ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:25 PM: Seattle Fire is responding to a call characterized as a “minor explosion” near Fauntleroy and Alaska. At least one witness say it’s blown off a “manhole cover” near Spruce/LA Fitness. Power is out to more than 3,200 homes and businesses in West Seattle as a result, according to the City Light outage map. More to come.
1:32 PM: This has escalated to a “vault fire” callout.
1:38 PM: Adding a photo. Lots of emergency vehicles and big traffic backups, so avoid the Fauntleroy/Alaska area TFN.
1:49 PM: City Light says they hope to restore power “within a few hours.” SFD has canceled some of the units responding to the vault fire (for the commenter who asked what that means – it’s an underground vault that’s part of the electrical system). No word of any injuries so far.
1:55 PM: Now up to more than 3,900 homes and businesses out – this is on the City Light map as two separate outages, 3,200+ and 600+. Adding a screengrab momentarily for the record:
1:59 PM: And then … some got their power back, so the outage has returned to 3,200+. Thanks for the updates in comments – that’s usually first word of power restoration!
2:12 PM: Commenter Matt shared the photo you see above – the smoke coming from underground right in front of Spruce/LA Fitness just after explosions were heard. Meantime, the number of homes/businesses without power is down to 1,820.
2:33 PM: Seattle Fire has completely cleared the scene, meaning the fire is out. In addition to those still without power – an outage also affecting some traffic lights in the area – we also have several mentions that Comcast service is out.
2:52 PM: Just added above, our upload of Matt’s video (linked in comments) of the vault smoke from earlier. Meantime, more comments are saying power’s back, even in the immediate vicinity. Thanks for the updates!
3:55 PM: Down to 136 out, per SCL map.
9 PM: Five hours after that note – they’re still out. Meantime, a Spruce resident has published video from the aftermath of what happened this afternoon:
9:22 PM: Minutes before the estimated time of restoration, the power’s back for all, according to the City Light map. (Call SCL if yours is NOT back yet!)