Brickbat: That's Alarming


When the city of Seattle put former fire station 38 up for sale, it advertised it as a "unique residential dwelling." Thom Kroon agreed. He paid $712,000 for the building and spent thousands of dollars more remodeling it. For three years he used it as a residential building and office. Then he got a letter from the building inspector saying a complaint had been filed against him and ordering him to stop using the building as a residence because its only legal use was as a fire station. The city also sued Kroon, seeking $500 a day for each day he used the building as a residence. Kroon hired his own attorney and countersued. The city dropped its suit and issued a certificate of occupancy for the building, but Kroon is still seeking to recover his legal costs.