Alum’s business destroyed in blast

gyros blast

The Mr. Gyros shop operated by University of Washington Bothell alum Sammy Arsheed – also the operator of a popular food truck on campus — was one of the businesses destroyed in an early-morning natural gas explosion Wednesday in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. Seattle neighbors and friends from UW Bothell are offering support, including pages set up at

Arsheed graduated in 2008 from the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. The Mr. Gyros website says he has been in business since 2002 with his brother Joni, who also attended the University of Washington.

Not only is Mr. Gyros owned by Arsheed but its food truck has been on the Bothell campus twice a week, said Chelsea Knodel, director of Auxiliary Services.

“This truck as well as their store front is beloved by many of our campus community members,” said Knodel.

The blast injured nine Seattle firefighters who were on the scene around 1 a.m. because of a reported gas leak. Photos and videos show three businesses were destroyed, and the fundraising includes all the stores, including Neptune Coffee and Greenwood Quick Stop. Other businesses in the area had windows blown out.

All the injured firefighters were treated at Harborview Medical Center, the fire department said. Seattle police and fire investigators are looking for the cause of the blast along with Puget Sound Energy.

In an email to supporters Arsheed said he was glad all the firefighters had been released from the hospital. He said the loss hasn't really sunk in yet.

Seattle firefighters at blast

“We are in a state of shock right now. But trust me with the support of our neighbors and

community, we'll bounce back stronger than before,” Arsheed wrote.

The food truck wasn’t affected but its generator was in the Greenwood store and also was demolished.

Operations are moving to the kitchen at the Mr. Gyros Ballard store, Arsheed said. He plans to buy a new generator this weekend.

“Our plan and goal for the truck is to resume (fingers crossed) next Monday,” Arsheed wrote. “I speak on behalf of the Mr. Gyros family when I say we love all of you and appreciate the outpouring support.”

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