Update: Des Moines Memorial Drive apartment fire, visible from West Seattle

3:25 PM: We’ve been getting calls and text messages asking about the column of black smoke that’s been visible for about an hour. The smoke is from a two-story structure fire in the unincorporated area about a mile south of South Park. The Seattle Fire Department has sent a ladder truck and an engine to assist. Our pictures were taken from as close as we could get to the scene. KING5.com has the details here on what turned out to be a three-alarm apartment-building fire.

5:51 PM: Our partners at the Seattle Times say SFD was one of eight fire departments that responded to help fight the fire. At least two people were hurt, but no major injuries are reported.

15 Replies to "Update: Des Moines Memorial Drive apartment fire, visible from West Seattle"

  • Silly Goose July 24, 2011 (3:50 pm)

    Just drove thru this heavy smoke on our way back home from Tukwila it appeared to be an apartment building, really made my heart heavy to see this fire. The fire ladder was so high in the air aiming water onto the fire you could see it from a mile away. So sad for the owners of the building.

  • Long Camper July 24, 2011 (4:07 pm)

    Saw this smoke around 3pm… looked awful from alki area. Hope all are okay.

  • JanS July 24, 2011 (5:00 pm)

    this is so sad…according to the KOMO News report “The Lighthouse Apartments are operated by Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission as transitional housing for low-income people who have graduated from mission programs.”

    16 units…16 persons/families without a home :(

  • Beth July 24, 2011 (6:24 pm)

    Really JanS? That is awful. Dang it. So sad. TR, will there be any way we can help those displaced?

    • WSB July 24, 2011 (6:26 pm)

      We’ll keep an eye out. I haven’t seen anything mentioned yet in the citywide media stories covering it but we’ll also keep an eye on the UGM site. I’d hope the Red Cross is pitching in, since this is what they usually help with – TR

  • Jennifer K July 24, 2011 (6:37 pm)

    We lost everything but at least everyone is okay…

  • DJ July 24, 2011 (6:37 pm)

    Red Cross was there when I was leaving.

    • WSB July 24, 2011 (6:42 pm)

      Sorry to hear about it, Jennifer K. Do let us know – either here or feel free to e-mail us any time editor@westseattleblog.com – if there are any needs that folks can help with – many kind-hearted West Seattleites consider that “our community” stretches into South Park, White Center, and beyond, so we’d be happy to publicize any requests – TR
      Added: The South Park mailing list says someone who works at an area store is coordinating donations and they will post info as soon as they get it – so we’ll be watching for that, and will add to this story.
      UPDATE: Turns out a West Seattle church is sheltering some of the fire survivors, with the help of the American Red Cross, which can use donations to help with operations like this – stand by for that story up separately in a few minutes.

  • john July 24, 2011 (9:05 pm)

    Slow response time guys. Step it up.

  • Jeff Lilley July 24, 2011 (10:52 pm)

    I am the president of the Union Gospel Mission, and live here in West Seattle. Thank you for your coverage, and for the support shown by the community!

    The Red Cross has been awesome in stepping in and helping the families who we weren’t able to provide housing for, so please consider giving to them.

    If you want to give specifically to these families, and Red Cross does not have a way, you can give to UGM, as we will be doing everything we can to help these families get back on their feet.

    There are over 30 individuals without a home tonight, and who lost everything, including their cars.

    Again, thank you for the strong community support!
    Jeff Lilley
    Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission

  • Richard July 24, 2011 (11:42 pm)

    Saw the smoke from I-5 this afternoon, as my son and I headed home from near the bus barns downtown. I pointed out the big black plume of smoke, noted it was south near Boeing Field, and then as we neared the exit, said let’s go check it out, and realized it was southwest of Boeing. Could see flames from I-5, and made our way to the south end of the airport, and back onto 599, then as we headed north, and sensed it was near South Park, and on the west or the hiway, we pulled over to watch the response. I told my son that it was big, and in an area that is not served by a large fire department, like SFD, we then say the ladder truck and another roll out of South Park’s fire station, and then the medic one units from another district. That fire was burning hot and fast, and to see the walls of the units crumble and give way, to see the flames, smoke and charred black framing of the insides of that building, was an image of great saddness, for all of those who called that place home. I told my son that there was going to be a lot of people without homes tonight, and hopefully, everyone got out ok. That must have been one scary time for those who had to get out, and to alert others too. Sad indeed.

  • Jennifer K July 25, 2011 (12:26 am)

    Yes The store is coordinating donations and have been a very big help with all that has been going on. They showed just how much a community can come together when needed we appreciate all the prayers and everything people are doing to help even if it is just a hug.. Thank you to all of you who have helped…You are greatly appreciated.

  • vicki July 25, 2011 (6:09 am)

    I live on cloverdale st in south park, on 12-10-09, it was 6:30 in the a.m., my roomate and I were getting my handicapped 17 yr old ready for school. my then 9 yr old daughter comes flying out of her room screaming fire, I ran down the hallway and saw half her room in flames (somehow I rememered to shut her door). 3 things happened at the once, the fire alarm sounded, all the house went dark and a man was pounding on the front door, he wanted to warn us of the smoke coming from the side of th house, I gave him my phone to call 911. My kids school clothes were already laid out, including coats and shoes, 6 of us got out as the fire department showed up. All 3 of my kids made it to school safe and I never got a chance to thank that man, he was gone as soon as he handed us my phone. I believe an angel woke my daughter, sent us that man, helped me to be calm do everything I was suppose to do. A week later my kids and I went into her room, I mean everything was in ashes or melted and her burned up book shelf, under what use to be the chronicles of naria, was her favorite unburned childrens version of living bible, I mean wow, not even 1 soot mark! God had our back 2! I saw the flames yesurday, I prayed everyones loved ones got out safely. My heart goes out to everyone who lost their homes…

  • Outsider July 25, 2011 (7:53 am)

    King5 is reporting people were knocking on doors trying to alert the residents – didn’t the fire alarms work?

  • Bean July 25, 2011 (9:28 am)

    Outsider: Of course, I can’t say whether the alarms were working in this case, but if my building were on fire I’d knock on people’s doors regardless.

    Let’s look at it this way: have you ever heard a fire alarm go off when there wasn’t actually a fire? Pretty much every time, right?

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