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 | 10 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 | No Comments

(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.

VIDEO: Electrical problem blamed for van fire inside Morgan Junction condo-building garage; no one hurt

April 15, 2015 at 3:39 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 19 Comments

(First three photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
3:39 PM: Avoid California SW south of Morgan Junction – a fire response has closed California in the 6900 block (map), south of Fauntleroy. It’s reported to be a car fire inside the garage of an apartment condo complex. Firefighters on the scene report heavy smoke and they’re having trouble getting to the source of the fire.

3:45 PM: Firefighters report they have “water on the fire” now.

3:50 PM: Fire’s still being fought; people in the building have been evacuated.
Though it’s a garage fire, lots of smoke is still coming out, and that’s being seen for a long ways around. No word of any injuries.

The big MVU ventilation unit is on the way to help.

(Updated photo: MVU in action)
4:01 PM: Again, California is blocked between Mills and Willow, lots of SFD. Investigators are on the way, to be ready to go in when it’s safe. Firefighters just reported by radio that they have searched upper floors of the building to make sure everyone got out OK.

(Added: Photo courtesy Diana Phelps)
We haven’t heard yet if the fire has spread beyond the garage at all, but as you can see in our photo, the smoke has been heavy. While it’s been described as apartments, county records show this is actually a 28-unit condominium building called Cinnamon Ridge.

4:20 PM: The MVU is being dismissed. Meantime, Metro has sent an alert that Route 22 is rerouted because of the fire. (Use stops north of Fauntleroy or south of Myrtle.)

We’ve just gotten briefed by SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, who says: A VW Bus about 70 feet inside the garage is what caught fire. It was just underneath some of the building’s major electrical conduit, so the building has no power right now – they asked City Light to shut it off – and they’re evaluating the situation. A few residents were evaluated for possible smoke inhalation because of smoke in the lobby but no one needed hospitalization, we’re told.

4:50 PM: More units are being dismissed from the scene. We’ll update when the road reopens – for now, if you’re headed this way, you’ll want to access California south of Myrtle via Holden or Thistle from 35th. Meantime, our crew is back at HQ and we’re adding more photos.

5:19 PM: Adding video of SFD briefing mentioned above. California has now reopened both ways.

6:02 PM: Fire’s cause determined, we found out while revisiting the scene and talking to Moore, who had just tweeted it:


The last units are just now leaving the scene. Moore also told us no major damage to other vehicles in the garage because the van’s owner pushed it out of its space for more separation.

11:02 PM: We’ve learned that the building’s residents were advised to stay elsewhere tonight as the building management brings in private crews to assess damage and make repairs, especially to the electrical system. They’re expecting an update from building management tomorrow.

UPDATE: Candles blamed for 2-alarm house fire in 8000 block of Fauntleroy Way SW, 2 people taken to hospital

April 10, 2015 at 6:58 am | In Fauntleroy, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 84 Comments

(TOPLINES: Fire under investigation. 2 men in hospital. Metro back to regular routing on Fauntleroy)

(WSB photo, added 7:17 am)
6:58 AM: Seattle Fire has a house-fire response on the way to the 8000 block of Fauntleroy Way SW, which is across the street from Lincoln Park. SDOT says Fauntleroy is closed at Monroe, and a traffic cam shows black smoke from blocks away. At least one person is reported to need medical attention. More to come.

7:06 AM: SFD is sending more engines and also notifying Metro it will need to reroute lines that use Fauntleroy in the area.

(This photo and next, by Kam Junejo)
7:17 AM: One person is reported to be on the way to Harborview via SFD medic unit; another medic unit radioed that another person in need of medical attention “just walked up” to their unit at the scene and was “in the fire room.” Our crew on scene says flames are still visible from the second floor.

7:24 AM: SFD is sending a second alarm, so you’ll see/hear more emergency vehicles. Traffic-wise, there is absolutely no access to the Fauntleroy ferry dock from the north – if you have to get there, approach from the south – 35th to Barton, then west on Barton (which becomes California past the schoolhouse and then Wildwood in the Endolyne area) to Fauntleroy. Ideally, avoid the area TFN. P.S. At least one TV helicopter is now overhead.

(WSB photos from this point down)
7:31 AM: This is still a full-on firefight. The house, according to public records, is 106 years old. SFD says the person taken to the hospital is a man in critical condition, suffering from smoke inhalation.

7:50 AM: We’re adding photos from an upslope neighbor showing the extent of the flames. SFD’s Lt. Sue Stangl has just spoken to media on scene; our crew says she told them that multiple neighbors called the fire in. Five people were in the house, all got out, but as we’ve reported above, one man was taken to the hospital with smoke inhalation. Fire is still not out.

(WSB photo)
One dog was rescued, one other pet’s status is not known. We’ll add video of her briefing when our crew returns to HQ.

8:12 AM: SFD reports the fire is “knocked down” – that still doesn’t mean out, but it’s progress. We also asked Lt. Stangl about whether there was a water-supply problem – one firefighter was heard via radio that they were “out of water,” and lines subsequently were rolled blocks further south, but Stangl says that they had water on the fire from the start and that might just have involved the backup line; they’ll be checking.

8:35 AM: Firefighters are now calling the fire “tapped” – another milestone toward being out – and scaling down operations a bit.

8:50 AM: Crews at the scene say they’re expecting to have one lane of Fauntleroy Way open within a few minutes. Washington State Ferries’ advisory says that “traffic is temporarily single-lane offloading and is being directed to the south when exiting the Fauntleroy terminal.”

9:13 AM: Fauntleroy Way has reopened and Metro says buses are back on their regular routing in the area.

9:52 AM: Two men are in the hospital – in addition to the one in critical condition, the other has a “minor burn to the leg,” per SFD, which still has several units at the scene. Meantime, the ferry terminal is back to normal offloading.

10:29 AM: Continuing to await word on the cause. Here’s what the front of the house looked like as of a short time ago:

As discussed in comments, neighbors say the house has a troubled past. What we’ve found so far are multiple complaints to the city regarding junk storage, inoperable cars, and a dormer built without a permit; the online file shows that case was referred to the City Attorney’s Office last year.

11:54 AM: SFD has just announced that the fire was caused by “unattended candles on the main floor.” It also says a neighbor’s house was damaged.

UPDATE: Fire response in 4700 block Delridge Way SW

April 9, 2015 at 9:29 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

(Thanks to Amanda L for the photo)
9:29 PM: A big Seattle Fire response is headed to a reported fire at a house in the 4700 block of Delridge Way SW (map). So far, it’s being described as a kitchen fire.

9:35 PM: Units are reporting the fire’s under control. No word of any injuries. Traffic effects, though, until units leave the area.

9:42 PM: The fire’s now tapped, and firefighters don’t believe it extended into the house’s attic.

9:51 PM: Northbound Delridge is blocked for now at Edmunds.

10:02 PM: Some of the units are being dismissed now.

UPDATE: Smoldering paint can brings Seattle Fire response to house near 26th/Roxbury

March 30, 2015 at 2:37 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 4 Comments

2:37 AM: If you’re hearing the sirens – Seattle Fire is en route to a possible house fire near 26th/Roxbury. Updates as we get them.

2:41 AM: First units on scene aren’t seeing anything. They’re detecting a “light odor of smoke,” though. The dispatcher had told them the house is believed to be unoccupied and had recently been sold.

2:45 AM: “Paint can burning in the kitchen” is what they’ve found, and they’ve handled it. Most of the units are being dismissed.

3:27 AM: Remaining units are leaving, and the call will be closed.

UPDATE: House fire on 35th SW, no one hurt

March 11, 2015 at 8:04 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 14 Comments


(WSB photos)
8:04 PM: Big response for possible house fire in 8600 block 35th SW. More to come.

8:14 PM: 35th is blocked at Trenton. Smoke visible. Firefighters are ventilating the roof. No word on any injuries. Avoid the area for a while.

8:24 PM: SFD confirms that everyone got out of the house safely.

8:31 PM: Firefighters are still dealing with residual hotspots in the roof.

8:37 PM: Our crew has spoken with the incident commander, who says 1 person was home and got out unhurt. This apparently began as a fire in the fireplace, and got out of control. Some of the units are being dismissed.

9:28 PM: SFD confirms the fire is out. We’ve added three more photos.

Update: Late-winter barbecue sparks fire concern, response

March 9, 2015 at 5:57 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

5:57 PM: Just dispatched: “Full response” for a possible house fire – smoke seen from the 4100 block of 36th SW, somewhere a few blocks west. More to come.

6:04 PM: Nothing was seen from that address; one unit thought they might have spotted a possible trash fire somewhere nearby, but for now, the entire call is closed/canceled. Will update if that changes.

6:09 PM: Our crew caught up with a fire investigator who tells us that they traced the smoke to a backyard barbecue. Nothing wrong, no problem, just a late-winter barbecue on a sunny evening.

UPDATE: Fire response in 7000 block Delridge Way

March 2, 2015 at 8:33 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

8:33 PM: Seattle Fire has a full response out on a reported house fire in the 7000 block of Delridge Way SW, and one person is being checked out for a possible injury. More to come.

8:47 PM: Delridge remains open at the scene, which is just north of Myrtle, but SFD vehicles are on the west side of the street and other traffic is going around them, so it’s a little precarious – avoid the area for a while if you can.

8:55 PM: Turns out this was a kitchen fire. Two people were home. The one who was being checked out did not need to go to the hospital. They’ll both be allowed back in shortly, and fire crews will be leaving.

10:50 PM: One person, a 65-year-old man, did get taken to the hospital after all and was described as in stable condition.

UPDATE: Man hospitalized after fire on 44th SW in The Junction; investigators blame ‘dried Christmas tree’

February 28, 2015 at 3:14 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 33 Comments

(UPDATED 10:15 AM with SFD announcement of fire’s cause)

(Added: Photo texted by Amanda L.)
3:14 AM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to what’s described as a house near 44th/Genesee (map) on the north end of The Junction, and first units on site are reporting flames. There’s also word someone is hurt. More to come.

(This photo and next by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
3:32 AM: We’re at the scene. The fire is under control, according to an update monitored via scanner. Very smoky here, and 44th SW is full of emergency vehicles starting immediately north of SW Oregon. Commenters who live nearby are saying they heard an explosion type of sound right before the fire. More firefighters are continuing to arrive, some pulling up just south of Oregon.

3:44 AM: For those asking, we’ve confirmed it’s the address on the SFD log, 4411 44th SW. It’s a multi-family, two-story building (update: property records describe it as a 4-plex).

3:50 AM: No word yet on the condition of the person who was being checked out, nor on the cause. But Lt. Sue Stangl is here as public-information officer and so we’ll be able to get a briefing before too long.

(On-scene command center; photo by Diakonda Gurning)
The fire marshal (investigator) is en route.

4:00 AM: Lt. Stangl tells us smoke/fire was visible from three of the four sides of the building when firefighters first arrived. The man who was hurt has been taken to Harborview Medical Center, with burns and smoke inhalation; he told SFD he was the only person inside when the fire started. We’ll add video of her briefing when we’re back at HQ shortly (update: it’s below):

She says firefighters have no information yet on what might have caused the reported “boom.”

4:25 AM: Some of the responding units are being dismissed as the operation winds down. People evacuated from a building immediately behind this one will be allowed back in. We’ve added a photo atop the story, texted by Amanda L. (thank you!), showing the flames.

4:55 AM: Still investigating, per the photo tweet below from SFD:


10:15 AM: Via Twitter, an update from SFD: “Early morning WS house fire determined accidental. $150K loss to structure, $10K loss to contents. Dried Xmas tree too close to fireplace.” We just went by for a daylight look:

Update: Industrial-furnace fire on Harbor Island; 2 hurt, including firefighter

February 23, 2015 at 9:11 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 2 Comments


9:11 AM: In case you’re wondering about the big fire response headed for Harbor Island, they’re checking out a possible fire at a business in the 3400 block of 13th SW. The first unit on the scene reports “light smoke” coming from a metal building. More as we get it.

9:16 AM: The fire has been “knocked down,” per scanner. But there’s word a firefighter has been hurt.

9:42 AM: More reinforcements have been called to the fire scene, including ventilation. No official update yet about the injured firefighter, but SFD’s public-information officer was headed to the scene too, so we should have word soon. The SFD response is right by the entrance to Harbor Island when you leave the low bridge and circle around on Klickitat, so avoid the area if you can.

9:47 AM: Update from SFD’s Kyle Moore – A firefighter in his 30s has been taken to Harborview with second-degree leg burns after stepping into what turned out to be (updated) boiling water or metal; also, a worker in his 30s was “splattered with materials” and will be taken by private ambulance to be checked out further. (There was concern earlier about “volatile” materials in the furnace.)

9:56 AM: The fire is now described as “tapped.” Some units are being dismissed from the scene.

10:44 AM: We’ve added two more photos as well as video of what Moore told us at the scene – the photo above this line shows the MVU (mobile ventilation unit) he mentioned.

ADDED 2:24 PM: SFD has just published a full update on its website. The firefighter who was hurt suffered 1st- and 2nd-degree burns, SFD’s update says, and will be moved overnight to the Harborview burn it; he’s been with the department since 2006 and is based at North Delridge’s Station 36. What happened to him is explained as:

The firefighter manning a hose line in the smoky building stepped into a two-foot deep slag pit that is designed to catch molten metal. The unmarked and unsecured pit was full of boiling water. The boiling water made its way into the firefighter’s boots causing 1st and 2nd degree burns to his lower legs. A Mayday was called and fellow firefighters quickly rescued the injured co-worker.

The injured worker who suffered “spot burns” is described as in stable condition. And investigators say the fire “was accidental, caused by a failure in the induction furnace,” with damage estimated at $85,000.

Update: Fire at bus yard on West Marginal Way SW

February 22, 2015 at 8:41 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(WSB photo)
8:41 PM: If you’ve noticed a sizable fire response headed for the 4500 block of West Marginal Way SW, Seattle Fire is responding to a report of at least one bus on fire in the bus yard/maintenance facility there. No traffic effects since the yard/garage is set back from the road. More as we get it.

8:48 PM: Monitored via scanner – firefighters have just described the fire as “knocked down.”

9:28 PM: Just back from the vicinity. Didn’t get close to the bus that caught fire but a wisp of smoke was still visible from West Marginal. SFD’s investigator has arrived to look into how the fire started. No injuries reported.

MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: SFD says the fire started in the engine compartment of a private bus at the maintenance facility, and that damage is estimated at $40,000.

Update: Fire response in 1500 block Alki

January 29, 2015 at 6:15 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | Comments Off

(WSB photo)
6:15 PM: Seattle Fire is arriving at a 6-story apartment building in the 1500 block of Alki to check out a possible fire. More to come.

6:21 PM: Not a full-blown fire; some SFD units have already been dismissed.

6:30 PM: SFD tells us at the scene, just a fireplace fire gone a bit out of control with smoke and embers. Everyone’s OK and this is wrapping up.

Update: Smoke, but no fire, at apartments in 9400 block 27th SW

January 18, 2015 at 8:09 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(Photo courtesy Kyle Moore)
8:09 PM: Seattle Fire crews are checking out a possible fire in apartments in the 9400 block of 27th SW, on the north side of SW Roxbury. So far they’re not finding any sign of fire but possibly some smoke smell in one of the hallways.

8:39 PM UPDATE: We went over to check; that’s all it’s amounted to, so far – smoke, but no fire. Someone activated the fire alarm, firefighters tell us, but then apparently left the building and couldn’t be found for further inquiry. Police have the outer westbound lane on Roxbury blocked right before 27th while SFD is still on scene.

9:03 PM UPDATE: Update from SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore – smoldering food in a kitchen turned out to be the source of the smoke. Everyone’s been allowed back in, and SFD has cleared the scene, closing the call.

Update: Car fire inside Admiral underground garage; no one hurt

January 11, 2015 at 5:09 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
5:09 PM: Sizable Seattle Fire response right now for a car fire reported in the underground garage by the Admiral Bartell Drugs. Per scanner, the sprinkler system has it under control and ventilation is the big concern now. More to come.

(Photo courtesy Ted Johnson)
5:36 PM UPDATE: Our crew at the scene says one car was involved and the fire didn’t spread to others. Lots of water on the floor inside the garage because of the sprinklers. Nobody hurt.

Update: Fire response at Admiral McDonald’s, but no fire

January 1, 2015 at 9:13 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
9:13 AM: Big Seattle Fire response at the McDonald’s in Admiral (3003 California SW), but our crew on the scene says it’s not a major problem – the smoke that led to fire concern was apparently sparked by mechanical trouble, possibly with the HVAC system. Some of the crews have been dismissed already. More to come.

9:20 AM: Just heard over the scanner – “this is smoke from a properly operating cooking exhaust system.” All but one engine will be leaving. (added) Our crew says SFD is allowing everyone back in, and the restaurant’s open for business.

Update: Car fire at home in Westwood, no one hurt

December 31, 2014 at 12:59 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

12:59 AM: What started as a house-fire response near 24th/Thistle in Westwood appears to have become a car-fire call. Firefighters are checking to be sure it hasn’t spread to the structure. More to come.

1:15 AM: Our crew at the scene was told by SFD that the fire started in a vehicle in a carport and also scorched a boat parked nearby, but didn’t spread to the house. No one is hurt.

1:36 AM: Photo added.

Update: Fire call at apartment in 3600 block SW Genesee

December 25, 2014 at 1:58 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
1:58 PM: Another major Seattle Fire callout – this time at an apartment building in the 3600 block of SW Genesee (map). “Tapped” within minutes, according to radio report from the first units on scene, but we’re on our way to check.

2:26 PM UPDATE: It was a kitchen fire, but it spread briefly to some yarn (or similar material) in the cabinets by the stove, according to what firefighters told us at the scene, so it was very smoky, and that’s left them with a lot of ventilating to do. No injuries reported.

About the fire response in 5600 block of 21st SW

December 25, 2014 at 11:52 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Big Seattle Fire response to a possible fire at a house in the 5600 block of 21st SW (map), but it was just a case of “food on the stove,” according to the first arrivals – cooking-oil flare-up, out fast. Most of the responding units are being canceled.

Update: ‘Small’ fire at house in 3900 block of SW Holden

December 12, 2014 at 12:57 am | In Gatewood, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

12:57 AM: A big Seattle Fire response is arriving at the 3900 block of SW Holden in Gatewood (map). It was described as a suspected roof fire; first units arriving aren’t seeing anything.

1 AM: They’re checking the attic, but report that it might just be “an overheated light fixture.” Some of the arriving units are being canceled.

1:09 AM: They’re now checking to be sure there’s not a smoldering fire in the ceiling.

1:11 AM: Minutes later, that’s what they’ve found, a small “smoldering fire in insulation … knob and tube wiring.”

1:19 AM: They’ve re-assessed the fire at 3′ x 3′ and declared it “under control.”

Update: Overheated equipment brings big SFD response to Pioneer Industries on Highland Park Way SW

December 7, 2014 at 10:04 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
10:04 PM: A fire call in the 7000 block of Highland Park Way SW has been upgraded to “fire in building” after starting at a less-serious designation. The address checks to Pioneer Industries, just uphill from West Marginal Way SW. We’re working to find out more.

10:09 PM: Via scanner, it’s being described as some kind of “industrial problem” inside the building that will have to be handled through the roof. Since it’s an industrial building, they’re trying to assess the risk before making further decisions how to deal with it.

10:32 PM: Highland Park Way hill is closed because of this, so it took us a bit to get here. It’s been described in radio communications as “overheated (equipment) with some roof char.” Light smoke in the building but no flames. No injuries reported. Some fire units are being cleared from the scene as this ramps down.

10:58 PM: Back from the scene (adding photos shortly) – our crew was told that the overheated equipment was a “heating element.” Ventilation of the building was the remaining task; in addition to doing that through the roof, SFD also had called in the MVU (mobile ventilation unit). Meantime, HP Way hill is reopening both ways, except for one downhill lane.

11:34 PM: All lanes reported open again.

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