UPDATE: Fire at vacant Westwood house; firefighter injured

October 3, 2015 at 2:51 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, Westwood | 17 Comments

(Added: Photo courtesy Conrad)
2:51 PM: Seattle Fire has a “full response” headed to a possible house fire in the 9200 block of 31st Place SW, which is in Westwood (map). More to come.

(Smoke was visible for blocks – photo courtesy Sebastian, looking SW over Westwood Village)
2:55 PM UPDATE: It’s a confirmed fire and SFD units have water on it.

(WSB photos from here down)
3 PM UPDATE: Now reported to be under control. One possible injury.

3:07 PM UPDATE: Via Twitter, SFD describes the house as “vacant.” That’s borne out by this DPD record for the address that SFD has logged for the fire – a complaint made and investigated less than a month ago.

3:20 PM UPDATE: Nobody hurt, we’ve confirmed with SFD. Fire investigators are en route to look into the cause. The fire is mostly out except for some smoldering in the walls. Neighbors tell us it’s been a problem house for a year or so.

3:35 PM UPDATE: Update – we’ve since been told a firefighter suffered a hand injury and has been taken to the hospital.

5:58 PM UPDATE: As mentioned in comments, fire and police investigators have been there; we went back over for photos.

Still no official word on the cause, but the police presence confirms they are investigating the possibility of arson.

UPDATE: House fire in 2700 block of SW Elmgrove; no one hurt

September 30, 2015 at 9:36 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photos)

9:36 AM: Seattle Fire is sending a full response to a possible house fire in the 2700 block of SW Elmgrove (map). First crews arriving report they’re seeing “light smoke.”

9:41 AM: They have “water on the fire” and are searching to make sure no one’s in the house. It’s not a huge fire, though, as indicated by the call to dismiss all but four units.

9:45 AM: The fire’s now declared “tapped.”

9:50 AM: Our crew has talked to SFD at the scene. The fire was on the second floor and is believed to have been electrical in origin; everyone who was home got out OK, no injuries. Very smoky; they’re still trying to determine if the residents will be able to get back into the house safely any time soon.

UPDATE: Big response, small fire in 10200 block 41st SW

September 27, 2015 at 4:21 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | No Comments

4:21 PM: A big Seattle Fire response is on the way to a possible house fire in the 10200 block of 41st SW (map). More to come.

4:26 PM: First unit on scene said it appears to be a small fire on the deck.

4:46 PM: We confirmed that on scene. So small, firefighters were able to extinguish it quickly. No injuries, little damage, SFD left right after we got there.

FOLLOWUP: About the missing, fire-damaged Westwood mailbox

September 22, 2015 at 11:14 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, Westwood | 3 Comments

(August 28th photo, courtesy Megan)
From the “in case you were wondering too” file: Three and a half weeks after the fire that destroyed mail and led to removal of the mailbox outside the Westwood post office, we asked USPS spokesperson Ernie Swanson if it would be back any time soon. His response: “There is no spare mail collection box of this type available. So we are repairing the old one. The process is underway and we hope to have it ‘back in place’ in the not too distant future. I can’t give you a date for that just yet.” We’re still checking on the fire investigation, but we’ve been asked several times recently about the box’s status, so here’s that followup in the meantime. If you need an outdoor dropbox, the Junction post office (California between Genesee and Oregon) still has one.

UPDATE: Fire call in 5600 block California SW

September 18, 2015 at 10:26 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | No Comments

(Photo courtesy of Rachael)

10:26 AM: Seattle Fire has sent a full “fire in building” response to 5630 California SW. First crews on scene are not seeing anything. Avoid the area – traffic is blocked right now.

10:29 AM UPDATE: One crew has just found the source of the smoke – apparently a lamp. Most of the crews are being dismissed. Northbound California remains blocked, south of SW Findlay – this is on the east side of the street.

UPDATE: Fire response at 9th and Cloverdale

September 12, 2015 at 3:27 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

3:27 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a full-size response to the 8600 block of 9th SW in Highland Park for a possible house fire. More to come.

3:32 PM: The first units on scene say it appears to be just a fireplace problem, so the response is being scaled back. Our crew, on arrival, has confirmed: Fire in fireplace, flue not opened, smoke got out of control, no problem otherwise.

UPDATE: Big initial response for small fire on 23rd SW

September 9, 2015 at 3:09 am | In Delridge, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

3:09 AM: Seattle Fire crews are arriving at a small house fire near 23rd SW and SW Willow – the caller didn’t have a precise address so it’s taken them a while to find it. Some of the units are already being turned back. More to come.

3:21 AM: Our crew has arrived and says this happened at a vacant house (confirmed by city complaint records) in the 6700 block of 23rd SW and was so small that SFD didn’t even need to roll out hoses to get water on the fire, but instead used extinguishers to put it out and are now ventilating the house. No injuries reported. The cause is under investigation.

UPDATE: Garage fire at 17th and Roxbury

September 5, 2015 at 1:40 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

1:40 AM: Major Seattle Fire response is heading out to 17th and Roxbury for a report of a detached-garage fire. First unit on the scene reports heavy smoke.

1:45 AM: The call has been downgraded to a lower-level response and the fire is under control. No injuries reported.

1:49 AM: Roxbury is closed in both directions at the fire scene – though they’re going to try to open an eastbound lane so Metro can get through. Meantime, SFD’s investigator is being called to find out how this started.

2:58 AM: SFD units are wrapping up, and SPD says Roxbury will be fully reopen again in a few minutes.

ADDED: SFD tweeted that this fire was deliberately set, and SPD is investigating.

UPDATE: Garage fire out in east Admiral, no one hurt

September 4, 2015 at 5:03 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | Comments Off

5:03 PM: Seattle Fire crews are at the scene of what’s described as a “garage fire” in the 2700 block of 38th SW (map). SFD says it’s a detached garage, and that the fire’s under control. More to come.

5:26 PM UPDATE: Our crew says the fire’s out and most of the firefighters are leaving. It was in the back of a detached garage; no vehicle was in the garage at the time, we’re told, and no one was hurt. The cause is under investigation.

ADDED SATURDAY: SFD says this fire was accidental, caused by smoking materials.

UPDATE: Fire destroys mail in drive-up box outside Westwood Post Office

August 28, 2015 at 5:11 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, Westwood | 25 Comments

5:11 PM: If you use the Westwood Post Office drive-up box, take note. From regional U.S. Postal Service spokesperson Ernie Swanson:

Mail deposited in a drive-up collection box outside the Westwood Post Office, 2721 SW Trenton St., Seattle WA 98126, was destroyed in a fire at about 4:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28.

Mail deposited in the box after about 5:30 p.m., Thursday, August 27th, was burned beyond recognition.
An investigation is being conducted into the possible cause of the fire. The Seattle Fire Department extinguished the fire.

We’re checking on the mailbox’s status.

ADDED 5:23 PM: Before we could even do that – we received the photo we’ve added above, from Megan (thank you!). Note the sign says you can’t use the burned mailbox – asking customers to take their mail inside. We’ll be checking on replacement plans, as well as the aforementioned investigation.

P.S. This is the same drive-up-mailbox location that was briefly out of service five and a half months ago after the box was hit by a car.

6:40 PM: Just went to Westwood for a firsthand look, and the burned mailbox has been removed.

8:04 PM: We’ve also heard back from USPS’s Swanson, who says the box *will* be replaced, no timetable yet.

Smelling smoke in Seattle right now? You’re not alone

August 27, 2015 at 11:15 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 27 Comments

11:15 PM: Here in West Seattle and in other parts of the city, people are mentioning a strong smell of smoke in the air – in a few places they’ve even called 911 and Seattle Fire’s gone around checking, but no fires so far – theory right now is that the wind kicking up has brought wildfire smoke back this way. Just thought we’d mention it, with so many asking.

11:28 PM: Several people have pointed out that a new fire is burning in Mason County, to the southwest, and that matches more with the wind direction than the Eastern Washington fires.

11:42 PM: Last report on that fire in the Skokomish Valley was about 50 acres, per KING 5. Rain is expected by morning, which should help with the firefight as well as the smoke smell here.

UPDATE: Fireworks blamed for Madison Middle School field fire

August 10, 2015 at 5:11 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 13 Comments

5:11 PM: Thanks to Charlie G. for photos from another brush fire this afternoon – one that broke out just as the Arroyos response was starting to wind down. This one was reported around 2:45 pm on the northwest side of >Madison Middle School, at 46th and Hinds.

Scanner traffic indicated that firefighters were getting a quick handle on it, so we didn’t break away to go to this scene, but Charlie’s photos show it’s likely to have left behind enough charred grass to raise questions for passersby. We’re checking with SFD to see if they determined a cause – firefighters called for Marshal 5 (the investigative unit) fairly quickly, but had to wait until after the investigator was done at the Arroyos fire scene.

7:29 PM: We’ve just confirmed with Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore that the fire was sparked by somebody setting off a bottle rocket – not only illegal, but more dangerous than ever in these tinder-dry conditions, and this is another reminder.. Moore says the fire burned about 200 square feet near the Madison field.

UPDATE: Firefighters, neighbors stop Arroyos brush fire before it reaches homes

August 10, 2015 at 1:25 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 31 Comments

(SCROLL DOWN for newest update – fire determined to have been accidental)

1:25 PM: Big Seattle Fire response to a possible house fire in the 10900 block of 39th SW (map). It was first called in as a brush fire. More to come.

(Photo from Steph)
1:32 PM UPDATE: Firefighters on the scene are calling for more engines.

(Photo from Alison)
1:44 PM UPDATE: SFD confirms it’s a brush fire at this point but that three homes are threatened and they’re working hard to keep the flames from getting to those houses. Our crew is almost there.

1:50 PM UPDATE: We’ve just arrived at the scene. The fire has just been reported to be under control.

1:57 PM UPDATE: The fire is estimated at up to 2 acres. Now just hotspots, according to SFD. Avoid Marine View Drive in this area – fire vehicles are concentrated at 39th/109th, which is where MV Drive takes a turn. Adding photos, ours and those tweeted/sent to us (thank you!).

(Photo by Hal Tangen)
2:07 PM UPDATE: We’ve confirmed the fire did not reach any of the homes. No word of any injuries, nor of how the fire started, but SFD’s public-information officer is reported to be en route, so we’ll get an update soon, in addition to what we’re finding out from firefighters/incident commander.

2:15 PM UPDATE: The fire’s now been declared “tapped,” still with some hotspots.

2:36 PM UPDATE: We’ve just talked with SFD public-information officer Kyle Moore. He says the fire got within 75 yards of at least one house before it was stopped. The cause remains under investigation, and crews will be in the area working on hotspots for quite a while, so stay away from the south end of Marine View Drive.

3:05 PM UPDATE: If you’re seeing/hearing a helicopter – Guardian One is helping SFD locate remaining hotspots.

4:15 PM: SFD says the cause “is accidental – improperly disposed-of staining rags in direct sunlight” – someone was staining furniture and left the rags out in the open – this isn’t the first fire we’ve covered where that kind of combustion happened. Spokesperson Moore also reaffirms that no one was hurt, and that while they had Seattle Public Utilities standing by in case they needed a water boost, it wasn’t necessary – the system worked exactly as it was needed to.

Fire response on Harbor Island

August 8, 2015 at 10:02 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Especially if you’re in east West Seattle, you might be wondering about a big Seattle Fire response on Harbor Island. It went out as a full major “fire in a building” response but has since been scaled back. Scanner traffic indicates it’s a generator fire at or near Vigor Shipyards. No injuries reported so far.

UPDATE: ‘Small electrical fire’ at house in Arbor Heights

August 3, 2015 at 10:20 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
10:20 PM: All those sirens are from a big Seattle Fire response headed to a possible house fire in the 10200 block of 32nd SW in Arbor Heights [map]. Updates to come.

10:23 PM: Crews are starting to arrive. Early word is that the fire started in the living room, and that everyone got out of the house OK.

10:28 PM: Per scanner, they’re scaling back the response. The fire has been declared “tapped.”

10:43 PM: Our crew has talked with the incident commander, who says it was a “small electrical fire” that’s now out; nobody hurt, and the residents will be able to go back inside shortly.

UPDATE: Fire response on 17th SW

August 1, 2015 at 3:15 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | Comments Off

3:15 PM: A big Seattle Fire response is on the way to a possible house fire in the 7200 block of 17th SW (map). Updates to come.

3:29 PM: Our crew is there. This was a backyard brush/grass fire, which did not spread to the house; nobody hurt. Response is down to one engine. Firefighters are still trying to find out what sparked it – the people who live at the house aren’t home; neighbors noticed it and called it in.

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.

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