Update: Fire at ‘illegally occupied’ house in Highland Park

11:02 PM: Crews are rushing to a house-fire report in the 8500 block of 14th SW. We are on the way.

11:21 PM UPDATE: Not a major incident – no smoke or flames visible, no report of injuries. Firefighters arr starting to pack up. Our crew is waiting to talk with the incident commander.

11:50 PM UPDATE: SFD tells us that the house was “illegally occupied” – the fire is believed to have started in a hibachi and spread to the porch. They had to cut into the structure for some ventilation. They also confirm, nobody hurt. An investigator is on scene to make the official determination of the fire’s cause.

11:59 PM UPDATE: Via the scanner, SFD just updated the address for the fire scene – not the same address originally on the 911 log. The address has a 10-year history of repeated citations for alleged city-code violations such as junk storage.

MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore says this was an accidental fire: “Transients had been occupying the vacant home. One individual removed burning ashes from a second floor fireplace and placed them in a cardboard box on the front porch which lit the porch and the void space below. The fire then traveled up into the wall. The estimated dollar loss is $5,000.”

8 Replies to "Update: Fire at 'illegally occupied' house in Highland Park"

  • Lank November 17, 2012 (11:12 pm)

    We are a block south… Standard big response but don’t see any smoke or flames. Hope everyone is alright.

  • Mildred November 18, 2012 (8:47 am)

    There was a fire at this house around 10 years ago.

  • Dakota November 18, 2012 (9:20 am)

    Folks have been residing on this property, and on the street in front of this property, in vehicles or tents since the last fire a decade or so ago. Presumably with no water, sewer or electric utilities, and certainly no garbage collection. I feel empathy for anyone who has to live under such conditions, but at the same time I also feel for the poor unfortunate neighbors of this burned out former home that continues to be a blight, and must certainly affect property values and possibly human welfare and health.

  • 311@seattle.gov November 18, 2012 (2:00 pm)


    Send info about property and obviously distressed residents and neighbors to the above email at Seattle government.

    Ask the city to intervene immediately and hopefully get everybody some relief – residents and neighbors alike. The folks at this house are not very easy to talk to. I have tried once or twice and they seem on the defensive. Not hard to imagine why…they needed help then and they still need it.

    If you live nearby and know the house, take a minute to write the city at the above email and ask social services look into their situation.

  • NWmama November 18, 2012 (10:26 pm)

    Great resource 311!

  • Hillary November 19, 2012 (7:08 am)

    There has been another fire in Highland park on 16th Avenue SW this morning.(16th SW and Barton) It has also been illegally occupied. Thankfully no one was hurt.

    • WSB November 19, 2012 (7:59 am)

      Our report on that one is here: http://westseattleblog.com/2012/11/early-morning-fire-call-in-the-9000-block-of-16th-sw
      We didn’t get to it immediately because for some reason it didn’t trip the city alerts we have devices linked to so that we don’t miss anything major if away from the scanner. Anyway, if possible, we always appreciate texts/voice calls 24/7 – 206-293-6302. We’re following up with the city on multiple fronts regarding both fires. – TR

  • SideofBlueCheese November 19, 2012 (9:35 am)

    Thank you for the email resource. I live on the same block as this illegally occupied house and have been hearing a generator running at night for years. I arrived home from work late on Friday night and couldn’t figure out why I was hearing a chainsaw running off and on from midnight to 1am. Of course, after reading the blog I realized the disruption that took place a bit earlier probably had something to do with the odd timing of the chainsaw.

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