Update: Small fire at Alki fourplex, no one hurt

(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
3:04 AM: Big response for what so far sounds like a relatively small fire in the 2600 block of Alki 59th SW. It’s already “tapped,” per the scanner, and most of the units are being canceled. Thanks to everyone who has called and texted. More to come.

(That photo and next two, courtesy Josh & Ali Daniels)
3:20 AM: Crews are already checking the ventilation of the building where the small fire happened and getting ready to let residents go back in, according to radio traffic. Our crew is almost there to doublecheck on the scene. The reason it sounded so big is that the initial callout for a “fire in building” call is always big – 15 units, in this case – easier to get everything going and then pull back, rather than to get there and find out you need more.

3:34 AM: Our crew at the scene talked with the building’s owner, who confirmed something we had heard via scanner in the early going – the fire is believed to have been a case of floor solvents spontaneously combusting – he says one of the tenants had been doing some floor work. No injuries reported, and everything’s wrapping up at the scene, which is on 59th immediately north of the Alki Playfield tennis courts.

4:09 AM: Thanks to Josh & Ali Daniels (who run JayLee Photography) for sharing some photos taken before we got there – including the one above this line, showing how smoky the scene was for a while.

9:29 AM: The official Seattle Fire account is here – only added detail is that damage totaled $500.

7 Replies to "Update: Small fire at Alki fourplex, no one hurt"

  • JanS August 13, 2012 (3:06 am)

    seemed like the sirens went on forever…

  • RG August 13, 2012 (3:29 am)

    Remaining at scene now appear to be investigation and O2 support.

    Seattle Fire crews are the best at what the do.

  • Ryan August 13, 2012 (3:44 am)

    May have been a large presence of firefighters there but that house was very close to a few other houses in case it spread. I think it was justified.

    • WSB August 13, 2012 (4:02 am)

      It’s standard operating procedure – and I’m sure that SOP has saved many a life. We just wind up mentioning it because so many of the texts, Facebook posts, etc., had remarks similar to Jan’s, thinking it had to be something big. Once upon a time I asked SFD’s Kyle Moore for the breakdown of the standard responses, with the intent of writing a story that I never did get around to writing … will have to pull up that info again since it’s timeless! – TR

  • mrsB August 13, 2012 (7:44 am)

    JanS – I agree with you, I thought something really big must have been going on. Is it always necessary to crete such noise during the quietest part of the night? I can’t imagine there was much traffic on the roads at that time…

  • ltfd August 13, 2012 (10:35 am)

    Standard Seattle Fire Department dispatch for a reported “Fire in Building” (multiple unit residence- triplex, apartments, etc.):
    5 Engines: each w/ crew of 4; fire attack,rescue.
    2 Ladders: each w/crew of 4; fire attack support- forcible entry, search & rescue,ventilation,etc.
    1 Aid Car: 2 FF/EMT’s; fire attack or medical ops.
    1 Medic Unit: 2 FF/Paramedics; medical ops.
    2 Battalion Chiefs: fire scene command & control.
    Deputy Chief: attends all fires & rescues.
    Staff 10: 1 FF; tracks crew assignments/locations.
    Air 9: 1 FF; delivers compressed air for FF air packs & O2 for medical support.
    Safety Chief: independently evaluates scene hazards & alerts command- fire conditions, structural stability, electrical hazards, threatened exposure buildings, etc.
    Assuming the worst, and dispatching enough units to cover for the possible work assignments, provides the following:
    1. An attack hoseline team & backup hoseline team for the unit or floor on fire.
    2. Two hoseline teams to protect threatened exposures- the floor above the fire floor or adjacent units threatened by spreading fire.
    3. A “Rapid Intervention Team” (required by law), standing by on the building exterior, or lower floors, ready to rescue FF teams that need emergency help.
    4. A crew for fire attack support: assisting with forcible entry, search & rescue, ventilation of smoke & fire gases.
    5. A crew available for relief/rotation of interior crews.
    6. Available medical care for injured citizens or FF’s.
    7. Command & control of the incident- fire attack strategy, ongoing risk/benefit analysis of scene hazards, communications, work assignments, crew rotation (when teams exhaust their air supplies while fire fighting), rehabilitation of tired crews.
    8. Salvage operations to protect uninvolved property from smoke & water damage.
    9. Overhaul & investigation of the fire scene.
    The first-arriving unit will size-up the incident, and they can reduce the number of other responding units if appropriate. On the other hand, the first-arriving unit can request additional resources if appropriate: multiple patients, fire spreading to exposures, inadequate water supply, etc.

  • JO August 13, 2012 (8:52 pm)

    Thank you for the explanation ltfd. I appreciate it.

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