I understand."

He continued to discuss the historical significance of the noose symbol, and the serious threat that the object symbolizes in their station. "While we don't know the intent of whoever tied the noose, there is no circumstance in which it could reasonably be considered innocent or appropriate," he added.

Chief Scoggins said he was "dismayed" that the incident took place this month, as the month of February is observed as Black History Month in the U.S.

"Instead of joyful discoveries, our attention is being called to the ugliness of racism, fear and threats. Our Black colleagues might again be questioning who they can trust as an ally," Scoggins said.

Current updates on the investigation cannot be released by the department at this time, according to officials.

A spokesperson from the Seattle Fire Department told Newsweek, "Discrimination and racial harassment are antithetical to SFD's values and will not be tolerated. The department takes any complaints of discrimination and harassment very seriously and will use all appropriate measures to address any violations of policy."

They added, "Like any department investigation, the details are kept confidential to maintain the integrity of the investigative process. This is the extent of information that can be released at this time."

According to Firehouse Magazine, this is the second incident in Seattle in which a noose was found hanging in a fire station. The first was found in June 2020 by a Black lieutenant, and a source told KIVO 7 that the noose was found at a knot tying station, where firefighters practice tying knots.

A similar incident occurred in 2021 in a fire station in Indiana, where a noose and sexually explicit drawings were found inside the station, prompting internal investigations.

Fire Station, Seattle, Washington
A noose was found hanging inside a Seattle Fire Station last week, prompting investigations. This photo shows a Fire Station in Seattle, Washington. Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images