UPDATE: Big response, small fire at home on 36th SW

July 20, 2015 at 12:58 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

12:58 PM: A full Seattle Fire response is headed to the 5600 block of 36th SW (map) for a possible house fire. Updates to come.

1:01 PM: First units to arrive aren’t seeing anything, and are hearing it might just be a “dryer fire.”

1:06 PM: Our crew at the scene says that’s been confirmed – a small dryer fire, and it’s out. Most of the responding units have been sent back.

UPDATE: ‘Smoking materials’ blamed for house fire at 44th/Graham

July 20, 2015 at 1:29 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 9 Comments

(Thanks to Steve for the photo)

1:29 AM: Seattle Fire units are arriving at what the first arrivals are describing as a “small exterior fire” at a house in the 4400 block of SW Graham.

1:38 AM UPDATE: The fire has since been described as coming from the house’s crawl space. Two people were inside, described as a man and woman in their 50s, and escaped without injury, according to emergency-radio discussion; Red Cross is being called to help them. Some SFD units are being dismissed.

1:49 AM: The fire’s been pronounced “tapped” and the cause is under investigation.

2:06 AM: SFD is cancelling the call for the Red Cross, which means either the residents don’t need help or that they’ll be able to reoccupy their house.

10:13 AM: We checked with SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore regarding the cause and the damage. He says investigators determined the fire was caused by “improperly discarded smoking materials (that) ignited a wooden planter of the front porch. The fire spread to exterior siding and crawlspace. The damage estimate is $50,000. There were no injuries.”

UPDATE: ‘Brush fire with exposure’ call in Westwood

July 18, 2015 at 1:30 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

1:30 AM: If you’ve heard all the Seattle Fire units – they’re headed to a “brush fire with exposure” call in the 2500 block of SW Cloverdale. More to come.

1:51 AM: Tried to catch up with the crews – finally spotted one set of flashing lights in the middle of the residential complex east of Southwest Athletic Complex. No flames/smoke evident by then except for a bit of the latter in the lights on Trenton between SWAC and Westwood Village.

2:27 AM: In comments, Denise says neighbors used hoses to get a handle on it even before firefighters arrived.

UPDATE: Brush fire chars quarter-acre near High Point Pond

July 15, 2015 at 2:29 pm | In High Point, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

2:29 PM: If you’re seeing smoke from a distance – it’s a brush fire in High Point, near the pond, on a grassy slope.

Firefighters are here and taking care of it but the smoke was visible from a couple miles away. More to come.

2:38 PM: Engine 36 is the crew on scene and the flames are out, the smoke has dissipated, but they’re soaking the charred slope in a big way – as neighbors are observing, it’s really dry here, even just over the green embankments by the pond itself. This was stopped before it could spread to any buildings, and no injuries are reported. No info yet about how it started.

10:01 PM: Still awaiting the cause info but we do know that it burned a quarter of an acre and came perilously close to a fence. SFD planned to check back at the scene tonight to be sure no hotspots remained.

Saving pets’ lives: Miniature masks donated to Seattle Fire Department

July 14, 2015 at 2:07 pm | In Pets, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

(Firefighter Jeff Blevins with rescued cat; 2012 photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
You might remember that scene from a fire near The Junction in 2012; the Seattle Fire Department has to revive/treat pets more often than you think, and that’s why a donation today is so welcome. Here’s the SFD news release:

Today, Seattle Fire Department Chief Harold Scoggins received 20 donated pet oxygen masks from the Invisible Fence Brand of Seattle. The masks will be used to resuscitate animals overcome by smoke inhalation at fire scenes.

“I am very thankful for Invisible Fence’s generous donation,” said Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. “These masks are another tool in our tool belt that firefighters can use to save pets overcome by carbon monoxide.”

In 2006, the Seattle Fire Department began carrying pet oxygen masks on Battalion Chief vehicles. The masks are used on animals overcome by smoke at building fires and other types of emergencies. Each mask contains a small, medium and large face piece. The cone-shaped design allows a snout to fit inside while a rubber gasket on the large end allows a seal to be maintained. They can be used on small animals like mice and guinea pigs too.

“When a family suffers the tragedy of fire, lives are turned upside down,” said Ed Hoyt, Director of Invisible Fence Brand.” Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if tragedy strikes.”

While the priority for firefighters is saving lives and property, the first responders are able to rescue and resuscitate trapped or injured pets.

Since the pet oxygen program began, the masks have been used at more than a half dozen fire scenes to successfully resuscitate pets.

On March 26, 2014, firefighters and paramedics revived two cats trapped in a burning home in the 3200 block of South Hudson Street in the Rainier Valley.

On March 22, 2013, Firefighter Blake Bidleman and other fire crews revived two cats after they were rescued from a burning North Seattle condo building located in the 11500 block of 15th Avenue NE.

On January 9, 2012, Firefighter Jeff Blevins revived a cat found inside a burning West Seattle home in the 3800 block of 46th Avenue Southwest.

There are steps that people can take to protect their pets during a fire or medical emergency. We have a fact sheet on our website.

UPDATE: More West Seattle ‘brush fires’ – fireworks, cigarettes…

July 5, 2015 at 9:49 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:49 PM SUNDAY: Just before our side trip to investigate the no-longer-a-mystery music, we stopped by the latest West Seattle “brush fire” call, 5000 block of Erskine Way, just southwest of The Junction. The top photo was sent by Janet, who said neighbors attacked it even before firefighters could get there. Engine 32 was there and already wrapping up by the time we arrived:

(WSB photo)
While firefighters couldn’t find the source, neighbors believe fireworks were to blame for starting it (around 7:40 pm). The flames swept across a grassy embankment just north of the Erskine roadside. No structures damaged, nobody hurt. But this one brought in several tips – thanks as always (206-293-6302 text/voice any time).

ADDED MONDAY MORNING: We also received this photo from Brandon:

That Sunday fire near 34th/Juneau is blamed on a cigarette. And as we were writing this, a comment came in about a similar situation within the past hour in Morgan Junction. It gets drier by the minute out there, so please be extra-extra-safe.

West Seattle 4th of July fire watch: Gatewood tree burns

July 4, 2015 at 4:28 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Since midnight, the Seattle Fire Department 911 log shows two “brush fire” calls in West Seattle (out of a total of six citywide today). Above, the aftermath of one of them, shared by Dennis, who wrote, “Someone with fireworks didn’t like our tree. 12:35 last night. Be careful, folks, it is REAL DRY out there … this is what can happen.” He’s in the 3600 block of SW Othello in Gatewood; the other “brush fire” call so far, about 12 hours later, was in the 8100 block of 14th SW in Highland Park.

UPDATE: Fire in High Point damages vehicle, shed, fence

July 3, 2015 at 8:45 am | In High Point, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(WSB photo)
8:45 AM: Firefighters are arriving at the scene near 31st and Morgan of what’s being described as a brush fire that spread to a vehicle and fence. More to come.

8:48 AM: From the scanner – the fire’s been declared under control.

8:52 AM: And now the fire’s tapped. Some units have been dismissed.

9:06 AM: Our crew talked with firefighters at the scene. They don’t yet know how it started, but it’s out. It happened at a residence along 31st south of Morgan. No injuries.

9:22 AM: Photo added.

UPDATE: Trash-can fire on Shinkle Place SW

July 2, 2015 at 11:54 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

11:54 AM: Big Seattle Fire response for a possible fire at a townhouse in the 7100 block of Shinkle Place SW (map), just southeast of High Point. So far sounds like a small fire but they’re checking to be sure it didn’t spread.

NOON: SFD says it was a trash-can fire in a garage and has scaled down the response.

Big response, small fire in 6900 block of Delridge Way

June 30, 2015 at 11:35 am | In Delridge, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Sorry we didn’t mention this in real time, but we’ve received a few questions, so we’re mentioning it now: The big Seattle Fire response in the 6900 block of Delridge Way SW just after 10 am turned out to be a small kitchen fire, according to SFD – most units dismissed quickly, no injuries reported.

VIDEO: Mobile crane hits wire, catches fire in 4700 block SW Andover; no one hurt

June 25, 2015 at 8:27 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 40 Comments

(Added above: Photo courtesy Bryan & Janet Jones; below, WSB video by Patrick Sand)


FIRST REPORT, 8:27 AM: Seattle Fire is upgrading a “car fire” call in the 4700 block of SW Andover to a “full response” so lots of units are heading that way and we’re told the smoke is visible for some ways around. (added) First units on scene are describing it as a “well-involved crane” with “power lines below the crane” – dangerous situation – avoid the area.

8:33 AM: Thanks to Kimberly for the photo:

Our crew just arrived and says it’s in the alley between 47th and 48th. From the scanner, the fire is “confined to (the mobile crane) and fence.” Firefighters are working to keep it from spreading.

8:38 AM: We’ve added a short Instagram video clip from our crew atop this story. Firefighters say the fire’s under control.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
No injuries reported. The smoke was visible from as far away as downtown – here’s one of the views tweeted to us:


8:46 AM: Update from our crew at the scene: The mobile crane was lifting roof trusses for a construction project nearby. Those items are largely undamaged.

(WSB photos from here down are by Christopher Boffoli unless otherwise credited)
The fire response is scaling down. No report of flames spreading to nearby homes – firefighters got it handled in time.

8:54 AM: SFD tells us they believe the fire started when the crane touched a wire, which would explain commenters’ reports of a brief power outage at about the same time.

9:00 AM: Thanks to John for the video we’ve just added above this line. We still have crews at the scene but also just have heard via scanner that Seattle City Light has advised SFD to keep a 30-foot safety perimeter around the burned crane.

The project with which it was associated, according to our crew, is at 4007 47th SW, which is showing in city permit files as an addition to a single-family house.

9:23 AM: Thanks to everyone who sent photos, and to those with additional scene info in comments. Adding to the story, as well as adding photos shot by WSB’s Patrick Sand and Christopher Boffoli. The scene, meantime, has stabilized to some degree; we will be checking back later.

9:39 AM: Also via scanner – the power lines “are still energized” and they’re awaiting City Light’s arrival to cut the power as well as a salvage crew to remove the crane.

10:07 AM: Not sure how this will affect people in the area but now they’re saying SCL won’t be able to shut down the power until noon or so. At least one SFD engine is remaining on scene TFN.

5:05 PM: It’s been pointed out to us that power’s been out since just after noon, for more than two dozen customers (homes) in the surrounding area. The City Light website projects restoration soon.

10:30 PM: The power outage is over. But a quick drive through the area shows the fire-damaged crane is still there.

UPDATE: Fire outside 17th SW apartments, out quickly

June 24, 2015 at 7:13 am | In Delridge, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

7:13 AM: Big fire response right now to the (corrected address) 9200 block of 17th SW (map) in South Delridge. First crews on scene say it’s a brush fire in front of an apartment building.

7:16 AM: The fire is quickly pronounced “tapped,” and they’re canceling some of the units.

7:30 AM: According to our crew on the scene, SFD is saying that so far, this appears to have been started by cigarette(s) tossed into bushes, and that it scorched a deck of the 2-story building before being put out.

ADDED: Damage is estimated at $5,000.

UPDATE: Small fire extinguished in 9400 block 16th SW

June 22, 2015 at 11:55 am | In Delridge, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(WSB photo)
11:55 AM: Seattle Fire is responding to a “fire in building” call in the 9400 block of 16th SW. First crews are seeing “light smoke.”

12:02 PM: Most units are being dismissed.

12:09 PM: Our crew talked with SFD at the scene. The fire started in some bags of items in an apartment area inside the mixed-use Rozella Building. They’re not sure yet what sparked the fire, but it’s out; no one was hurt.

UPDATE: Rooftop fire at apartment building in The Junction

June 15, 2015 at 12:17 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 25 Comments

(Reader photo courtesy Quent)
12:17 PM: Seattle Fire is at an apartment building in the 4700 block of 41st SW after a report of smoke. More to come.

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
12:23 PM UPDATE: SFD says it was a “rooftop fire” but is now “extinguished.”

The address on the SFD log checks to the City Watch Apartments east of Jefferson Square.

12:30 PM: Update via scanner – firefighters have now spotted a “small fire in a planter” on the rooftop.

12:39 PM: They’re calling for another engine and ladder. No word of injuries so far. Thanks to Craig Roberts for video showing the heavy smoke when this all got started:

12:44 PM: One of our crews at the scene talked with WSB reader Sue, who lives at this building and is OK, but quite a scare, as her hallway on the 5th floor was full of smoke. We’ve also talked with the incident commander, who says the fire is now tapped.

They’re still checking the air quality among other things so no word on how soon people will be allowed back into the building.

1:18 PM: Just briefed by SFD public-information officer Kyle Moore – he confirms no one was hurt, and that the fire was confined to the rooftop, but investigators don’t know yet what sparked it.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
People are being allowed back into the building.

ADDED MONDAY EVENING: We checked with Moore just before day’s end: “Cause is accidental, improperly discarded smoking materials onto rooftop deck or planter. The damage estimate is $7,000.”

UPDATE: Fire call on 31st SW, closed quickly

June 10, 2015 at 10:41 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

10:41 PM: Big SFD response to a possible house fire in the 6000 block of 31st SW. More to come…

10:52 PM: The call closed before we even arrived.

UPDATE: Kitchen fire in the 8600 block of 13th SW

June 8, 2015 at 3:47 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

3:47 PM: Seattle Fire has a big callout going to a house in the 8600 block of 13th SW (near SW Trenton). The first units on the scene report seeing “light smoke.” More to come.

3:51 PM: Via scanner, this has just been confirmed as a kitchen fire, “food on the stove.” Lots of smoke in the house, though. Most SFD units are being canceled.

UPDATE: Fire call in 8800 block Delridge Way SW

June 7, 2015 at 3:55 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

3:55 PM: Third big fire response of the day, this time to a 2-story apartment building in the 8800 block of Delridge Way SW (near Trenton). The first units on the scene aren’t seeing anything so far. More to come.

3:58 PM: Most of the units are being canceled after firefighters found this to be a case of “food on the stove,” saying the resulting kitchen fire is out.

4:04 PM: Our crew says one unit is left at the scene, and traffic along Delridge is not affected.

UPDATE: ‘Suspicious’ fire at 3000 SW Avalon Way condominiums

June 7, 2015 at 4:59 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

(WSB photos)
4:59 AM: Now there’s a second major fire call: This time, to an apartment building at 3000 SW Avalon Way (map). “Heavy smoke” reported on the first floor; they’re closing Avalon. Updates to come.

5:04 AM: Via scanner, we heard fire crews saying they’ve “pulled a burning five-gallon bucket” out of the building and are slowing down the rest of the response.

5:07 AM: This fire is reported to be under control and firefighters are working on building ventilation, one floor at a time.

5:18 AM: Scanner: This is being described as “suspicious.” An investigator’s on the way.

5:20 AM: They’re calling this fire “tapped.” Also: This is a condominium building, NOT apartments – City View West Condominiums, to be specific. 16-unit building.

5:24 AM: No word of any injuries here, either. Some SFD units are being canceled. The incident commander confirms it’s being investigated as “suspicious” and says the materials that originated the fire were found in a stairwell.

5:36 AM: SFD confirms no one was hurt.

7:46 AM: In the photo above are SPD arson investigators who were called out to help look into the cause.

UPDATE: Electrical fire at house on 31st SW in Arbor Heights

June 7, 2015 at 4:40 am | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

(WSB photos)
4:40 AM: Big Seattle Fire response on the way to a possible house fire in the 3100 block of SW 103rd. More to come.

4:46 AM UPDATE: The first crews on scene are reporting this to be an attic/vent fire. They say the person who was home got out OK. Some of the units that were dispatched are being canceled.

4:55 AM UPDATE: Our crew on the scene reports “obvious smoke” and firefighters ventilating the roof.

5:02 AM UPDATE: Our crew says this is believed to be an electrical fire. No injuries reported. Not major. We’ll continue monitoring via scanner as they move on to another West Seattle fire.

5:04 AM UPDATE: The address of this fire has been updated to the 10200 block of 31st SW (updated map here). No injuries reported.

5:27 AM UPDATE: Talking to a supervisor at the aforementioned other (unrelated but almost concurrent) fire scene, we got confirmation this was a wiring fire – (added) apparently the old power meter overheated.

UPDATE: Fire response in 9000 block 16th SW

May 20, 2015 at 10:31 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

10:31 AM: Seattle Fire is just arriving at a residential building in the 9000 block of 16th SW [map] and reporting “light smoke.”

10:34 AM: It’s described as a “smoldering fire” that’s already tapped, so not major, and many units are being canceled. We have a crew on the way to check in person.

10:38 AM: Our crew says the SFD units have ALL left – but now we’re hearing a dispatch for police to “remove transients” from the same location.

UPDATE: ‘Discarded smoking materials’ blamed for fire at Pigeon Point house; SFD says two pets did not survive

May 13, 2015 at 6:12 am | In Pigeon Point, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

6:12 AM: Thanks to the neighbor who texted us about the Seattle Fire response at a house on Pigeon Point in the 4000 block of 23rd SW (map). They report firefighters put out a “visible porch fire.” No report of injuries.

6:20 AM: Adding photos texted by the same neighbor (thank you!). SFD’s fire investigator has been sent to the scene. One person was home, according to SFD, and got out OK.

(WSB photo)
8:55 AM: SFD was just leaving when we went over for a look about an hour ago; they’ve now announced the fire’s cause, damage estimate, and that two pets did not survive:

Fire Investigators determined a basement fire in a 2-story home was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials under the porch of the house. The damage estimate is $50,000 to the building and $20,000 to the contents.

The 911 call came in at 5:46 a.m. reporting smoke coming from the back of a home located in the 4000 block of 23rd Avenue SW. When firefighter arrived they found the lone occupant of the house outside. The crews searched the house and did not find anyone else inside. It took fire crews 20 minutes to control the flames and 40 minutes to completely extinguish the fire.

There were no injuries. The occupant evacuated with one of his 2 dogs. His other dog and a cat did not survive the fire.

UPDATE: ‘Overheated wiring’ blamed for fire at D & H Auto in South Delridge; no one hurt

May 7, 2015 at 9:57 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 20 Comments

(UPDATED Friday afternoon with fire’s cause)

(Texted photo)
9:57 PM: Seattle Fire is responding to a “fire in building” call at Delridge and Barton. It’s believed to be a commercial building. Police are blocking traffic both ways, at Delridge to the north. Westbound traffic is being blocked at 20th/Henderson. More to come.

(ADDED: WSB photo)
10:05 PM: Firefighters confirm it’s a commercial building. They say they have the fire knocked down; our crew has just arrived and says it’s very smoky – firefighters are bringing out their ventilating equipment. As we write this, our crew is telling us the building’s signage says D & H Auto.

10:10 PM: No report of injuries. Despite the volume of smoke, it’s not a huge fire – some units are being dismissed.

10:23 PM: SFD confirms no injuries – no one was in the building when the fire started. The fire marshal (investigator) has been summoned and will determine what caused it.

10:32 PM: We talked at the scene with SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore. He says that flames were visible from the sides of the building when firefighters arrived, but it only took them 10 minutes to get the fire out. They’re still checking for damage inside – one car might have been in the building. Investigation of the cause is under way. The roads in the area should reopen within an hour.

MIDNIGHT: Just drove by. The roads are indeed open, though northbound is narrowed right in front of the fire scene. One fire engine is still there, apparently on “fire watch,” keeping a crew on scene (rotating a new one in every so often) just in case it rekindles. No word yet on the cause. Adding video (above) of our brief interview with SFD spokesperson Moore.

ADDED 1:26 PM FRIDAY: The cause, from SFD:

Seattle Fire Investigators determined a fire at a West Seattle auto repair shop was accidental, caused by overheated electrical wiring inside an office. The damage estimate is $70,000.

The update on SFD’s Fire Line website also says one car was destroyed.

UPDATE: Deck fire at house in 6500 block 25th SW; brush fire reported by bridge

May 5, 2015 at 9:48 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(Added: WSB photo of response on 25th SW)

9:48 AM: Seattle Fire is responding to a deck fire at a house in the 6500 block of 25th SW.

9:52 AM: Crews at the scene say the fire has NOT spread to the house. They’re dismissing most of the responding units. Meantime, in an UNRELATED call you might also be seeing, SFD is checking out a report of a brush fire near the West Seattle Bridge, in the Admiral Way vicinity.

10:07 AM: The brush-fire call already has closed. The 25th SW call remains “open” but our crew at the scene says it’s out, was limited to a small portion of the deck, and that SFD is wrapping up.

3-HOUSE FIRE FOLLOWUP: SFD says fire started by ‘improperly installed heater’; donation drives begin for victims; about the water supply…

May 1, 2015 at 1:10 pm | In How to help, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 31 Comments

(UPDATED FRIDAY NIGHT with fire’s cause, more fundraisers)

(Photo from this morning, by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
ORIGINAL 1:10 PM REPORT: No announcement yet from Seattle Fire regarding what caused the 2-alarm, 3-house fire in the Pelly Place area southwest of Morgan Junction on Thursday afternoon. We went back this morning, and the investigation was still under way. If that information emerges today, we’ll add it to this followup.

7:45 PM UPDATE: SFD announced the cause this evening: “Improperly installed heater on a back porch.” Damage estimate for all three houses and their contents: $2.7 million. (That same link is to the SFD story including more details on the firefight.)

Two other updates:

HOW YOU CAN HELP: So many people have asked how they can help the fire victims. Today, two crowdfunding campaigns have emerged, one for each of two households affected – the links are here and here. We know others are working on finding out if the affected families have any immediate material needs, and we will update.

(7:45 pm update) Three Morgan Junction food/beverage establishments – Peel & Press, The Bridge, Beveridge Place Pub – will be donating a percentage of proceeds on Tuesday, according to Dan from P & P.

(9:36 pm update) Another fund has just been set up for the third family involved.

ABOUT THE WATER SUPPLY: In discussions both here on WSB and on the WSB Facebook page, concerns have arisen about reports that firefighters apparently had some initial challenges. Here’s what we’ve found out so far.

(This photo and next: Thursday photos by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)
SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore tells WSB:

Because we had multiple hose lines running off one hydrant, we asked SPU to boost water pressure on the Fauntleroy hydrant. When we have a multi-alarm fire, its standard procedure for SPU to respond to monitor water pressure. An example was the Christmas Eve multi-alarm fire in the International District 2 years ago when SPU made sure we had enough water pressure to charge multiple hose lines.

It was a long hose lay and we had 2 engines maintaining water pressure. It’s called relay pumping. Firefighters train on this type of pumping.

The hydrants are actually owned/maintained by Seattle Public Utilities, so we are following up with them as well. You might recall the hydrant issues that followed the 2011 Arbor Heights house fire – new hydrants and lines were installed in parts of AH; then in 2013, there was another round of hydrant discussion, including a map of remaining lower-flow hydrants in West Seattle. You can also check the location of hydrants (or at least the proximity) near your residence by zooming in via the city’s MyNeighborhood map.

ADDED 2:45 PM: SPU has sent these responses to our questions, which included an invitation to include any other information that might help people understand how the system works:

1. How far apart are hydrants spaced in the City of Seattle?
Most hydrants are spaced between 300 and 500 feet apart. The closest hydrant in yesterday’s fire was 400 feet away.

2. What is the standard size for a fire hydrant?
Standard-sized hydrants range from 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

3. Is there a standard sized water main for residential areas?
Water mains that are eight inches in diameter are the standard size for new development in residential areas. The nearby water mains in yesterday’s fire were 8-inches and 16-inches in diameter.

4. Were there any low-flow hydrants in the area?
No

5. Is there a performance level for fire flow?
For single-family, residential homes, spacing and flow performance developed in partnership with the Seattle Fire Department include:
• Minimum fire flow at hydrants of 1,000 gallons per minute
• Hydrants within 1,000 feet of fire hose length from any home

6. What can you say about the performance of the water system in yesterday’s fire?
While we are still reviewing, our initial indication is that the water system operated as expected and there is no indication of restrictions in water flow. The water mains and hydrants in this area meet hydrant spacing and flow performance developed in partnership between Seattle Public Utilities and the Seattle Fire Department.

7. Why were Seattle Public Utilities water crew called to respond to the fire?
It is standard practice for SPU crews to respond to large fires. They are available to support the fire department and operate the water system if additional water flow can be achieved. They also act as a liaison between Fire and SPU’s Water Control Center.

UPDATE: SFD investigating 3-house fire SW of Morgan Junction

April 30, 2015 at 4:48 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 137 Comments

(FRIDAY MORNING TOPLINE: SFD still on scene investigating)


(WSB video from our first crew on the scene in the early going)
4:48 PM: Smoke is visible from at least a mile away from a house fire in the 6700 block of 46th SW. (map) Updates to come.


4:50 PM: This is now a two-alarm fire – firefighters say at least two houses are on fire, both “well involved.”

(This photo and next are by Trileigh Tucker)
4:54 PM: They’re also dealing with “power lines dropping.” Stay well away from this fire, obviously.

4:59 PM: At least three houses are now reported to be on fire. This is just north of Lincoln Park. Firefighters have had some water trouble.

(Photo by Tony Bradley)
5:03 PM: It’s a “defensive” firefight now. Per scanners, everybody is reported to be out of the houses, as far as SFD knows.

5:11 PM: Sorry if you’re having trouble getting in – lots of site traffic – we’re working on it. Traffic in the area is being blocked – Fauntleroy Way, for one. Routes 116, 118, 119 are rerouted off Fauntleroy between Holly and Myrtle – catch them from California, Metro says:

5:21 PM: Still no word of any injuries. And way too early to say how this started. Seattle Fire PIO Kyle Moore is on site.

(Photo by Diana Phelps)
5:26 PM: Smoke from this has been visible from miles around. We’ve received many photos – will get them up as when we can – showing that, such as this:


5:35 PM: We checked again with SFD spokesperson Moore – this is still a very active firefight. Our crew says one of the houses has completely burned to the ground – we haven’t had a fire like that in this area since the Arbor Heights fire more than two years ago. While they believe all the people got out, firefighters are not sure yet if any pets were lost.

(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
5:41 PM: One of the three houses is “collapsing” – one is being fought defensively, one offensively, per ongoing radio discussion. It’s now been an hour since the first dispatch for this.

(Photo by Ann Pot-Staton)
5:58 PM: Lots of questions in the comments about how to help the fire victims. This is still such an intense scene, they haven’t even been able to call the Red Cross yet, says SFD’s Moore, with whom our on-scene crews are in close contact.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
He’s also said more about the earlier water-supply issue – this is a somewhat secluded area (Pelly Place is the neighborhood name) and one line had to be run all the way up to Fauntleroy.

(This WSB photo and next two, by Christopher Boffoli)
6:32 PM: The fire’s not entirely out but the scene is a little calmer. We’ve talked to a Red Cross rep at the scene and their first step in the process of trying to help the fire victims is to get a case number going and to see if the victims want help. They should know more about that in a few hours.

6:48 PM: Continuing to add photos.

Also, we have just confirmed that other jurisdictions to the south have sent fire units as mutual aid, underscoring how big this is – will add a photo of that shortly. (Added: County, Tukwila units – Renton, North Highline, SeaTac also seen, according to our crew):

7:44 PM: Thanks to Aaron for explaining the mutual aid in this comment. Also seen at the scene, newly confirmed Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins:

No answers made public yet regarding how it started and how people can help.

9:27 PM: We are back at the fire scene. Fauntleroy has just reopened.

Willow west of Fauntleroy will remain closed.

11:01 PM: Still awaiting word on the fire’s cause.

8:14 AM FRIDAY: We went back to the scene again to see what’s happening. Fire investigators are still there:

For comparison’s sake – this photo is from the same angle as the video at the top of report, recorded when our crew arrived just ahead of firefighters. Also still awaiting, as discussed in comments, word of how to help the fire victims.

11:44 AM FRIDAY: Here’s a crowdfunding account set up for one of the families.

12:25 PM FRIDAY: And here is another. Please e-mail us at editor@westseattleblog.com with word of anything else – we are launching another story shortly atop the main page and will be including an ongoing list.

UPDATE: RV catches fire by 1st/Olson/Roxbury

April 19, 2015 at 3:31 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

3:31 PM: Guy sent us that photo of a burning RV even before we saw the “car fire” callout for 1st/Olson. Via scanner, we’re hearing a traffic alert for the east end of Roxbury. We’re also hearing the fire’s out but foam was used to fight it and so the hill needs some cleanup before it’s safe for traffic. No word yet on any injuries. Avoid the area for a while.

3:41 PM: Police report that SDOT has arrived on scene.

4:11 PM: SDOT tells us via Twitter that its dispatch reports the area now clear.

ADDED TUESDAY: We finally got some information from SFD. Spokesperson Kyle Moore says the carburetor caught fire while the RV’s owner was driving it; he pulled over and apparently left to get help, so when SFD arrived, no one was there, and they were worried someone was trapped inside, but they found it empty. But the RV caught fire again while it was being towed away – which explains a later “car fire” call nearby. No injuries.

UPDATE: Seattle Fire response at apartments on 35th near Alaska

April 17, 2015 at 8:00 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

8 PM: Seattle Fire is just arriving at an apartment building in the 4500 block of 35th SW, near Alaska, to check out a possible fire. They’re reporting light smoke from one side of the building.

8:16 PM: The response was scaled back after determination that it seemed to be an electrical problem, and the last unit we saw at the site is wrapping up.

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