Update: West Seattle house burns; fireplace blamed

(Added 4:18 am – photo courtesy Gabe)
3:38 AM: If you’ve heard the sirens – big response to a house fire reported in the 5200 block of 45th SW (near Erskine, southwest of The Junction). First firefighters to respond have described the house over the radio as “well-involved” in flames, and also say everyone got out OK. More to come.

3:56 AM UPDATE: Firefighters have radioed that the fire is under control on the main floor of the house.

(Photos/video from here down: By WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
4:02 AM UPDATE: Our crew is there and says it’s still an intensive firefighting scene – the cameraphone photo above shows firefighters working with their air supply. The house itself is hard to see from the street because of trees/shrubs. Still no injuries reported.

4:19 AM UPDATE: Fire now reported “tapped,” which means, basically, out – firefighters had been working to ventilate (cut roof and/or siding holes) the house to make sure they’d gotten to all possible spots. Just added the photo at the top of the story – Gabe took that from a balcony overlooking the house, explaining, “We woke up to the neighbor across the street screaming ‘Help!’ and seeing his house on fire!”

4:52 AM UPDATE: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore is at the scene and just briefed us (will add video of his briefing when our crew’s back, along with a few more photos). He says one man was inside the home when this started.

He told investigators that he had a fire going in the fireplace; spark/fire jumped from it, ignited something, and he tried to put it out but it spread too fast.

5:30 AM UPDATE: Added the aforementioned briefing video. Investigators are working to confirm the fireplace suspicion.

9:38 AM UPDATE: $150,000 damage, according to SFD, whose official online update is here.

21 Replies to "Update: West Seattle house burns; fireplace blamed"

  • AmberT October 7, 2012 (3:44 am)

    You guys are soo fast I just emailed moments ago. Can’t remember last time i woke up to so many alarms! Worried about all involved. Will be hard to go back to sleep now, as always thanks for being so reliable!

    • WSB October 7, 2012 (3:53 am)

      So far seems like either everybody got out OK or nobody was inside, and no injuries reported – waiting to hear from our photographer once he gets there.

  • Diane October 7, 2012 (3:53 am)

    omg; I was house-sitting in 5400 block of 45th, and just drove home to Admiral about 3:15; heard/saw nothing

  • Jenn October 7, 2012 (3:54 am)

    I just woke up from all the sirens too. I’m on the 5000 blk. Seems really serious so I’m happy to hear no one is injured.

  • Diane October 7, 2012 (3:56 am)

    are you positive it’s the 5200 block? now I’m getting nervous and thinking I need to drive back over to make sure their house is ok

    • WSB October 7, 2012 (4:24 am)

      The number on the 911 log is 5224. http://www2.cityofseattle.net/fire/realTime911/getRecsForDatePub.asp?action=Today&incDate=&rad1=des
      We do not usually put specific addresses in the story because sometimes they are revised (the original number was perhaps the person who called to report it) but I’ve been listening to the scanner throughout and there’s been no call to change the address. However, we can’t confirm it, either, because of the trees (which you can see in the neighbor’s photo just added).

  • BlingBling October 7, 2012 (4:27 am)

    Diane – yep it’s the 5200 block. I live just down the street from the house that was on fire and can confirm this.

  • Mmcc October 7, 2012 (4:28 am)

    Yes, it is the 5200 block.

  • Diane October 7, 2012 (4:29 am)

    thank you for address confirmation
    god that top pic is crazy scary

  • jim October 7, 2012 (4:34 am)

    I live near Juneau/California – heard people shouting, followed by lots and lots (and lots) of sirens. Figured it had to be close and pretty big. Glad no one was injured.

  • MercyMoi October 7, 2012 (4:40 am)

    I’m glad no one is reported to be injured.

    Here’s the story from three summers ago on the same block.


    • WSB October 7, 2012 (4:51 am)

      Mercy – that was also recalled by co-publisher Patrick Sand, who’s still out at the scene to see if more information is forthcoming (as with yesterday morning’s shooting in Westwood, he and KING are the only media on this scene) – he was at that one too, and it was on the day with historic heat … 103, I think. Anyway, even as I finish this comment, got some new info, adding to story – TR

  • Hilda R. October 7, 2012 (4:42 am)

    Thanks for this update. I was wondering where the fire was because of the direction where the firetrucks were heading from where we live here on California Ave. – north of The Junction. The firetrucks were going south and now I know it’s at southwest of The Junction.
    Thank goodness no one got hurt and hurray to our firefighters who were right on the scene as soon as the fire got reported. Thank you WSB!

  • Diane October 7, 2012 (4:53 am)

    dang, this is just a block (dozen or so houses) from where I just left

  • bridge to somewhere October 7, 2012 (8:22 am)

    Just gotta say: What an amazing job our firefighters do for us. Thanks guys (and gals)!

  • Kravitz October 7, 2012 (9:28 am)

    Just walked past the home on my way to coffee at Nouveau. Firefighter getting coffee in front of me, so I passed along my gratitude as well. Living so close to it, and now seeing the damage in daylight, I don’t know how SFD combats fear and does the terrific job they do each day. Glad nobody was hurt. I feel for the owner and hope he can get some assistance.

  • carlton October 7, 2012 (10:59 am)

    That is scary..

  • Diane October 7, 2012 (12:37 pm)

    now the fire dept report says “5400 block of 45th Avenue SW”; if I had seen that last night, would have totally panicked, jumped in my car, back to make sure it wasn’t the house I had just left on 5400 block of 45th; grateful my friend’s home is ok; what a shame for house that burst into flames; glad the guy got out safe; thankful for our awesome fire dept; jeez, life can change in an instant

    • WSB October 7, 2012 (12:58 pm)

      Fireline is inaccurate (I didn’t notice that while blockquoting this morning) and I will send Kyle a note. We have been back there this morning and it was NOT the 5400 block, it was the 5200 block, as neighbors have confirmed in the comments here. Parallel with Rite-Aid to the east, which is in the 5200 block of California.

  • WS concerned parent October 7, 2012 (10:25 pm)

    Thank you WS firefighters. With how dry everything is, I was a bit worried when I heard all those sirens last night. Amazing they kept it from burning down more than just that one house.

  • Kristina October 8, 2012 (11:25 am)

    Wow. And it’s on the same block where another fire burnt down a house a couple of years back (I think that one was from a BBQ unattended on a wood deck) – maybe even next door? Certainly it was on the same side of the street. Scary – I hope that the home owner has a good place to live now, and that insurance rebuilds the home.

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