As-it-happened coverage: West Seattle house fire sends 1 to the hospital; damage estimated at $250,000May 1, 2012 at 5:29 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 31 Comments
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
ORIGINAL 5:29 PM REPORT: Even before seeing the 911 call, our crew saw the smoke from miles north – a house-fire call in the 8400 block of 20th SW (map). We’re on our way.
(Photo courtesy Lisa)
5:34 PM UPDATE: From the scanner – “heavy fire in the basement” of a one-story home; everybody got out of the house safely.
5:40 PM UPDATE: Our crew has arrived and is seeing the flames in the basement, plus lots of smoke, and firefighters on the roof working on ventilation. Via the scanner, we hear two more engines being requested. Adding photos as we get them.
(Photo courtesy Amber, view from the alley)
5:55 PM UPDATE: Flames have broken through the roof. We have two crews on scene.
(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
SFD says its crews are in a “defensive position” on the fire now – basically, making sure it doesn’t spread, and taking precautions to ensure firefighters’ safety. The department’s public information officer and investigators are being sent now too.
(Video by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
6:09 PM UPDATE: Not out yet. Firefighters are going back into “offensive” mode, per radio traffic.
6:21 PM UPDATE: One hour after crews arrived, the fire is now deemed under control, but that doesn’t mean it’s out. They’re asking for the Red Cross to help two residents, described as a woman in her 80s and a man in his 50s. Too soon to say how the fire started. (Thanks to those who have shared photos and who texted/e-mailed to be sure we’d heard about this!)
6:33 PM UPDATE: Our crews at the scene have just talked with SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, who says the residents are an 85-year-old woman and her 59-year-old son. He was taken to the hospital with minor burns suffered while trying to put the fire out himself. (added) Here’s video of his briefing, in its entirety:
6:56 PM UPDATE: The fire is finally declared “tapped” after an hour and a half. According to Moore, crews will likely have to keep “fire watch” through much of the night, which means a crew will remain at the scene just in case of flare-ups.
9:13 PM NOTE: No word yet on the fire’s cause. In comments, Deborah says the fire survivors are her grandmother and uncle, and she is thankful to those who called 911, because her grandmother couldn’t get the call to go through when she tried.
10:27 PM UPDATE: SFD says its investigation determined that “improperly discarded smoking materials” sparked the fire; damage is estimated at $250,000. Here’s the department’s summary, via its Fire Line website.
Meantime – We have more visuals to share, both from neighbors and from our crew; click ahead if interested:
Two more photos from Christopher Boffoli showing firefighters at work:
As the house continued to smoulder, Patrick Sand photographed the front window with an eerie view to the burned interior:
And this is the smoke plume he saw early on – which explains why, before he was dispatched to the fire, he had seen it from miles north:
And a neighbor we met at the scene, C.T., took a look at the scene in terms of how many fire vehicles were there – toward the end of his clip, you’ll see SFD’s Kyle Moore talking to photographers including ours:
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