Update: Basement fire at Fauntleroy Way house, no one hurt

September 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
FIRST REPORT, 1:13 PM: Avoid Fauntleroy Way SW south of the Triangle – there’s a big fire-department response for a house fire in the 5000 block (map).

1:21 PM UPDATE: Firefighters are actively fighting what’s described as a basement fire in a one-story home. We’ve added a photo from WSB’s Christopher Boffoli. No word of injuries so far – firefighters are searching to make sure there’s no one inside. Again, Fauntleroy is blocked by fire units – so take alternate routes.

1:26 PM UPDATE: The fire is “tapped” – the first milestone of major progress – but firefighters are being warned to be careful in the room where it started, because of what was described on the scanner as “a possible hazardous situation” involving “needles on the floor.”

1:45 PM UPDATE: The fire has since been reported as “out.” SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore is on the scene so our crews are getting a summary from him shortly.

1:51 PM UPDATE: Moore confirms no injuries; firefighters did encounter very thick smoke upon arrival, and that plus the results of the firefighting operation make it unlikely the home’s residents will be getting back in any time soon. Regarding the needles, he says a box of hypodermic needles was in the basement and got knocked over, but doesn’t know anything more regarding why they were there. No cause determined so far. Fauntleroy’s still likely to be blocked in the area for a while, an hour or so, he thinks. We have his briefing on video and will add here when it’s uploaded. (added – here it is)

3:29 PM UPDATE: Fauntleroy is open again through the fire zone, so you won’t have a problem during the commute. Still awaiting word from SFD on the cause.

MONDAY UPDATE: The cause, from SFD spokesperson Moore:

Seattle Fire Investigators determined a fire at a West Seattle Home on Friday was accidental. Fire investigators determined the basement bedroom fire was most likely caused by an unattended candle or improperly discarded smoking materials.

The first 911 call came in 1:05 p.m. to reports of flames visible from a one-story home with basement in the 5000 block of Fauntleroy Way SW. The firefighter/paramedics from Medic Unit 31 arrived first and made sure all occupants were safely outside the house. Firefighters ran hose lines to the basement. It took about 12 minutes to knock the flames down.

The American Red Cross was called for the two female and five male occupants who were displaced by the fire. No one was injured.

Fire investigators estimate the fire caused $30,000 damage to the structure and $15,000 to the contents.

12 Comments

  1. Just drove by on my way home. Biggest emergency response I’ve seen in West Seattle. Hope everyone is OK.

    Comment by Brontosaurus — 1:54 pm September 21, 2012 #

  2. I was there right after it started. The residents said everyone made it out but unfortunately they had a cat that was not accounted for. I know it may seem minor considering everything but I’d love to hear that they found the cat…

    Comment by Peanuthead — 2:33 pm September 21, 2012 #

  3. Thank you for the updates on this. I’m downtown now, and when I saw the first blurb on this (being my own block) I was quite concerned. Glad no one is hurt.

    Comment by Sue — 2:39 pm September 21, 2012 #

  4. This occurred across the street from me. The fire dept response was fast and MASSIVE!! Do wish people driving the side streets to bypass Fauntleroy weren’t so fast & furious & generally crazy. It was madness out there!

    Comment by Jmo — 3:13 pm September 21, 2012 #

  5. Hoping they find the kitty.

    re the needles, lots of people have boxes of needles in their homes. I do. Anyone who takes injectable medications for autoimmune disease, diabetes, or even anyone who’s nursed an animal who needed IV fluids would have needles.

    I just want to be sure that readers aren’t assuming something like drug use about a neighbor that may not be true.

    Comment by A — 3:26 pm September 21, 2012 #

  6. Exactly. To me, it was an interesting point about the dangers that firefighters have to deal with. We don’t always get little bits and pieces of information like that … it’s not just the fact they have to go into flames, smoke, who knows what.

    Comment by WSB — 3:36 pm September 21, 2012 #

  7. Good thought. We have syringes for the cat’s weekly injections and a saline bag with attached needle for the same animal hanging on the bathroom door. Could look odd if one didn’t know the situation.

    Comment by fiz — 8:38 pm September 21, 2012 #

  8. I live nearby and the fire engine is still parked in front of the home. Why? Is it still being investigated?

    Comment by divadog — 9:53 pm September 21, 2012 #

  9. They usually have “fire watch” on fires that are medium- or large-size. Means a truck stands by, as long as it’s not needed elsewhere, to make sure hot spots don’t flare up. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:54 pm September 21, 2012 #

  10. The cat made it out and suffers no injuries. As far as the needles… She is a diabetic. Hope that cures any and all negative thoughts. The cause? An unattended candle and a curious kitten are the blame.
    Thank for the kind words, non judgement and the awesome response from our firefighters!!

    Comment by Sharcoal — 9:35 pm September 22, 2012 #

  11. I was an occupant of this house at the time of the fire and I would like to thank everyone for their kindness and moral support. One of our roomates is a diabetic hence the needles. SFD responded quickly and had the fire out in minutes. You guys are awsome! People don’t realize the impact of suddenly being displaced by a tragedy such as this unless they’ve experienced it for themselves. I don’t know what we would have done if it weren’t for The American Red Cross. When I was in the service I donated money to the Red Cross every month because that’s what they tell you to do in basic …so you just do it without ever realizing the impact that your donation can have on the lives of people in the face of a tragic event such as a fire. I am here to tell you that the American Red Cross are the unsung heroes. Because of them I am not sleeping outside in the rain tonight. It’s my belief that everyone who can afford it should donate to the American Red Cross.

    Comment by ron thomas — 11:53 pm September 22, 2012 #

  12. Thanks for letting us know how you all are doing!

    Comment by WSB — 12:02 am September 23, 2012 #

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