David M. Severtson was being evicted from the home Friday morning when a fire broke out. His body was found inside once the flames were doused.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed the man whose body was found in a fire-damaged West Seattle home on Friday was David M. Severtson, who was in the process of being evicted when a fire broke out in the home.
Severtson, 51, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and his death has been ruled a suicide, according to a news release from the King County Sheriff’s Office.
A Seattle Fire Department investigator concluded Severtson started the fire near the front door of the home using gasoline, the sheriff’s office says.
Members of the King County sheriff’s Civil Unit had been sent to the house in the 5600 block of 42nd Avenue Southwest on Friday morning to serve an eviction notice on Severtson. As deputies used a pole to break a locked storm door, they saw the interior of the house was ablaze, said King County sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Houck. The flames quickly spread through the home.
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As the deputies backed away, they heard pops from inside the home, he said.
Severtson’s body was found in the house after the fire was put out.
Severtson’s mother, Hazel Severtson, owned the home until her death in June 2015, records show.
The estate had been trying to evict him from the house since last year, according to court documents. On Nov. 10, a notice of termination and demand for possession of the home were delivered to the son, and he was ordered to leave by the end of December, court documents show. Court documents say the son never paid rent and did not contribute to the mortgage.