(Photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
2:15 AM: A big Seattle Fire callout is en route to the 9000 block of 35th SW (map). The callout is “fire in a building.” The reported address checks to the Barton Court apartment building.
2:25 AM: Via radio: Crews say the fire is in a first-floor unit, and they have it “knocked down” – crews are checking the other floors and haven’t found evidence of spreading, though they’re reporting smoke on the second floor. No word of any injuries, so far.
2:36 AM: From the scene, co-publisher Patrick Sand reports that the tenants evacuated safely and were gathering across 35th outside Southwest Library (photo above) – at least 20 tenants, and several pets. (Here’s one – Taco the cat:)
Firefighters are calling for a Metro bus to give them a place to gather. The smoke in the area is thick, he says. The massive response has 35th SW basically blocked off between Henderson and (to the south) Barton. Compounding matters for all involved: Pounding rain.
3:03 AM: Patrick reports that the fire seems to be out and the concern now is for the evacuees, who as you might expect had to rush out of their apartments not particularly dressed for the outdoors, much less pouring rain. Still awaiting the aforementioned bus. No word if any of them will be able to get back into their apartments tonight – we hope to hear that from the SFD public-information officer that’s been summoned to the scene.
3:31 AM: Update from the scene: A librarian showed up and let the evacuees into Southwest Library to take refuge from the chilly rain. Meantime, some of the SFD units are clearing out and heading back to their stations.
3:51 AM: The incident commander tells us 32 people in all had to leave their apartments – no telling how soon they’ll be allowed back inside, though the damage was reported as largely confined to one first-floor unit and the hall outside it.
(And the Metro bus for the evacuees finally arrived.) 35th is still closed between Henderson and Barton.
4:30 AM: Above, that’s our video of the incident commander’s briefing. Also added a few more photos.
4:43 AM: In comments, a tenant says some of the residents have been allowed back inside.
10:33 AM UPDATE: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore says “an electrical malfunction in the kitchen range which ignited combustible materials in the kitchen” is to blame for the fire, adding: “Investigators say the kitchen fire extended to the living room of the bottom level unit. The fire is being ruled accidental. … The apartment resident says a smoke detector alerted her to the fire which allowed her to safely escape. The Red Cross was called to assist the one resident with temporary shelter. The damage estimate is $47,000.”