West Seattle, Washington
Back on Tuesday, thanks to a texted tip, we were able to report on the start of a Seattle Fire Department training operation that’s caught a lot of attention, practice fires at a house at 50th and Hudson. The operation has one more day to go. Today, SFD officially invited media for a closer look. We recorded some video:
We also have found out a little more about the trainees, officially Recruit Class 104:
Two are female, 19 are male. We asked about ages and hometowns; that information wasn’t available, said SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold, but they could tell us that all but one are from this state – the 21st is from Oregon. 12 of them are listed as having “previous fire experience.” One used to work with the TSA at Sea-Tac; one was a plumber; one, the information provided to us mentions, majored in cello performance.
P.S. In discussion following our earlier story, someone asked about the future plans for this corner once this house is demolished after the training sessions. An early-stage site plan in city files shows a “proposed house” set back a little further north on the site.
3:59 PM: Big response for a fire call at the commercial building at 5214 Delridge Way SW. More to come; we’re en route.
4:12 PM: Sorry for the site slowness these past few minutes. Meantime, our crew has arrived. Firefighters found light smoke in the building and a “small heat signature on the roof” but were trying to track down the source. This building is home to the Daily Dose coffee shop and at least one other small business. No word of injuries. The response is scaling back but for now, Delridge is blocked between Brandon and Hudson.
4:16 PM: What happened seemed to be in the yoga/massage side of the building, something involving scented oils that could be smelled from outside the building. It’s out. Police are letting Metro through on Delridge but otherwise, it might be another 15 minutes or so before it’s clear enough that they can get other vehicles back onto the road.
5:21 PM: Just came back to check. SFD is gone; Delridge is fully open.
5:17 PM: A big Seattle Fire response is arriving at a possible house fire in Gatewood, in the 6700 block of 36th SW [map].
5:20 PM: Early arrivals have made the preliminary assessment – as monitored via scanner – that it’s a “small smoldering fire in the attic.”
5:22 PM: All but three SFD units are being dismissed. Those remaining on scene report “water on the fire.”
5:28 PM: Our crew has arrived and confirms that firefighters have extinguished the small fire in the attic, believed to be electrical in origin. No injuries reported.
9:45 AM: Thanks for the texted tip! Seattle Fire has a major training operation at a to-be-demolished house at 50th and Hudson [map] – house-fire practice for recruits – and will be there every day for the rest of the week. Nearby residents have been notified but this will catch the eyes of many passersby, because Hudson in that area leads to Jacobsen Road, which many drivers, walkers, runners, and riders take to get to and from Beach Drive, south of Me-Kwa-Mooks and Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook.
A hydrant is running for the training, and we’ve already received brown-water reports as a result. SFD says people are welcome to watch “from a safe distance”; while the trainees were being briefed, early spectators including a mom and toddler were watching from the south side of Hudson, and a firefighter came over to offer a sticker.
If you’re planning to use that route to and from Jacobsen, please slow down, multiple SFD vehicles are in the area for the training. We’ll be going back over for a closer look at what they’re doing, and will update. (We last covered this kind of trainee operation back in 2013 before the Beach Drive residential-building demolitions for the Murray CSO project.)
11:35 AM: When we went back, the first training fire was under way:
2:44 PM: Thanks for the text. Seattle Fire has sent a big dispatch to a possible house fire
in High Point, in the 3200 block of 31st SW.
2:49 PM: Before we arrived, the call’s been closed, meaning the SFD units have all been sent back. So, nothing major.
4:47 PM: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli reports having caught the description via scanner before this call’s quick closeout: A small fire related to a bird’s nest in or around a chimney/heater outlet.
If you heard the sirens in the past quarter-hour or so – a “fire in single-family residence” response was sent to a house in the 10600 block of 34th SW [map]. It turned out to be on the porch of a vacant house, according to emergency-radio traffic, and a neighbor put it out, so most of the response has been dismissed.
2:38 PM: A large Seattle Fire response is in the 1400 block of SW Cambridge for a “fire in building” call. We’re en route to see what’s happening.
2:45 PM: The call’s just closed, meaning SFD has left the scene. If we find out anything about the original reason, we’ll add it.
6:23 AM: A Seattle Fire response is arriving at 9421 18th SW, describing a small fire in a rug on a cabinet at this former church site which now houses the Hope Academy school and other facilities.
6:32 AM: The fire is reported to be under control; per scanner (our crew is almost there), firefighters are trying to determine whether its source was electrical.
6:38 AM: We’ve talked to SFD at the scene and they have confirmed it was an electrical fire, now out.
6:50 AM: The damage is minimal, we’re told, confined to a single outlet in the “main sanctuary” area, and shouldn’t affect use of the building. Fire crews are starting to leave.
FIRST REPORT, 7:17 AM: What started as an “illegal burn” call a few minutes after 7 is now upgraded to “fire in a building” at 4th and Roxbury. First crews on scene say it’s a “fully involved” car with flames spreading to the adjacent structure.
7:25 AM: The photo is via a texter who says this is not having a major effect on traffic so far.
7:31 AM: The fire is reported to be under control. No injuries – firefighters confirm everyone got out OK.
7:37 AM: We’ve just arrived in the area. This is in the residential area off the westbound side of Roxbury/Olson – more like 4th/Cambridge as shown on this map. There are a few SFD vehicles in the outside uphill lane at the curve.
8:03 AM: A closeup look (photo just added atop story) shows the fire spread from the car to the back of the house.
8:21 AM: Firefighters are wrapping up now; the fire’s cause remains under investigation, but SFD tells us that nobody knows whose car it is – it was parked behind the garage but does not belong to anyone in the area, so far as they’ve found.
WEDNESDAY EVENING NOTE: We’re still waiting to hear back from SFD on how the fire started and how much damage was done.
10:14 AM: Seattle Fire has sent a full response to a possible house fire in The Arroyos, in the 4100 block of Arroyo Drive [map]. The first engines to arrive at the house are not seeing signs of smoke or fire so far. More to come.
10:19 AM: Per scanner, it was a small fire, already out, but they’re still doublechecking. Meantime, many of the units are being dismissed.
10:33 AM: Engine 37 (photo added above) is the last one here and wrapping up to leave.
4:03 PM: Big Seattle Fire callout is heading to a possible house fire in High Point, 5900 block 34th SW.
4:11 PM: We’re at the scene. No flames visible, a little smoke. Firefighters were up on the roof to investigate.
4:22 PM: No injuries. Heating system problem suspected.
2:30 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a big response for a possible house fire near Charlestown/38th SW. Updates to come.
2:33 PM: SFD crews report it’s a “small contents fire” inside the house. They’re handling the aftermath, including ventilation. No injuries reported.
2:40 PM: Our crew is on scene – near the Charlestown water tower – and reports that what caught fire was a piece of foam rubber in the garage. The damage is limited to that foam rubber. The response is winding down.
(Photo courtesy Mel)
12:00 PM: Thanks to the texter who sent the photo from a car fire that Seattle Fire crews are currently fighting in the 9000 block of 14th SW. It’s a fire with potential exposure to the adjacent house, and that’s why the response is larger. Updates to come.
(Photo courtesy DRW)
12:06 PM: SFD says it was a motor-home fire in a driveway (reader photo added). It’s out, and the cause is under investigation.
12:40 PM: Just went by. The investigator is still on scene. We confirmed that no one was hurt.
4:34 PM: SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold tells WSB the cause hasn’t been determined yet, but damage to the vehicle and its contents totaled $1,200.
ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: We received the clip above via text. We’ll be checking again Tuesday on whether SFD figured out how the fire started.
2:44 PM: It’s reported to be in a detached garage on an alley, and under control.
2:50 PM: Firefighters had to break through a door to get into the garage. We don’t know yet what in there was burning. No report of any injuries.
3 PM: One car is in the garage; firefighters have had to ventilate the roof too, and smoke is still coming out.
We don’t know yet how the fire started.
3:18 PM: The response at the scene is beginning to be downsized. Meantime, our crew is back and we’re adding/substituting photos above.
ADDED MONDAY AFTERNOON: We checked today with SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold regarding the cause. She says it was accidental, sparked by fireplace ashes “placed in the garage.”
12:09 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a major “fire in building” response to the 3800 block of Beach Drive SW. Updates to come.
12:15 PM: It’s a four-story multifamily building, and that’s the reason for the big response, but so far, per scanner, no sign of a fire – aside from one in a fireplace (added: Christmas tree was being burned). The response is being downsized.
(UPDATED NOON WEDNESDAY – scroll down)
(Photo courtesy Jim)
8:43 PM: A big Seattle Fire response is on the way to the 1300 block of SW Spokane [map], where a boat is reported to be on fire at an address that crossreferences to Jim Clark Marina. More to come.
8:57 PM: Avoid the area – SFD has even asked for the railroad track to be closed by BNSF.
(This photo and those below are by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli, added 10:28 pm)
They’ve had to lay hundreds of feet of hose to get to the burning boat(s), according to scanner traffic.
9:04 PM: The fire is reported to be under control. No word of any injuries. Our archives show it’s been five years since the last major fire at this marina.
9:18 PM: Media crews at the scene, including ours, are being kept behind a safety line; via the scanner, we’re hearing fire crews dealing with dock-safety issues too, and also a “small” flareup on the boat, which, a marina tenant told our photographer, is a 32-footer. We’re told Seattle Fire’s public-information officer is on the way.
9:36 PM: Two vessels are reported (monitored via scanner) to be “a complete loss.”
9:44 PM: The loss of two boats has just been confirmed at the scene by SFD, in a media briefing. (video added, with SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold)
(WSB video by Patrick Sand)
A third boat was damaged. Investigators are on the way to find out how the fire started; the Coast Guard and EPA also are en route to check on whether there’s been a fuel spill or any other environmental effects.
The dock will remain closed tonight, so other boat owners thinking of coming down to check on their boats won’t be able to reach them.
10:21 PM: SFD has just tweeted that the two boats that burned have sunk and that two others were damaged.
ADDED EARLY WEDNESDAY: More views of the fire and how it was fought, on the Duwamish and on the shore. The two photos below are by Aaron Bocchetti, the video by Michelle Edwards.
No announcement yet of how it started.
WEDNESDAY NOON UPDATE: SFD’s Orvold tells us there’s still no word on the cause: “The fire investigators are working with the marina’s owner to bring the boats to the surface so they can further their investigation. This process could take a while.” We were at the marina around 10:30 am and noticed a USCG helicopter circling to inspect the scene from above.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 30, 2015
Some damage to the boathouse is visible. See this comment below for more information on one of the damaged boats.
12:26 PM: SFD reports that two people are hurt and that the fire is under control.
12:35 PM: Because of the sizable response, Delridge Way is closed for at least a block, between Brandon and Findlay, as Andrew points out in comments and as confirmed by our crew at the scene.
12:50 PM: If you’re seeing/hearing a helicopter in the area, it’s just TV checking this out.
1:12 PM: SFD has just briefed the media on scene, saying one person has gone to Harborview with serious burns; the fire was limited to a mattress in that person’s apartment on the
top second floor and the building’s sprinkler system put it out.
The other injured person did not need hospitalization. The Fire Department also says one person was found dead in a nearby apartment, and apparently had died within the past few hours, but that is not believed to have been related to the fire.
2:10 PM: Delridge had reopened and SFD’s fire investigator was on scene when we passed through about 15 minutes ago. We’ll update when there’s official word on the fire’s cause. Though the flames hadn’t spread beyond the aforementioned mattress, SFD says three units had significant damage because of the water from the sprinkler system.
2:50 PM: We’ve added more photos as well as the unedited video of SFD Lt. Sue Stangl‘s earlier briefing.
4:43 PM: If you are in the area and wondering about a new multi-unit response at the building, the 911 log shows it’s an “automatic fire alarm” response.
ADDED EARLY THURSDAY: The Seattle Times reports that the man hospitalized after this fire has died. The County Medical Examiner’s daily media recording lists the death of the 39-year-old burn victim mentioned in the Times’ report but does not specify a location, so we’ll be verifying later this morning. We had checked with SFD on Wednesday to ask about any official ruling on the fire’s cause; not yet, they told us.
4:49 PM: The big response at Arrowhead Gardens in the 9200 block of 2nd SW is for a fire in the trash compactor, according to Seattle Fire. It’s under control, according to the scanner, which also has a mention of “light” smoke in hallways on at least three floors.
5:04 PM: The fire is reported “tapped.” No word of any injuries. Firefighters are working to clear the aforementioned smoke.
5:14 PM: Our crew at the scene says firefighters appear to be ramping down. SFD units are in parking lots on both sides of the building but this isn’t affecting traffic going by on the roads past the complex.
5:24 PM: They’re not sure how this started, but the smoke in the building came in through a window, according to an SFD spokesperson, who verifies that no one was hurt.
They’re still wrapping up the ventilation process.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:44 AM: A few minutes after sending a sizable response to The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW; WSB sponsor), Seattle Fire has just canceled all but five of the units. That’s still enough for traffic effects in the area, so keep that in mind for a while. We are on our way to find out what’s happening.
10:02 AM UPDATE: Our crew learned at the scene that this involved an electrical problem. No fire – an outlet shortcircuited. No injuries; everyone’s OK.
(WSB photo, midday Monday)
Seattle Fire crews are still keeping “fire watch” at the scene of last night’s house fire in the 5200 block of 18th SW on Puget Ridge (WSB coverage here). And SFD spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl has just sent word of what investigators determined: The fire was accidental.
(WSB photo, midday Monday)
She adds that damage is estimated at “$250,000 loss to structure and $50,000 to contents. A lamp tipped over and ignited some clothing. There was a delay in calling the fire department as the resident tried to extinguish the fire twice.” As SFD reminds in this post on the SFD Fire Line site, please don’t ever wait to call for help:
… A resident used two fire extinguishers to fight the visible flames. When the fire appeared to be extinguished, he left the room. A short time later he returned to find a fully involved room fire. He and his roommates attempted again to put water on the fire but it grew too fast. Once they realized that they couldn’t conquer the rapidly growing fire, they called 9-1-1 and exited the building. Having a fire extinguisher in an accessible location can help keep your home fire safe. The most important step is to immediately call 9-1-1 at the first sign of a fire. Once you know that help is on the way, you can then decide if the fire is small enough to utilize your fire extinguisher. …
You’ll find even more safety information in the Fire Line update.
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
7:05 PM: Seattle Fire is at the scene of a reported house fire in the 5200 block of 18th SW [map] on Puget Ridge. They’ve just called for two more engines and are reporting the fire is visible through the roof of one side of the house.
7:11 PM: Via scanner, it’s being described as a heavily involved attic fire.
(Added: Reader video, via text – thank you!)
7:14 PM: Also via scanner, they’re pulling crews out of the house and declaring it a “defensive fire,” apparently because of danger from a power line – they won’t go back inside until power is shut off.
(Added 7:18 pm: Thanks to Jon for the photo)
7:21 PM: Neighbors tell our crew at the scene that people were home when this started but made it out OK. Flames are still visible.
7:29 PM: Firefighters have gone back into “offensive” mode and report the fire’s “knocked down.” No word of injuries so far. SFD is calling for the Red Cross to come offer help to the residents.
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
7:46 PM: SFD spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl has just briefed media. She says six people were home and all did indeed get out OK, as did their cat (photo above; rescuer was SFD Lt. Kym LeRoy). She said the fire was in the garage, living room, and attic when firefighters arrived, and discussed the electrical-line problems we mentioned earlier. She also confirms, no injuries. We’ll add video of her briefing once we upload it.
8:06 PM: SFD says all six of the people who were displaced are adults. The cause of the fire isn’t known yet – investigators are on scene.
8:53 PM: We’ve added the video of Lt. Stangl’s briefing. She also says via Twitter that “one elderly woman … was carried out of the house by a neighbor.”
5:16 PM: Seattle Fire is headed for the 6500 block of 31st SW in High Point [map] for a possible house fire.
5:19 PM: Fire units on scene confirm it’s a problem in the kitchen, not a fire, so most of the response is being canceled.