West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Andy for the video – firefighters made quick work of that car fire in the Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) parking lot a short time ago. No injuries reported; no word on the cause, but the owner was found relatively fast, according to what we heard on the scanner.
10:45 PM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is arriving at Delridge Way SW/23rd SW after a report of a possible house fire. More to come.
10:51 PM: We aren’t on scene yet to see for sure but what’s being described on the scanner sounds like the long-long-long-vacant house at 3804 23rd SW. SFD reports no smoke/flames but “signs of charring.”
10:55 PM: Some units are being dismissed while SFD is continuing to investigate.
11:10 PM: The call closed and all responders departed before our crew arrived. (added) A nearby resident said via Twitter that SFD pulled out a smoldering item that looked like a trash can.
10:24 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a “full response” to a house in the 5900 block of 47th SW [map]. They are describing it as a “kitchen fire” and also saying there’s heavy smoke from the front door. More to come.
10:31 PM: Firefighters are still searching the house to make sure everyone got out OK. The fire has been declared “under control” and they’re checking to be sure it hasn’t spread.
10:39 PM: Firefighters believe the fire is confined to the main floor of the house – they’ve checked the basement and attic to be sure.
10:56 PM: At the scene, we are told the fire’s out and under investigation. No one hurt; everyone got out OK.
SATURDAY, 11:14 AM: SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley tells WSB that the fire was caused by “unattended food on the stove, ruled accidental … estimated loss is $150,000 to structure and $50,000 to contents.”
2:01 PM: SFD has sent a “full response” to a possible fire at Delridge/Henderson. The first engine on scene isn’t seeing anything so far.
2:13 PM: Firefighters tell our crew that someone had set a small fire inside the vacant building on the northeast corner (itself damaged by fire three years ago and now slated for demolition and redevelopment), apparently to try to warm up, but the fire is out, no further damage done.
7:03 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a full response to a “fire in a building” call at an apartment complex in the 4000 block of California SW.
7:09 PM: This is on California between Andover and Dakota. You’ll want to avoid the area for a while.
7:12 PM: According to radio communication, they haven’t found any sign of fire – some “sparking” – and they’re reducing the size of the response.
7:16 PM: Firefighters report finding an “arcing wire” that’s the source of the problem, and have declared it a “tapped fire.”
7:19 PM: Added photos sent by our crew; we’ve confirmed all of the above at the scene.
Firefighters also say there’s no damage of note, no injuries, and they’ll be wrapping up.
(UPDATED 11:28 AM with more info from SPD)
3:34 AM: SPD and SFD are investigating that car fire, reported about an hour ago in the Southwest Athletic Complex area. In radio discussion, the car was described as having been found fully engulfed in flames – as shown in the photo tweeted by Pat – with no one inside and no one around.
11:29 AM: SPD confirms that its arson detectives are handling the investigation. The car was a 1996 Toyota Corolla – not reported as stolen, in case you wondered (we did). But given the circumstances, it was impounded after the fire was out.
ADDED TUESDAY: In a West Seattle crime discussion at the Fauntleroy Community Association meeting, Southwest Precinct Lt. Ron Smith mentioned that investigators believe an accelerant was used in this fire.
5:59 PM: Seattle Fire has a “full response” going to a possible house fire in Westwood, in the 8400 block of 25th SW.
6:04 PM: First units to arrive are seeing light smoke. But the call is being downgraded, with just a few units to remain.
6:07 PM: SFD confirms that the fire is out and was small. Though it was dispatched as a “single-family residence” fire, they say it turned out to be an apartment.
6:44 PM: A “full response” was heading to a possible house fire in the 3500 block of SW 108th in Arbor Heights – but now most units are being canceled, as the first units to arrive say it’s a “large illegal outdoor fire” that is not threatening any structures.
6:55 PM: The address was corrected to the 10800 block of 36th SW. Our crew has just arrived and was told that the fire was in a big pile of construction debris behind a house.
7:05 PM: The last engine has left and the call is closed.
In case you wondered about the short-lived call at Springline Apartments (3220 California SW) about an hour ago, Christopher Boffoli checked it out for WSB. Kitchen fire, he reports, and it was out pretty quick. No injuries reported; the SFD units you see in his photo have cleared the scene.
11:28 PM: What started as a “car fire” call is now upgraded to a full response, headed for the north tip of Harbor Island [map]. The fire is described on SFD radio as an RV fire within a few feet of a warehouse building.
11:38 PM: The RV fire itself is reported to be under control; firefighters are checking inside the warehouse to be sure it hasn’t spread.
11:46 PM: Some of the units are being dismissed. SFD’s investigator, meantime, is on the way.
2:53 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a full response for a fire reported, per scanner, “in an excavator” at the Waste Management facility in the 7200 block of West Marginal Way SW [map]. SFD says cardboard is what’s burning.
2:58 PM: SFD is dismissing two-thirds of the original response’s units and downgrading the response level.
3:07 PM: Per scanner, they’re re-sending a few units, as the fire is now described as in “compressed garbage.” If you have to head that way, keep in mind that West Marginal Way narrows in that area south of Highland Park Way, and likely blocked by the response.
3:50 PM: We’re checking out a Seattle Fire call logged as “brush fire” in west Gatewood – the address is the 4400 block of SW Kenyon but we’ve found the SFD crews at Portland/44th. More to come.
3:53 PM: This fire call involves downed wires, firefighters tell us. They’ve called for City Light. The fire itself is out. This is in the Gatewood/Upper Fauntleroy 150+-customer power-outage zone but we don’t know if this is what’s to blame.
4:03 PM: SFD also has a crew down the slope at one of 45th SW’s dead ends east of Lincoln Park. On this side, the fire’s still smoldering – there’s a tree down on wires right next to a house.
5:18 PM: The downslope SFD crew has left; we went to that area and a City Light crew was just leaving too. SFD is still up at the SW Portland end, though. We also have heard from a few people not far away who are seeing brown water from their taps; could be related to the hydrant usage, but rather than guess, we’re advising people to call SPU at 206-386-1800.
6:41 PM: Thanks to the neighbor who sent this video from earlier:
We went back to the scene a little while ago and SFD said they expected to be leaving soon, though the Real-Time 911 log shows they haven’t closed the call yet. Seattle City Light was still also working in the area, working carefully to be able to deal with the line that went down.
When a Seattle Fire Department “full response” was sent at midmorning Friday to 5949 California SW – the 2-year-old microstudio apartment building known as Fauntleroy Lofts – it was the eighth time SFD had been called there in the past five days. And while today’s “full response” was for a kitchen fire, some of the other incidents have led to an arson investigation.
Archived Real-Time 911 logs show two calls there on Monday (February 11th), an Automatic Fire Alarm call at 2:56 pm and a 3 Red call at 4:40 pm. There were three on Thursday (February 15th), Automatic Fire Alarm calls at 2:57 pm and 4:39 pm and a 1 Red call at 5:44 pm. Today there were three more – an Automatic Fire Alarm call at 7:04 am, the “full response” at 10:25 am, and an Automatic Fire Alarm at 12:22 pm. Before that, online records show, there hadn’t been an SFD dispatch to 5949 California SW since a fire-alarm call on January 10th.
Two of the calls are linked to police reports classified as “reckless burning” – one on Monday, one on Thursday. The narrative explaining the reasons for that classification isn’t available online; SFD wouldn’t comment on the specifics, referring us to SPD because it’s the “lead agency for the investigation of these incidents.”
A tenant tells WSB that one Monday incident happened because “somebody took a roll of toilet paper, lit it on fire, and threw it into the hallway” and that the same thing happened again Thursday, both times on the same floor. Another incident, the tenant said, was a kitchen fire, while others involved someone “pulling the fire alarm.”
In e-mail to WSB, that resident and another one expressed concerns for their personal safety and security, and concerns that the building’s management/ownership was not doing enough about the situation. We sent an inquiry to an e-mail on the building’s website, and the manager responded that they would forward it to the owners, who e-mailed us this response:
We are writing you in response to an ongoing arson investigation at our building Fauntleroy Lofts. We take this all EXTREMELY serious, as the safety of our tenants has been grossly violated. We are working directly with both the Seattle Fire Dept. Arson Investigation Team and The Seattle Police Dept. to catch the person responsible for setting the fires and false alarms. Although we cannot discuss details of the investigation, we are working to locate and prosecute this criminal to the fullest extent of the law.
As owners, the safety of the both people living in our building and the surrounding community is our highest concern. Perception may be that nothing is being done, but please be assured we are doing everything we physically & legally can to provide our tenants with the safety and security they deserve. Although this may make it appear “nothing is being done”, our biggest priority is following protocol with the Arson investigation team so we can put an end to this so our building is safe again. ANY suspicious activity should be reported IMMEDIATELY to the Arson Investigation Team @ 1-800-55-ARSON or the Seattle Police Dept. Arson/Bomb Unit @ 206-684-8980.
The Owners of Fauntleroy Lofts
According to King County Assessor records, the building has 38 units.
10:30 AM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to 5949 California SW. This is an apartment building that’s had multiple fire alarms in recent days, including one earlier this morning. More to come.
10:35 AM: SFD says it’s reported as a kitchen fire, and that the building’s sprinkler system “contained” it.
10:44 AM: Our crew on scene confirms that no smoke is visible, no reports of any injuries; fire alarms inside the building can still be heard from outside. We’ll be asking about the previous alarms; the most recent one was at 7 am today, and there were three yesterday afternoon. Right now, please avoid California SW in the area – it’s blocked by the emergency responders.
10:52 AM: SFD confirms it’s a kitchen fire and it’s out. They’re not commenting on the other recent calls there. They expect California SW to reopen within about 45 minutes.
12:41 PM: A fire engine is back there now on a separate fire-alarm call.
10:13 PM: A “full response” from Seattle Fire is headed to the 5200 block of 36th SW for a house fire east of Fairmount Park [map]. The first crews arriving are seeing flames. More to come.
10:17 PM: A second alarm is being called as SFD says two houses are involved. They’re also calling for utilities – one house is reported to have wires down in the back yard.
10:26 PM: Per scanner, “the fire is under control in both buildings.” No word of any injuries so far.
10:40 PM: Some of the units are being dismissed.
10:58 PM: The fire has been called as “tapped.” Lt. Sue Stangl spoke to us at the scene; she says they believe the fire started in the house to the south, spread apparently via utility wire(s) to the one next door. (Added – video of her briefing)
If two houses are on fire, it’s an automatic 2-alarm, she explained; fast response also got this under control fairly fast, though they’re still assessing to see if the residents – all of whom got out OK – can go back inside.
ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: As noted in comments, SFD has posted an update on the fire’s cause and extent of damage:
Fire damage to the original house was too substantial to reoccupy. The neighboring house’s damage was limited to the exterior but due to air quality inside, the occupants were rehoused temporarily.
Fire investigators determined that discarded smoking materials on the back porch started the fire. The cumulative loss to both houses is estimated to be $300,000.
12:27 PM: Seattle Fire has a big response on the way to the 9100 block of 45th SW in Fauntleroy. More to come.
12:32 PM: We’re just arriving – smoke is visible. It’s a three-story condo building with fire in one unit, per SFD radio, with one firefighter noting they’ve rescued a dog. (Photo added)
And if you’re hearing a helicopter, it’s a TV chopper taking a look.
12:39 PM: SFD tells us this was an electrical problem in a wall and while it generated a lot of smoke, it was confined to the wall. Nobody hurt.
12:44 PM: Note that 45th SW is blocked between Wildwood and Director (just north of the Endolyne mini-business district) until more of the SFD units leave.
4:47 PM: Update from SFD on fire’s cause: “Fire investigators ruled the fire as accidental. Fire was caused by ignition of combustible materials placed too close to an electric wall heater. Estimated loss is $55,000.”
FIRST REPORT, 7:17 PM: Getting word of a power outage in Westwood and South Delridge. More to come.
7:19 PM: Hearing from Highland Park and White Center too. And the SFD log says it’s a vault fire at 22nd and Roxbury.
7:26 PM: On our way to check out the fire scene. Meantime, we’d suggest avoiding Roxbury in that area. And remember that dark stoplights are all-way stops. More than 3,000 customers are out, according to the City Light map.
7:39 PM: Roxbury is blocked by the emergency response, which is near Holy Family. Our crew just arrived in the area. SFD is investigating smoke coming up from a utility-hole cover. For those asking what a “vault fire” means – “vault” in this case is an underground installation of utility equipment.
7:43 PM: The fire is apparently not huge – some units are being dismissed. The City Light restoration estimate is 2 am but PLEASE remember, as we always point out in outage situations (and as SCL itself acknowledges), that is just a guess … could be back on much sooner, or much later.
7:49 PM: Our crew just checked on the detours. If you are headed east, you’ll be rerouted at 21st/Roxbury; if you’re headed west, you’ll be rerouted at 17th and Roxbury.
8:01 PM: We also checked on Westwood Village businesses – the QFC to Marshall’s side is all/mostly out, but other businesses are on. Will also be checking on downtown White Center, which is in the outage zone too, per SCL’s map.
8:14 PM: Per comments, texts, and firsthand sightings in the field, we have word at least some have their power back already. SCL’s map says the outage is down to 1,300+ customers, less than half the initial number.
8:35 PM: As shown on the updated map above, almost everyone still out is south of Roxbury. That includes downtown White Center:
We’d heard police say via scanner that they had been told they could reopen Roxbury. We’ve also just seen a tweet that Route 560 is no longer rerouted off Roxbury – we’re heading back to the zone to verify.
8:41 PM: Just checked the SCL map and it shows just about everyone back on. If you are NOT – please be sure SCL knows – 206-684-3000. Thanks again to everyone for the updates, including first word of the outage – 206-293-6302 is our breaking-news hotline, 24/7.
9:24 PM: We did verify that Roxbury is open again; when we went through, the 16th/Roxbury signal was in flashing-red mode, though, so another reminder, that means stop all ways.
2:36 PM: Thanks to David Christensen for the photo, and everyone else who sent tips – if you are seeing smoke near Lincoln Park, it’s from that car fire on the southbound side of Fauntleroy Way. No other info yet.
2:40 PM: And thanks to Heather Black for this photo:
3:11 PM: At the scene, which is north of the main LP parking lot. Tow truck is here. We are told no one was hurt and no other vehicles were involved – the driver was just rolling along when he noticed there was a problem.
Thanks for the tip – Seattle Fire was called to the parking lot at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle) for a car fire. The fire is out, no injuries, no other cars damaged. They called for police to respond because they initially couldn’t find the car’s owner – who our crew has learned has just been found, and is a student.
12:42 PM: A big Seattle Fire callout is in the 8400 block of 5th SW [map], near Westcrest Park, where SFD says what started as a vehicle fire has “extended to a structure.”
12:48 PM: According to radio communications, the fire has not extended to the residence at that address. Many of the responding units have been dismissed. Adding an SFD photo from before the vehicle fire was extinguished.
1:08 PM: Our crew at the scene confirms that the fire is out. How it started remains under investigation; we’re told no one was home at the time, and there are no injuries.
1:16 PM: Firefighters on the scene also confirm that damage is limited to the vehicle and garage. (Photo of the other side of the house, added above)
6:08 PM: SFD tells us they have not yet determined how the fire started, “pending further investigation.” Damage estimate: “$20,000 loss to structure and $20,000 loss vehicle.”
All but one of the units sent to a South Delridge apartment building are being dismissed – turns out to have been a kitchen fire inside one unit of the building at 9203 17th SW, and someone in the apartment has already extinguished it. No injuries reported.
9:21 AM: Thanks for the photos – that car fire is causing trouble on Fauntleroy Way SW at SW Rose, by Lincoln Park. Anne from Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor) tells us it’s blocking northbound traffic. Metro just sent an alert about transit delays in the area, too.
No injuries reported.
9:42 AM: One more photo added – the SDOT crew called to clean up so the road could be reopened. Police at the scene verify that no one was hurt; the road has reopened.
Seattle Fire crews were on the scene of a dumpster fire in The Arroyos for several hours this morning – so, given the recent wave of suspicious dumpster fires elsewhere in the city, we asked SFD what they’d found out about this one. Just got the update from SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley that this one was “ruled accidental, caused by improperly discarded oil-staining rags. The material spontaneously combusted.” A neighbor says it was a construction-type dumpster.