On March 3, 2008, four multi-million-dollar homes were set on fire, in Echo Lake, Washington, on Echo Lake Road, off State Highway 522. Slogans spray-painted on one of the burned houses' fences attributed the arson to the Earth Liberation Front, with words such as "Built Green? Nope black! McMansions in RCDs r not green. ELF." ELF is a collective name for anonymous and autonomous individuals or groups that, use "economic sabotage and guerrilla warfare to stop the exploitation and destruction of the natural environment",
The houses were built in the summer of 2007 as part of "Seattle Street of Dreams" project, an annual luxury home showcase offered across the United States and parts of Canada. The 2007 theme was "green and sustainable building"; one property had won an award from a local group known as BuiltGreen.
Residents and drivers within the area immediately called nearby fire departments, who were able to save one of the four houses set on fire. The fire caused $7 million dollars worth of damage. No one was injured in the fire, as the 4,000-square-foot homes were unoccupied at the time.
The FBI, police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are currently investigating the incident. On the lack of deaths, the FBI's deputy assistant director for counterterrorism said, "I think we're lucky. Once you set one of these fires they can go way out of control."
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