West Seattle, Washington
8:06 PM: A “full response” is headed to a possible house fire at Delridge and Holden.
8:12 PM: First units on scene noted smoke. But it’s not a major fire – most of the units are being dismissed. We’ll find out more once our photographer is on scene.
8:21 PM: SFD tells us this started with trees/shrubbery catching fire – they’re not sure how, but it’s so dry, it doesn’t take much. @drewhamlet tweeted this photo:
The flames spread to a fence and the siding of a condo building but it’s all extinguished now, and no one was hurt.
4:03 PM: SFD has quickly extinguished what was described as a wall fire at a house in the 8100 block of Delridge Way SW. No injuries reported.
5:37 PM UPDATE: Added photos from WSB’s Christopher Boffoli, who says firefighters weren’t certain how this started, but it appeared to have originated on the outside of the wall.
— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) August 4, 2017
(Added: Video tweeted by @WSDOT_Traffic)
Thanks to the person who texted about this – Seattle Fire now has a big response headed to a brush fire reported along southbound Highway 509, south of Cloverdale. They’re also checking out the top of the slope along Myers Way.
5:44 AM: SFD describes the house as small and “boarded up.” Firefighters spotted a hole in the floor so they are fighting the fire “defensively” – from outside. Avoid that area of Delridge, as it’s an extensive response, blocking the road.
5:54 AM: Our crew is there; we’ve added a photo. It’s the same house that had a fire back in May, and a deadly fire three years earlier. No word of injuries in this fire so far; firefighters report it’s under control. Note that the address on the SFD log right now is NOT accurate – 9226 is the address for the auto shop to the south, which is NOT involved.
6:04 AM: Some of the SFD units are being dismissed. No one inside, no one hurt, so far as firefighters have determined (update: as of a few minute later, they’re searching again). SFD’s investigator has been summoned to find the fire’s cause. Metro Route 128 is being rerouted, according to an alert just texted/tweeted.
6:27 AM: Route 60 is rerouted too. Meantime, our crew is back and we’ve added another photo. We’ve checked the property’s history, in light of the multiple fires; no complaints listed since 2015, and no redevelopment plans on file.
7:15 AM: Metro says buses are back to regular routes.
12:15 PM: SFD spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl tells WSB the fire investigator could not determine what caused today’s fire, so it will remain officially “undetermined.”
7:23 PM: We’re on our way to the 3700 block of SW Thistle for a house-fire response. More to come.
7:25 PM: First firefighters to arrive say they’re seeing smoke from the basement, and that everyone is out OK.
7:31 PM: We’re just arriving. Thistle is blocked off by fire units west of 35th SW – and side streets are blocked by Night Out parties. Via radio exchanges, we’re hearing this is an “appliance fire” and it’s tapped. No injuries reported.
7:43 PM: Much of the initial big response is being dismissed, now that this is winding down. Neighbor Mike shared this video of the first SFD personnel on the scene:
MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: SFD says it was an accidental fire, caused by a malfunctioning battery charger, and that damage to contents and structure totaled $20,000.
Just in case you heard all the sirens a short time ago and wondered – what was a relatively sizable Seattle Fire dispatch to the 3000 block of SW Raymond in High Point was downsized quickly when a kitchen fire (according to radio communication) turned out to be nothing more than that. One engine was kept on the call.
P.S. Likely unrelated but we also got a text asking about a burning smell in the Admiral area. No other fire calls working anywhere in the city right now, so that one’s a mystery.
Last Sunday afternoon, we reported on a house fire in Highland Park, in the 8100 block of 14th SW. No one was hurt, but it turns out the damage was greater than first assessed, and the longtime West Seattle resident and Denny International Middle School employee who lived there has lost most of his belongings, as well as a place to live, so a family friend has organized a crowdfunding page for community members to help. Michelle Whelan explains:
Lifelong West Seattleite Roger Baker, or “Mr. Baker” as he’s known to students at Denny Middle School, recently lost his house and most of his belongings to an electrical fire. The home had been in the Baker family for about 40 years and … is essentially a total loss due to internal damage and the prohibitively expensive cost to rebuild.
This is the same home Roger returned to 20 years ago help care for his ailing parents. In 2009 he obtained his current position as custodian at Denny MS. In the intervening years, while also working full time, Roger helped provide elder care for his parents — driving them to and from appointments, family events, and taking care of the home. His mother passed away several years ago, followed by his father more recently.
The Baker family, tribal members of the Turtle Mountain band of Chippewa, has deep, longstanding roots in West Seattle. Multi-generational graduates of West Seattle schools, the Bakers are a strong and close-knit family…which makes Roger’s loss all the more upsetting as he no longer has a place to live.
There’s even more to the story, which you can read on the GoFundMe page, which also has post-fire photos of the house’s interior. (SFD says the fire was accidental, sparked by a battery charger.) The GFM page also has details on non-monetary donations that would be helpful as well.
12:23 PM: Seattle Fire is on the scene of a house fire in the 8100 block of 14th SW. We’re on the way to find out more.
12:23 PM: We’re arriving in the area. Firefighters are still searching the house to be sure everyone is out OK. SFD is asking for more backup.
12:37 PM: Firefighters report the fire is knocked down “in the wall” of this 2-story house – we’re not seeing any more smoke – but are checking to be sure it didn’t extend to the rest of the house. No injuries reported so far; we hope to talk to the incident commander soon to confirm.
12:48 PM: Firefighters tell us no one was home when this started; the neighbors called it in. It was confined to the wall. They confirm, no injuries. Some of the crews are being dismissed.
6:02 AM: Seattle Fire crews are heading to the
3200 block of 42nd SW for a possible house fire. The first crews arriving report seeing smoke from the back of a house. Updates to come.
6:07 AM: SFD has updated the location to 3200 block of 41st SW [map].
6:14 AM: Crews are fighting the fire, which is reported to be in the attic. So far, everyone is reported to be safely out of the house.
6:24 AM: SFD reports the fire is under control.
6:33 AM: The flames flared up in the attic but are now reported to be again under control. We’re adding photos as we get them from our crew at the scene.
6:49 AM: The response is starting to wind down. One resident was treated for minor injuries. SFD’s investigator is on the way to look into how the fire started, and that information won’t be available until later (we’ll update when it is). So far, we’re told at the scene that it appears to have started on the exterior and spread to the attic.
6:57 AM: The fire has just been declared “tapped” and some of the units are leaving the scene.
12:38 PM: SFD’s report on the cause: “Fire investigators ruled the fire as accidental, and determined the cause was from discarded smoking materials. The estimated loss to the structure is $150,000 and contents is $50,000.”
1:41 AM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to a reported house fire in the 8100 block of 30th SW [map]. It is reported to have started as a deck fire, and everyone is reported to have gotten out OK.
1:44 AM: The first units on scene say it’s under control, and they’re downsizing the response.
1:58 AM: The fire is reported to be out. We’ll check on the cause later this morning.
4:50 PM: SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley tells WSB, “The fire was ruled unintentional. A barbecue ignited nearby combustibles.”
6:41 PM: The photo is from WSB’s Christopher Boffoli, who is at the scene of a sizable Seattle Fire response for a garage fire in the 2600 block of 50th SW [map].
6:48 PM: Update – the fire is tapped, SFD tells Christopher at the scene. No injuries, and no information yet on how it started.
7:05 PM: As for damage, Christopher says there wasn’t a vehicle in the detached garage, but what he described as a charred canoe was visible. The fire did not spread to the house. SFD’s fire marshal is investigating.
9:21 PM: More photos added, including the two below in which, once the fire was out, firefighters explained their gear to a curious young neighborhood resident:
We’ll check tomorrow on the final report about the fire’s cause.
ADDED 9:22 AM WEDNESDAY: According to SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley, “Fire investigators ruled this fire as accidental and determined the cause was from smoking material discarded into a garbage can. Estimated loss is $20,000.”
A big initial response is now being downsized for a reported brush fire near Southwest Teen Life Center/SW Pool at 28th SW/SW Thistle. The fire report is concurrent with a fireworks report to which police were dispatched. It’s the third brush fire reported in West Seattle in about an hour – firefighters also have responded to reports in High Point and South Admiral.
(Added: Photo by Carolyn Newman – firefighters aboard fireboat Leschi, off Seacrest)
7:16 AM: Seattle Fire was sending a big land-and-sea response to a possible tugboat fire off Seacrest but has just canceled the land response – the fire is believed to be out – a fireboat will continue heading that way.
7:23 AM: Per scanner, the tugboat, identified as the Westrac, is actually on the Duwamish River, “near Ash Grove Cement.” (MarineTraffic.com verifies that as well.)
10:24 AM: Once this was all sorted out, it was a shore fire handled BY the tugboat, as explained in comments. (We are also following up with SFD.)
10:41 AM: SFD adds, “The fire boat remained on scene to confirm the location and situation. They found evidence of a small rubbish fire that had occurred on a metal barge.”
7:35 AM: Seattle Fire has sent a full response to an apartment building in the 7100 block of California SW [map]. First crews on scene say they’re seeing smoke.
(Added: Photo tweeted by @katelynchowell)
It’s reported to have started as a grease fire.
7:43 AM: The fire is reported to be under control.
7:56 AM: The fire is tapped. California remains closed between just north of Myrtle and just north of Orchard. No injuries reported.
8:05 AM: Some units are being dismissed. SPD is directing traffic.
9:59 AM: California is open again. We have followup questions out to SFD and will update this story when the answers are in.
2:05 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to check out a potential house fire in the 7700 block of 20th SW [map]. Updates to come.
2:09 PM: First unit on scene reports via SFD radio that this appears to be a kitchen fire, and that as far as they know, everyone’s safely out of the house. They’re calling for a ventilation fan.
2:13 PM: The call is being downgraded and most of the responding units are being dismissed.
2:26 PM: SFD Lt. Harold Webb tells us at the scene that the fire extended to the kitchen cabinets but did not damage the structure, and it’s out now. Nobody hurt. The family should be able to go back into their house before too long.
12:20 AM: If you’re hearing sirens, it’s a “full response” for a possible fire in a multifamily building in the 2400 block of SW Trenton. First crew to arrive isn’t seeing anything, so far. More to come.
12:23 AM: Now they’re finding “light smoke” from a third-floor unit. Suspected “wall fire.” The address checks to the Westwood Plaza complex.
12:45 AM: What’s described as a “small wall fire” that did not spread is tapped and some units are being dismissed. No injuries reported. Adding a photo of Ladder 7 just before it pulled back.
4:47 PM: Big initial response for what turned out to be a small fire this past hour at a house in the 4900 block of SW Hanford (map). Metro says Route 57 is rerouted until SFD units clear. We’re checking on the fire’s cause.
4:59 PM: Firefighters at the scene tell us it was a small electrical fire but they stayed around a while to monitor and be certain it hadn’t spread. They’re certain now, and getting ready to leave, so the road should reopen before long.
8:21 AM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to a possible house fire reported in the 7300 block of 30th SW [map].
8:33 AM: Turned out to be an unfounded report, and the call has closed.
8:42 AM: On the way back, we stopped by Station 37 to verify what we had heard on the scanner – they confirmed that before they closed the call after looking around the area, they had talked with the original caller, who said the smoke he had seen was gone. This kind of call is one reason we don’t report exact addresses of fire scenes until we can confirm them in person – sometimes the real-time SFD log shows an approximate or reported address, and might not be corrected for some time (if you see an address on the log that’s in all capitals, it means the address has changed since the original report).
3:51 PM: If you’ve heard the sirens or seen the smoke (one texter said it was visible from Westwood Village) – Seattle Fire is arriving at a van fire at 27th and Roxbury. The dispatch started fairly sizably because there was concern about “exposure” – possibly to a nearby structure – but per scanner, that didn’t turn out to be the case, and the response is being downsized. We’re still on the way to check it out.
3:59 PM: Fire’s out.
4:05 PM: Talked to firefighters. No one hurt. The possible “exposure” – concern about the fire spreading – turned out to be the tree under which the van was parked, as you can see in the photo we added above.
6:47 PM: Seattle Fire is calling out a “full response” for a possible house fire in the 9000 block of 12th SW [map].
6:50 PM: The response is already being downsized.
7:02 PM: Our crew reports that while there’s some smoke, there’s no sign of fire, and the SFD units there haven’t even rolled out the hoses. Photo added above.
7:28 PM: Firefighters tell us they traced the smoke to a kiln that was in use. No fire, no injuries; they’re ventilating so the resident can go back inside.
Some promising news about one of the stops set for Thursday night’s Find It, Fix It Walk in Highland Park. It’s the long-closed, arson-damaged restroom/storage building at Riverview Playfield. As we’ve reported previously, community members are concerned that the building has yet to be fixed and reopened, almost a year after last year’s arson -and at one point were told that it might be up to six years before repairs could be funded. But Christina Hirsch of Seattle Parks tells WSB that funding for repair and restoration has been secured. Hirsch told WSB’s Randall Hauk that the Seattle Park District has approved $202,000 for the work.
Parks will now work with city purchasing and contracting on details for the management of the project. Though there is no set deadline yet for completion of repairs, Hirsch says the hope is to finish by the end of the year. She adds that the schedule and scope of the project will be posted on the Riverview Playfield webpage as it becomes available. Meantime, portable restrooms will remain in place at the much-used fields until the permanent facility.
P.S. If you haven’t already seen it, the route, starting place, and other information about Thursday night’s walk – starting at 6:30 pm from Highland Park Improvement Club (where you can gather starting an hour before that) – is here.
11:54 AM: Seattle Fire has sent a “full response” to a possible house fire in the 9200 block of Delridge Way SW. More to come.
11:57 AM: The first arrivals in the area have downgraded the call, canceling most of the dispatched units. Scanner discussion indicates steam from shingles might have been mistaken for smoke.
The end is finally near for 9029 16th Avenue SW, the South Delridge house that’s been the scene of three fires in five years, most recently February 25th. One month after a demolition permit was issued, heavy equipment arrived today. Just yesterday, we had sent an inquiry to the city Department of Construction and Inspections, which had ordered the owner to take care of the situation and then issued an extension to April 21st. Since as recently as yesterday afternoon (we’ve been going by to look every day or two), there was no sign of activity, we asked the city what would happen if it didn’t happen. The online log for the site shows yet another complaint filed by neighbors as of about a week ago. While writing this update, we just heard back from SDCI spokesperson Bryan Stevens, who says the city’s been told that demolition will start tomorrow. (If you see it any sooner, let us know – we’ll go by again later.) There’s a redevelopment proposal for the site, described as a “mixed-use building.”