Fund Set Up For Blind Woman, Victim Of Fire

A fund has been set up for Jeanne Towne, the blind Pike Place Market musician who lost all but her autoharp, guitar and cane in an apartment fire Thursday night.

``Jeanne Towne has been part of the market community for as long as I can remember,'' said Aaron Zaretsky, executive director of the Pike Place Market Foundation. ``One of the things that makes the Market special is its sense of community, and when a member of the Market family experiences a personal tragedy, everyone wants to help.''

The autoharp, guitar and cane were all Towne could grab before fleeing from her burning apartment in the 1400 block of Northeast 66th Street. Momentarily ignoring her own safety, she called the Fire Department before leaving the building.

Towne usually plays guitar near Starbucks Coffee and Tea on the east side of the Pike Place Market.

The cause of the fire, which destroyed two apartments on the top floor of the older building, is still being investigated, said Fire Department spokesman Albert Smalls. The remaining four apartments sustained smoke and water damage.

Fliers announcing the fund were sent out yesterday. For more information about the fund call the Market Foundation at 682-7543. Donations should be sent to the Friends of Jeanne Towne Fund, c/o the Pike Place Market branch of Security Pacific Bank, 92 Stewart Street, Seattle, WA, 98101.