A house fire on 28th SW a few blocks south of Roxbury, next to Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor). is under investigation this morning. The house is just north of the campus, separated by a driveway and embankment, so there was no damage at the school. The fire started after 11 pm; the incident commander from North Highline Fire District told us nobody was home at the time, and nobody was hurt. A county fire investigator arrived on the scene while we were there and started working to find out how the fire started.
The design for the new Fire Station 32 in The Triangle will be shown off at an open house June 1st. First word of the event has just arrived in the mailboxes of neighbors including Sharonn Meeks of the Fairmount Community Association, who shared a copy of the invitation. The station at 37th and Alaska is almost half a century old, and its replacement will be headquarters to SFD’s Battalion 7 – a larger role than the station has now, though it’s already home to the only West Seattle-based medic unit, Medic 32. Though the city has applied for permits, construction of the $15 million project is still a ways off, with demolition likely late next year, as we reported in a project update two months ago. You can find out more firsthand at the June 1st event, 1-3 pm, promising tours as well as a chance to see the design planned for the new station, which will be built on the current site, with station operations located to a TBD temporary site during construction.
(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.”
(WSB photos added 11:16 am: Sign posted on P-Patch shed)
Seattle Police are investigating a shed fire at Longfellow Creek P-Patch in Westwood this morning after it was determined to be arson. From Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Kyle Moore:
Fire Investigators have determined a shed fire located at a West Seattle P-Patch is an incendiary fire.
At 6:50 a.m., a delivery driver called 911 to report a shed fire located in the park in the 2400 block of SW Thistle Street. Engine 11 arrived to find a smoldering pile of combustibles in a wheelbarrow bucket.
The fire was quickly extinguished. There was also minor scorching to the shed.
The damage estimate is $500. The Seattle Police Department’s Arson Bomb Squad was notified of the fire and will investigate.
Anyone with information that can help solve this case is asked to call the Arson Hotline at 800-55-ARSON.
The garden area where this fire happened is alongside Longfellow Creek, just east of Chief Sealth International High School. According to the P-Patch’s city website, it has more than two dozen garden plots.
(Photo by David Ryder)
If you saw the smoke last night in the Admiral area – it was from that car fire in the West Seattle High School parking lot, caught on camera by photographer David Ryder. Because of conflicting incidents/events last night, we didn’t get there until the fire was already out and firefighters had departed, but followed up after getting questions today.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Kyle Moore says it was a one-engine callout, but since there was nothing extraordinary about it, he has no information on its cause and says the fire crew that handled it is off-duty today, so he can’t check with them, but he notes that the fire marshal wasn’t called out – which would have been the case if there had been anything suspicious – and no medic unit was called, meaning no serious injuries, if any.
ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: Moore has since been able to reach the crew, and says: “The driver of the car said smoke started in the steering column when she tried to start the car. The most likely cause of the fire was an electrical fire inside the steering column.” He also confirms that no one was hurt.
If you’re wondering about a large Seattle Fire Department call-out in the 6300 block of High Point Drive SW, all units are being dismissed from what has now been reported via the scanner as “Food on the Stove.”
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
(10:18 pm) We’re checking out the fire response in the 5900 block of SW Stevens, about half a block west – reduced from what was originally a “full response.” (added 10:25 pm) A neighbor says there was “a lot of smoke” initially but whatever it was, it appears to be out now, and units are clearing the scene. (added 10:31 pm) Christopher Boffoli reports it was “food on the stove.”
Christina shared that photo of a scary but short-lived sight in front of the New Apostolic Church at 32nd and 106th in east Arbor Heights last night. The call was logged as “brush fire”; we checked this morning with Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Kyle Moore, who says that once Engine 37 got there, they had it “knocked down in less than a minute.” He adds that it’s believed to have been sparked by “improperly discarded smoking materials” – a reminder that it doesn’t have to be the dusty dry heart of summer for a tossed-aside cigarette (etc.) to cause trouble.
12:14 AM: A caller driving by told 911 about seeing smoke and possibly flames at a home in the 9800 block of 35th SW (map), so Seattle Fire Department has a full response on the way. First unit on the scene isn’t seeing anything, though. 35th SW is closed between 98th and 100th while firefighters investigate.
12:59 AM: Call’s closed, which means the crews have cleared from the scene.
6:29 AM: Firefighters have responded to a house-fire call in the 8600 block of 9th SW. We’re on the way to find out what’s happening.
6:37 AM: The call has closed on the 911 log and no crews remain, so apparently nothing major.
9:14 AM: We checked with SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, who explains: “It was an overheated potato in the microwave.” Smoke, but no fire.
P.S. Moore points out that cooking food, left unwatched, is the #1 cause of residential fires.
(First two photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
7:45 PM: House-fire call (35th and Cloverdale) drawing the big response right now. More to come.
8 PM: 35th is closed both ways at the fire scene in the 8600 block of 35th SW. Smoke is visible.
8:05 PM: Additional medics were dispatched to the scene; WSB’s Patrick Sand is there and tells us medics can be seen checking out one person so far.
8:10 PM: Medics now checking out two people and trying to determine how many people were in the house. Neighbors tell us it is occupied by “many.” Other neighbors say it was converted to a triplex a while back.
(This photo and next one are by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
8:21 PM: Our crew got an update at the scene. Six people in the house; two were checked out but are not expected to need to be taken to the hospital. The fire is believed to have originated in the basement, though the cause hasn’t been sorted out yet – that’s where the smoke was coming from. 35th SW remains closed from Thistle to Trenton but should be open within an hour or so, authorities believe.
9 PM: Adding photos (including one to replace our original cameraphone picture). Two bearded dragons were rescued from the house, according to this comment from Glenda, who says they and their person need a little help:
The house that burned on 35th & Cloverdale was the home of 2 Bearded Dragons (1 Male / 1 female). Their person got them out, but their set-up is inside & they aren’t allowed to go in for it. If anyone out there has a couple of old glass aquariums & a couple of heat lamps to get them through the night it would be very much appreciated. I’ll watch for responses and give directions.
The Red Cross also has been called in to help the fire victims, according to SFD.
9:12 PM: Southbound 35th SW is opening, per the scanner. Northbound will remain closed TFN.
11:16 PM: Drove by a short time ago to check – 35th is now fully open, and the fire scene is clear. SFD, meantime, has tweeted the fire’s cause: “West Seattle triplex basement fire caused by overheated electrical cord. Damage estimate is $125k to structure, $25k to contents.”
(UPDATED Wednesday morning with fire’s cause)
(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
4:22 PM: Fire crews are in the 1700 block of 46th SW in North Admiral on a house-fire call. First units on scene say it’s a possible wall fire in the back of the house.
ADDED 4:31 PM: We have a crew on scene who says some smoke is visible. Per scanner, fire crews have isolated the fire to “the electrical panel area” in the house.
4:38 PM UPDATE: Added a photo. Some units are being dismissed from the scene, as the relatively small fire is in check.
(Photo by Craig Baerwaldt)
No injuries reported.
4:51 PM UPDATE: WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand talked with firefighters at the scene. A resident was home when this happened and has been going through the house with fire crews to check everything else. SFD’s investigator is on the way to doublecheck/verify the cause.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY MORNING, 10:12 AM: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore verifies: “The cause of the fire was … a malfunction at the electrical panel. The fire extended to an interior wall. The estimated loss is $25,000.”
(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
Big scare in the 4500 block of 41st SW in The Junction tonight after that truck caught fire. WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli says the resident who reported it said the truck’s wheel/fire appeared to be burning first, and then the front of the truck burst into flames, with an audible explosion.
No reports of injury – SFD’s investigation unit, Marshal 5, was called to the scene to check it out; we’ll be checking to see what they figure out about the cause.
ADDED 11:02 AM MONDAY: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore tells WSB their investigator “determined the 2000 Ford pickup truck’s fire was most likely an electrical fire. The damage estimate is $5,400.”
10:55 AM: Crews are on the scene of a house-fire call in the 200 block of SW Roxbury – the east end of the street. They’ve already reported it as “tapped” and are dismissing some of the crews; more to come.
11:11 AM: Firefighters on the scene say what fire there was, was in the back of the house. No injuries reported; the investigation into its cause is under way.
11:25 AM: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore has just been to the scene and provided new information: The fire started in a backyard kennel-type structure that was housing 4 dogs (all described as Chihuahuas). They’re all OK. But the flames did extend to the deck and the back wall of the house – the interior was not involved, so the house remains habitable. Investigators are still trying to find out what sparked the fire.
(This photo and next one courtesy of SFD)
4:36 PM: Adding photos shared by SFD’s Moore showing where the fire started (and spread), at the back of the home, where the wire kennel area was.
Still awaiting final word on the fire’s cause.
10:44 PM UPDATE: And that information’s now in – a heater in the “dog house” caused an accidental electrical fire, SFD says, with flames spreading to the wooden deck and siding before the fire was extinguished. Damage is estimated at $20,000.
Close call in Sunrise Heights earlier this afternoon, 7100 block of 31st SW – “food left on the stove” caused enough smoke for a house-fire response, but it was caught in time to avert a full-on fire, and nobody was hurt. Thanks to Tony Bradley for sharing the photo!
Investigators say they have figured out what caused the fire at a Fauntleroy home at sunset Saturday (WSB coverage here). The fire at a two-story home in the 4500 block of SW Trenton is blamed on “a malfunctioning temperature control which operates the heating element of a water bed,” according to Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Kyle Moore. He says it “overheated and ignited nearby combustibles.” Damage is estimated at $50,000, but, Moore adds, “the home had fire, smoke and water damage throughout the main floor and basement.” Nobody was hurt. (If you live in the neighborhood, you might have noticed fire crews responding to the same house again last night – we heard the calls on the scanner; a fire alarm went off, but no new fire was found.)
4:35 PM: Crews are en route to a house-fire call in the 4500 block of SW Trenton, which is about a block east of Fauntleroy Way. More shortly.
4:44 PM UPDATE: Lots of smoke from the back of the house when we arrived, not much now. No flames visible.
4:55 PM UPDATE: The incident commander tells WSB the fire started in a back bedroom. They’re not sure yet how it started; they’re still checking to make sure it didn’t extend into the walls, attic, etc. No report of injuries at this point; two people who were home at the time are reported to have gotten out safely. Added above this update, a photo from neighbor Emily, with a wider perspective than ours.
5:12 PM: Crews are checking out a house-fire call in the 5200 block of Beach Drive SW. It’s a small fire, reported to be under control, and some of the units are being dismissed.
5:28 PM: The call has closed.
Fire units are at a building in the 2700 block of Alki SW (map), after a report of smoke. Per the scanner, a resident is telling them it was a problem with cooking – no actual fire spotted so far. And firefighters have just confirmed “food on the stove” – smoke, but no fire. They will be ventilating the building’s fourth floor.
Big response to a “fire in building” call a few minutes ago in the 2700 block of Alki SW, but according to the scanner, firefighters say it was a “food on stove” situation and have canceled most of the units.
4:56 PM: Fire crews are arriving in the 8400 block of 41st SW to check out a possible house fire.
5:02 PM UPDATE: No flames. Some smoke in the house. Firefighters aren’t even putting water on it. Most of the units originally dispatched have been canceled.
(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
8:29 PM: Seattle Fire units are rushing to a “fire in building” call in the 4800 block of SW Juneau (map). More shortly.
8:36 PM UPDATE: Per the scanner, it’s described as a wall fire and said to be under control. (2 minutes later) It’s now “tapped,” and SFD is calling off the units that hadn’t arrived yet. They’re keeping four units at the scene – two engines, a ladder truck, and battalion chief. No reports of any injuries.
8:42 PM UPDATE: Added a photo. Meantime, the fire marshal is en route to look into the cause.
9:02 PM UPDATE: Our crews at the scene have talked to the neighbor who called the fire in after seeing smoke and some flames. He confirms to WSB this house was unoccupied – it’s undergoing remodeling. So definitely no injuries; cause remains under investigation.
ADDED 9:04 AM MONDAY: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore tells WSB their investigator “determined the fire was accidental, caused by electrical wiring in the wall which overheated and ignited the kitchen. Estimated loss is $40,000.”
(Cross-posted from partner site White Center Now)
(WSB/WCN photo from Saturday night)
Two updates today on Saturday night’s deadly fire on 28th SW, just south of Roxbury: First, according to King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West, it’s been ruled an accidental electrical fire. (Though no crime was believed to be involved, Sgt. West was dispatched to the scene to help coordinate communication.) Second, the sister of the home’s resident, 71-year-old Peggy Munsen, has spoken with WCN news partner The Seattle Times and confirmed that Ms. Munsen is the woman who died in the fire. That’s the same information given to us that night by a friend, but WSB policy is to withhold names until officials and/or family confirmed it. Ms. Munsen’s sister is former West Seattleite, now Bremerton resident, Kay Trepanier, long known for her business Cruises By Kay. As she told The Times, her sister went into the cruise business too. There is no word yet of memorial plans.
(WSB/WCN photo by Patrick Sand)
6:03 PM: From partner site White Center Now: Firefighters confirm one person was found dead at the scene of a house fire in the 9800 block of 28th SW. The fire itself was not that big, but generated lots of smoke, and they suspect the victim – described as a woman in her late 60s, early 70s – was overcome by smoke. Investigators don’t know yet how it started; West Seattle firefighters were called to assist North Highline/Burien crews at the scene. More in our WCN report. P.S. The “crime scene” tape doesn’t mean it’s a suspected crime – it’s just what they had handy to cordon it off.
6:54 PM UPDATE: Our crew is just back from a followup visit to the scene, with this video of a briefing with the acting battalion chief:
The only new bit of information is that the fire started in the living room and spread to a crawlspace.
8:35 PM UPDATE: A friend of the 71-year-old woman who lived at the home, a longtime local business owner, tells us her friend is the fire victim, and that her family mostly lives out of town but will be contacted. Our policy is to not publish names until either authorities or relatives confirm that next of kin has been officially notified. The victim’s friend remembers her as “a wonderfully sweet and kind lady with a wicked sense of humor; a dear friend who will be greatly missed.”
10:16 PM UPDATE: Just went back to check – 28th SW is reopened. One fire vehicle and a TV truck remain at the scene.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
6:31 AM: We’re checking on a house-fire call in the 9000 block of 16th SW. It appears to have been fairly short-lived, with an investigator called just a few minutes after the original call at 5:09 am, but we’ve gone to the scene to find out.
6:41 AM: According to the investigator on scene, this was another case – like Saturday night’s fire on 14th SW – of an “illegally occupied” house, across the street from the Salvation Army center. Neighbors told fire crews that transients are frequently seen at the site. The front of the building shows significant fire damage; nobody was hurt. Official word of the cause isn’t expected until later.
8:03 AM: Also like the Saturday night fire scene, this house has a record of city-code complaints, including a case listed as “not resolved,” with problems including “vacant, open to entry, overgrown, outdoor storage of junk.”
9:33 AM: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore tells WSB this was an accidental fire: “Transients inhabited the house and created a cooking fire in the living room which resulted in the fire to the vacant home. The estimated dollar loss is $151,000.”
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.”
(Photo by Patrick Sand for WSB)
1:23 PM: Big response right now to the 2300 block of Halleck, which is in Upper Alki (map), for a reported house fire. Police are headed that way too, to help with traffic control. More to come.
1:33 PM UPDATE: First crews on scene reported (via scanner) “light smoke” and a suspicion that this is an electrical fire. They say it is under control.
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
1:53 PM UPDATE: Some crews have been canceled. We’ve added a photo from WSB’s Christopher Boffoli. There’s word of one possible injury – WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand, who also went to the scene, says medics are checking out someone with a possible knee injury (neighborhood person, not firefighter), but we don’t know the circumstances.
1:59 PM UPDATE: The injury is now reported not to be related to the fire. Have added another photo, this time from Patrick, showing the actual structure where the fire happened – construction has been under way there.
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