(UPDATED THURSDAY AFTERNOON with identification of victim)
5 AM: The house is described as “fully involved” (in flames) with wires down.
5:05 AM: Per scanner, SFD says
everyone is out of the house and they are fighting the fire in a “defensive mode.” They’re calling for more crews.
5:14 AM: We’ve added the first photos from our crew. SFD is now not certain everyone is out after all.
5:24 AM: They’ve called for the Red Cross to come help three people described as adults. Meantime, if you’re hearing a helicopter, it’s TV.
5:49 AM: Fire crews report continued progress on what’s left of the fire. They’ve called for the investigator as well as the chaplain. Media has just been briefed by SFD spokesperson Alice Kim, who confirms three people got out OK – one with minor injuries – and that there are as-yet-unconfirmed reports someone might still be in the house; they’re searching.
5:55 AM: Our crew says hoses were run to 45th and 100th, which explains why Metro says Routes 21 and 22 are rerouted from 44th and 100th, a block-plus south of the fire.
6:22 AM: Media at the scene is being kept back from the house. Per scanner, firefighters are trying to search from outside; hotspots are reported to be flaring up on one side. Wires were reported down in the early going; the City Light map says six homes are without power in the area.
6:55 AM: Seattle Fire now confirms that one person has been found dead, described as a “middle-aged woman.”
7:15 AM: Still a large SFD deployment on the scene, two and a half hours after the first report. Here are new photos from our crew:
SFD says the woman was found dead in a bathroom on the first floor of the house and that firefighters had to cut through two walls to reach her.
8:26 AM: More units are leaving the scene. Here’s what’s visible from the alley behind the house:
We’re uploading video from the most-recent briefing at the scene by SFD spokesperson Kim. (added:)
We’ll be checking back at the scene later this morning.
11:59 AM: We asked the local Red Cross about help for the family. Colin Downey replied, “Red Cross volunteers did respond to this morning’s tragic fire. They provided assistance for three people to help meet immediate needs, which can include emergency lodging, food and clothing. Our caseworkers will continue to follow-up in the coming days.”
5 PM: We went back over a while ago. A Seattle Fire engine was still on “fire watch” – after most major fires, at least one unit is usually kept at the scene for some time in case of a flare up. SFD, meantime, says it has not yet been able to determine what started the fire, “pending further information” – but estimates damage as worth $400,000. The woman found dead in a bathroom has yet to be publicly identified.
ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: The victim is identified by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office as 51-year-old Lori Ann Stapleton. The KCME says she died of smoke inhalation.