West Seattle fires – West Seattle Blog… http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Sat, 26 May 2018 06:45:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 UPDATE: Small fire in house near Charlestown water tower http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/fire-response-near-charlestown-water-tower/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/fire-response-near-charlestown-water-tower/#comments Tue, 22 May 2018 04:54:41 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=917367 (WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)

9:54 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a full response to a reported fire “in a house being remodeled” at 39th/Bradford, near the Charlestown water tower. More to come.

9:57 PM: The response is being scaled down – it’s described via scanner as a “small fire … in mechanical equipment” on the second floor.

10:01 PM: SFD has corrected the address – it’s in the 3800 block of 40th SW.

10:04 PM: The fire is reported to be out and firefighters have confirmed the home is “unoccupied.”

10:28 PM: SFD has closed out the call, less than 40 minutes after dispatch.

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FOLLOWUP: Investigators identify man found dead in West Seattle house fire that erupted during eviction attempt http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/followup-investigators-identify-man-found-dead-in-west-seattle-house-fire-that-erupted-during-eviction-attempt/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/followup-investigators-identify-man-found-dead-in-west-seattle-house-fire-that-erupted-during-eviction-attempt/#comments Thu, 17 May 2018 00:25:48 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=916891 (WSB photo:Flower bouquets were left outside the house in the days since the fire)

We’ve been checking daily to see if the Medical Examiner had officially identified the man found dead in a house at 42nd/Findlay last Friday after it erupted in flames while King County Sheriff’s Office SWAT officers were trying to serve an eviction notice (WSB coverage here). This afternoon, an update from KCSO answers multiple questions in the case:

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the deceased as David M. Severtson, 51 and determined his death to be suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Members of Tac-30, a Hostage Negotiator, and a Mental Health Professional spent considerable time attempting to establish contact with Severtson while outside the home on the morning of May 11, 2018.

When Severtson did not respond to multiple requests to exit voluntarily, a Tac-30 team approached the front door and noted that flames were spreading rapidly inside the home. No shots were fired by KCSO personnel.

A Seattle Fire Department investigator concluded Severtson started the fire, using gasoline, near the front door.

After the fire was out, and when it was safe for Tac-30 and KCSO Major Crimes detectives to enter the house, they discovered loaded rifles propped near several windows of the home. There were also numerous rounds of ammunition of various calibers. In all, nearly 20 rifles, ranging in caliber from .22 to .308, were recovered.

(WSB reader photo from Friday night, by Dan)

KCSO was aware of the possibility that a number of guns were inside the home, which factored in to the decision that Tac-30 (SWAT) would assist the KCSO Civil Detectives with the eviction. The operation followed repeated attempts, since January 2018, to reach Severtson about the court’s eviction order. Letters were sent to the home, notices were posted at the home, and Detectives made several personal visits. Severtson failed to respond to any of the attempts to reach him.

Severtson’s mother had owned the house until her death three years ago. Her estate originally filed the eviction action more than a year before the officers showed up Friday to serve it.

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UPDATE: 1 dead, 2-alarm house fire after SWAT response for eviction at 42nd/Findlay; area power outage too http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/emergency-response-in-5600-block-of-42nd-sw/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/emergency-response-in-5600-block-of-42nd-sw/#comments Fri, 11 May 2018 18:13:23 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=916374 (Added: WSB photo outside Findlay side of scene)

11:13 AM: Thanks for the tips. There’s both a full-response Seattle Fire Department turnout and what appears to be a SWAT callout near 42nd SW and SW Findlay. Avoid the area. We are on our way to find out more.

11:16 AM: Our crew headed north to the scene can see black smoke and flames even from some distance away.

(Photo courtesy Heather Fitzpatrick)

The King County Sheriff’s Office confirms it’s their SWAT team and is sending a public-information officer. You’ll see/hear at least one TV helicopter in the area shortly.

11:22 AM: Also avoid California in that area, as it’s blocked off and more SFD equipment is on the way. This house is right on Findlay – our crew, just arrived, says it’s the one at the southwest corner of 42nd and Findlay that you might know for the old vehicles parked outside.

Here’s what Rasmus Rasmussen recorded a short time ago:


(Video courtesy Rasmus Rasmussen, who narrates)

11:34 AM: SFD has just upsized this to a two-alarm fire. They also have a public-information officer at the scene so we should find out more soon. The sheriff’s SWAT arrival preceded the fire – we had just been getting tips about it and were starting to head that way when we got word of the fire callout.

(Video courtesy Bruce Butterfield)

11:47 AM: Commenter says at least one citywide reported this had to do with the eviction. KCSO is the agency accountable for those, though not usually with SWAT teams. We cross-referenced court records and have found documents confirming that today was the deadline for a person whose address was shown at that house to get out; the action was filed by the estate of the owner, apparently a relative. Researching more. Again, avoid California/Findlay/42nd – California is blocked north to Brandon.

NOON: There’s also a power outage in the area – wires are down because of the fire. Not on the City Light map so far.

12:15 PM: Now the outage is mapped – 1,595 homes/businesses.

Meantime, the fire is mostly out. (added) We just talked to SFD. They say the fire started in the basement and spread to the rest of the house. They also say KCSO had warned them there might be ammunition in the house. Since the fire is mostly out, they and SWAT will be going in soon to find out if anyone was inside.

12:30 PM: Here’s what KCSO just told WSB’s Christopher Boffoli: The SWAT team was there to try to evict the resident because 24 firearms were registered to the residence. They did NOT fire any shots nor use any incendiary devices. Neighbors hadn’t seen the resident – the son of the house’s now-deceased owner – since December. He was to be evicted because the house was to be sold. Officers had tried to get in by piercing the screen door, and KCSO says that’s when they realized the house was on fire. They don’t know yet if the man, in his 50s, was inside. (added) SFD meantime tells us the fire went to a second alarm not because of its size but because it was a complicated situation.

12:55 PM: KCSO is gearing up with breathing masks to go inside the house. They also tell us that there was some indication the 51-year-old man had mental-health challenges, so they had brought a mental-health professional with them when they arrived to try the eviction.

1:13 PM: KCSO confirms a body has been found. Meantime, we’re continuing to read the court documents associated with the eviction case. The 51-year-old son of the owner was originally ordered to leave more than a year ago – April 30, 2017. Also: A drone will be used at the scene soon to “evaluate for hazards,” according to scanner traffic.

1:59 PM: The Sheriff’s Office also says that it won’t be the one to confirm whether the body is that of the house’s resident and eviction target; that will be up to the Medical Examiner. KCSO is saying only that the dead person is a man. They will remain on scene investigating, with help from SFD and SPD.

2:18 PM: California is back open. The power is back on in the area, too. Those, we have verified in person; via scanner, we hear that authorities have set up a “hot zone” around the house while continuing to investigate what’s inside it. Also, added above the 12:30 pm update is Christopher’s video of the briefing given at that time. (added) KCSO says via Twitter that “an explosive device was located inside the house,” therefore the extra caution.

2:52 PM: An update from KCSO – never mind, it was NOT an explosive device:

3:15 PM: Elaborating at the scene, KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Jason Houck says the alleged “device” turned out to be a CD case with a bunch of wires. Meantime, as the investigation will continue for some hours, side streets in the area including SW Findlay will remain closed TFN.

4:01 PM: No further updates. KCSO and SFD were downsizing the scene at last report; we’ll be going back over in about half an hour to check on the status of things. Meantime, some lingering after-effects of the earlier power outage – West Seattle Nursery, at California/Brandon, says its phones and registers are continuing to have some trouble so while they’re open, you might consider waiting until tomorrow instead of visiting today.

4:24 PM: KCSO has just sent a news release. We’ve reported everything in it, but in case you’d like to see it all in one place … here it is. (A few minutes later …) And here’s the SFD news release.

6:31 PM: Stopped back at the scene a while ago. Findlay is open; 42nd was still blocked. Firefighters are still on site:

Below those two, the burned house was partly visible through the shrubbery along Findlay:

The old vehicles, still parked along the alley, apparently undamaged.

ADDED SATURDAY: We received this photo from Dan, who says this is some of what KCSO brought out of the house Friday night:

We’re reaching out to KCSO with followup questions, though we might not hear back until Monday.

SATURDAY NIGHT UPDATE: We did just hear back from KCSO Sgt. Houck – but he says reports with the full tally of what was found won’t be available until Monday.

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Small fire brings briefly big response in West Seattle Triangle http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/small-fire-brings-briefly-big-response-in-west-seattle-triangle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/small-fire-brings-briefly-big-response-in-west-seattle-triangle/#comments Thu, 10 May 2018 00:26:30 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=916206 Just so you know what that short-lived Seattle Fire “full response” at 37th/Alaska was about – turned out to be a dryer fire in the Link Apartments building, per SFD, and most of the crews have been canceled.

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If you’re hearing the sirens: 2 South Park house fires in 2 hours http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/if-youre-hearing-the-sirens-2-south-park-house-fires-in-2-hours/ Wed, 02 May 2018 10:50:16 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=915484 (Smoke from 2nd South Park fire, seen from West Seattle, tweeted by @WestSeaWX)

3:50 AM: You might be hearing the sirens, especially from southeast West Seattle: Seattle Fire is at the scene of a fully involved house fire in the 9300 block of 7th Avenue South, less than two hours after another South Park house fire, in the 1200 block of S. Cloverdale (less than a mile apart).

4:03 AM: Per monitored radio communication, SFD has just called the 7th Avenue S. fire “defensive” – too dangerous to be inside the structure.

ADDED: Here’s the SFD wrapup about both fires.

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UPDATE: About the Highland Park SFD response http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/about-the-highland-park-sfd-response/ Sun, 22 Apr 2018 07:55:46 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=914613 12:55 AM: Seattle Fire has sent a midsize fire response to the 900 block of SW Holden after a caller reported some kind of possible fire across the street from their home, according to radio communications. So far, the units on scene aren’t seeing anything. We’re monitoring.

1:10 AM: Nothing found – SFD has left and the call is closed.

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VIDEO: Car fire in Metropolitan Market parking lot http://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/video-car-fire-in-metropolitan-market-parking-lot/ Sat, 14 Apr 2018 17:29:51 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=913933

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.

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UPDATE: SFD checking out possible fire at Delridge/23rd SW http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/seattle-fire-responding-to-possible-house-fire-at-delridge-23rd-sw/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/seattle-fire-responding-to-possible-house-fire-at-delridge-23rd-sw/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2018 05:45:45 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=912490 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.

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UPDATE: House fire in 5900 block 47th SW; started in kitchen, SFD says http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/kitchen-fire-in-5900-block-47th-sw/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/kitchen-fire-in-5900-block-47th-sw/#comments Sat, 24 Mar 2018 05:24:07 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=912193 (WSB photo)

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.

(Added: SFD photo)

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.

(Added: SFD photo)

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.”

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UPDATE: Seattle Fire ‘full response’ at Delridge/Henderson http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/seattle-fire-full-response-at-delridge-henderson/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/seattle-fire-full-response-at-delridge-henderson/#comments Fri, 23 Mar 2018 21:01:12 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=912163

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.

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UPDATE: Electrical-wire problem briefly brings Seattle Fire ‘full response’ to apartments in 4000 block California SW http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/seattle-fire-full-response-headed-to-4000-block-california-sw/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/seattle-fire-full-response-headed-to-4000-block-california-sw/#comments Tue, 20 Mar 2018 02:03:03 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=911808 (WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

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.”

(This WSB photo and next, by Christopher Boffoli)

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.

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UPDATE: Arson detectives investigating car fire at Southwest Athletic Complex http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/suspicious-car-fire-by-southwest-athletic-complex/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/suspicious-car-fire-by-southwest-athletic-complex/#comments Thu, 08 Mar 2018 11:34:58 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=910848 (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.

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UPDATE: ‘Full response’ fire call in Westwood, downsized http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/full-response-fire-call-in-westwood/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/full-response-fire-call-in-westwood/#comments Sun, 04 Mar 2018 01:59:29 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=910472 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.

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UPDATE: House-fire call downsized in Arbor Heights http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/house-fire-call-downsized-in-arbor-heights/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/house-fire-call-downsized-in-arbor-heights/#comments Mon, 26 Feb 2018 02:44:24 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=909971

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.

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Kitchen fire at Springline Apartments http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/kitchen-fire-at-springline-apartments/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/kitchen-fire-at-springline-apartments/#comments Mon, 26 Feb 2018 02:22:01 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=909968

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.

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