(First three photos by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)
1:59 PM: Seattle Fire response is arriving at a “fire in building” response in the 2700 block of California. That’s just across from Hiawatha – sounds like the response is in the alley behind the building, so we’re not sure until we get there how traffic is being affected.
2:08 PM: Police are being sent for traffic control on California, so definitely avoid the area – which is of course a busy one, with Safeway and Lafayette to the north. No word of any injuries so far. It continues to be described as “44th Avenue” on the scanner, despite California on the 911 log, so that street is likely affected too.
2:13 PM: SFD says the fire’s in a garage. Per the scanner, it’s just been declared “tapped.”
2:23 PM: Added photos; we have two crews there. SFD confirms no one hurt. This was centered at the back (off the alley between 44th and California) of the building that includes a martial-arts studio. And if you’re hearing/seeing a helicopter, it’s just TV.
2:38 PM: Lafayette Elementary, just north of the block where this fire happened, gets out at 3:40 pm, an hour from now.
Too soon to say how much SFD equipment will still be there, but if you have to go pick up your child, please be aware of this incident disrupting normal walking/driving/riding patterns, especially on the west side of California/Lander.
(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Meantime, our crews at the scene are told that much of the damage was in the aforementioned garage (photo added above); no vehicle in there, apparently, but lots of items including appliances.
3:27 PM: We went back to check on traffic. It’s moving again. But one important note – the Evergreen Tang Soo Do martial-arts studio tells us they will NOT have classes for the rest of the day/night; the studio was affected by smoke from the fire.
(Added: Photo, courtesy of Jason)
7:48 PM: Traffic alert for the east end of Roxbury – Seattle Fire crews are handling a “car fire” call at Olson/3rd (map) that’s described on the scanner as a “taxicab on fire.” Not sure how it’s affecting traffic yet, but we’re checking it out.
8:04 PM: Fire’s out. Affected the front end of a cab that’s in the outside lane of the uphill (southwestward) side of the Olson hill, so traffic headed toward White Center is affected more than downhill/outbound. No injuries reported.
(WSB photos, added 2:58 am)
1:59 AM: Now Seattle Fire is at the scene of a reported “room fire” inside what sounds like one of the vacated buildings at the future 3210 California development site (former Cayce/Gain offices). More to come.
2:24 AM UPDATE: We are at the scene. Fire out, no injuries. It *was* in the back of the vacant, awaiting-demolition ex-Cayce/Gain/Cometa building. No cause yet and no one will speculate on any connection to those earlier dumpster fires a few blocks north. Many of the units are leaving, but the street will be blocked a while longer.
10:30 AM Police now say via SPD Blotter that they are indeed investigating this fire and two Dumpster fires as arson and are seeking tips.
12:08 AM: Right now in the Admiral District, investigators are dealing with multiple Dumpster fires, and looking into the possibility they were arson. (Thanks to Peter for sharing the photo from one fire between Admiral Chevron and Admiral 7-11.) They have mentioned a possible suspect description over emergency radio – white male, 5’11″, gray jacket with a white stripe, khaki shorts, last seen running southbound on Admiral near California.
4:02 AM: We’ve reported separately on the 2 am fire in South Admiral. Now, a small fire in High Point is now under investigation, and firefighters are checking out a report of smoke in Gatewood. No official information at this point indicating any of this is related but police and fire investigators are checking it all out.
4:38 PM: Big Seattle Fire response for a possible fire at a house on SW Ida just west of 35th SW (map). First crews to arrive aren’t seeing anything. More to come.
4:54 PM: Small kitchen fire at a house on the south side of SW Ida, quickly put out. The elderly resident who was cooking when it happened is being taken to the hospital to be checked out.
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand, added 4:08 am)
FIRST REPORT, 3:17 AM: Big response to a fire in the 9800 block of Marine View Drive SW (map). First crews on scene say it looks like it involves a burning car.
3:29 AM UPDATE: This was originally dispatched as a house fire but so far we’ve only heard the car mentioned, with one person inside, who got out OK. They’ve already called for the SFD investigator and for a tow truck. Our crew should be there shortly for a firsthand look. Police are in the area and have Marine View Drive blocked off starting in the 9600 block.
3:47 AM UPDATE: Our crew learned at the scene that the burning car caught a tree on fire, close to a motor home, and that’s part of what prompted the big initial response (a commenter points this out too). Police are now questioning the driver, who is OK but “uncooperative,” for reasons yet unknown (added: and is apparently going to the hospital after all); the car went onto an embankment, and whether that was because of the fire or somehow caused the fire, isn’t known yet either. The car has major fire damage.
SUNDAY NOON UPDATE: We’ve updated the map link above; a nearby resident explains that Google Maps have a glitch and show this block as quite some distance south of where it actually is. (The address on SFD’s online log wasn’t the exact location anyway, which sometimes happens with fire calls, and is why we just use block numbers in stories.)
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
6:52 AM: Now a second fire response – again, it’s always a big response for a building, until crews get there and evaluate – this time, 6400 Sylvan Way SW, which is Neighborhood House in High Point.
6:56 AM: SFD reports it’s a kitchen fire at High Point Center. They’re reducing the response, canceling some of the units that were headed that way. The biggest challenge, per scanner, is dealing with the automatic sprinkler system.
7:07 AM: SFD’s investigator won’t be able to get to this scene until he’s done at the fire on SW Barton in Westwood.
9:40 AM NOTE: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli checked back at the center a short time ago and says they were finishing cleanup and expected to open for the day shortly.
(WSB photos by Katie Meyer)
6:09 AM: Thanks for the texts about all the sirens. There’s a “fire in building” callout at 26th/Barton.
6:38 AM: It’s a residential building across from Westwood Village. No injuries reported.
6:52 AM: Some of the units have been dismissed – again, this was a large initial callout just because that is standard operating procedure for a building fire call until crews arrive. Others are leaving now for a separate fire call in High Point.
7:06 AM: No word of the cause yet – fire investigator is still on scene.
7:47 AM: 26th SW is still closed at the scene, though the fire’s been out a while.
8:28 AM: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore says that while the home was indeed boarded up – as noted in comments below – the “house and backyard were full of combustible materials.” Though neighbors mention squatters, he says firefighters didn’t find anyone inside when they searched the house. They’re not sure yet how it started; damage is estimated at $55,000.
8:47 AM: SFD will be keeping “fire watch” at the house (which is in the 9200 block of 26th) for a while; Ladder 11 (above) just arrived to help with that.
4:50 PM: SFD published a wrap-up report on its Fireline site, noting that “evidence of transient activity” was found inside the house, which was “released (to its) owner” this afternoon. The cause remains officially listed as “undetermined.”
12:32 PM: Seattle Fire crews are at a condominium building in the 5000 block of California SW on the south end of The Junction for a “fire in building” call. The street is shut down at the scene.
They’re finding light smoke but still looking for its source. More shortly.
12:46 PM: Our crew on scene has talked to the incident commander, who says the fire was traced to a dryer. No injuries. California SW shouldn’t be closed too much longer, maybe 20 minutes or so.
7:47 PM UPDATE: The fire call turned out to be “food on the stove.” Lots of smoke, though, so fans are being used to ventilate the residence right now. No injuries reported. Most units have been dismissed.
That camera view shows the eastbound bridge is partly blocked – looks like the right lane and the bus lane – near the peak of the high-rise because of a car fire. (See other camera views on the WSB Traffic page.)
5:51 PM: It appears this might clear soon – camera shows a tow truck on scene.
5:55 PM: And – all lanes open again.
7:07 AM: It was declared “tapped” relatively quickly. Via scanner, crews are reporting it as a “room fire” and saying two people were home at the time, both of whom got out OK.
7:29 AM: The fire is out and firefighters are leaving. Police are on scene investigating what was described via scanner traffic as an apparent (marijuana) “grow op.”
7:56 AM: City Light is on scene too; fire and police are continuing to investigate.
8:24 AM: SFD says the fire was started by a wiring problem, with damage confined to a “back bedroom” and estimated at $15,000. The SFD report says police are investigating “items found in the basement of the home.” Our crew, still on scene, says that the remaining fire crew is pulling material away from one corner of the back of the house (photo added above), apparently to check for anything still smoldering.
ORIGINAL 2:52 PM REPORT: Seattle Fire crews are headed to a house-fire call at 26th and Trenton. Details to come.
2:58 PM UPDATE: This has now changed to a fire off 26th SW near Thistle (map), further north than first reported. It’s a small fire, reported to be out, possibly set. Most of the units have been dismissed.
3:31 PM UPDATE: The fire was set in a bush in a residential neighborhood east of Southwest Athletic Complex – dangerously close to homes.
5:01 PM UPDATE: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore tells us investigators determined it was accidental – “improperly discarded smoking materials” are blamed; a nearby resident put it out with a garden hose before firefighters arrived.
(UPDATED mid-evening with video of SFD briefing, aftermath photo, SPD infolink)
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
4:01 PM: Firefighters are just arriving at a home in the 7300 block of 16th SW (map), and say they are seeing flames. They’re blocking 16th at the fire scene. More to come.
4:09 PM: Though it’s not confirmed arson, witnesses are reported to have told police/firefighters they saw fireworks thrown toward the house before the fire – the initial description was broadcast as three “Hispanic-looking” teens/young adults, all dressed in different colors of gray, with backpacks. We’ll be asking authorities at the scene about that. Meantime, firefighters continue arriving.
4:18 PM: Added the first photo from our crew at the scene. No flames visible now but lots of smoke. (Added:) Police tape is now up:
4:31 PM: A neighbor tells WSB they heard a loud “bang”-type noise and were calling 911 when they saw the smoke. Meantime, police and firefighters have moved us further back from the scene than usual – not because of the fire, which seems to be mostly out, but because of the investigation. So far, no word of injuries – or arrests. Meantime, per scanner, the descriptions have changed/evolved – so what was mentioned earlier may no longer be accurate; they’re continuing to search (if you see anyone/anything suspicious, please call 911).
4:50 PM: Though the firefighting is wrapping up, 16th SW is still closed in the Webster-Othello vicinity. The incident commander confirms no one was hurt, but damage is extensive; the official investigation into its cause continues. Also note, Route 128 is rerouting as a result of the closure. (Added: Also Route 125.)
6:18 PM: This is now confirmed as an arson investigation, and we’re now told 1 person suffered a burn injury. (Added: Our video of SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore‘s early-evening briefing at the scene:)
6:56 PM: Here’s what SPD Blotter has to say about the investigation.
Also – 16th SW has just reopened, which means bus routes are back to normal.
Update: Overheated power cord blamed for house fire in 6500 block of Delridge Way; no one hurt; cat rescuedJuly 28, 2014 at 11:23 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 11 Comments
(UPDATED with fire’s cause – scroll down)
(WSB photo: E-29 firefighter Todd Jensen carries cat rescued by E-11 firefighter Annie Olson)
11:23 AM: Big fire response en route to a house in the 6500 block of Delridge Way SW (map). It’s a basement fire, according to an early report from the scene, which also said everybody got out OK. More to come.
— Yovany Camacho (@CubanRefugee) July 28, 2014
11:30 AM UPDATE: Added a Twitter photo (thanks, @cubanrefugee) – our crew is almost there. Police are being asked to block Delridge both ways in the area, which is north of the busy intersection with Orchard/Dumar businesses. LOTS of smoke, which is an extra reason to stay away.
11:40 AM UPDATE: Our crew says wind is blowing the smoke further down Delridge – so you might be noticing it some distance away. SFD has sent more equipment to the scene. We’ve added a quick clip via Instagram – you can see the billowing smoke.
11:52 AM: Our crew on the scene and scanner traffic both indicate firefighters are making progress – they’ve declared the fire “tapped” but that still leaves more work to do; they’ve mentioned smoldering insulation, for example.
Also: At least one pet, a cat, has been rescued.
12:25 PM: SFD PIO Kyle Moore is on scene so we’ll have additional information soon. Also note – Metro Route 120 is rerouted because of the fire-related Delridge closure.
1:07 PM: Moore (briefing video added above) confirmed that no one was hurt; one cat rescued, another bolted, and another is being sought. Four people were working in the back yard when the fire started in the basement – no word on the cause yet. Delridge Way is now open again, and Route 120 is back to normal.
3:22 PM: SFD says an overheated power cord was to blame. Damage totaled $200,000. In addition to the three cats who survived along with the four residents, their half-dozen chickens are OK too.
6:33 PM: Big Seattle Fire response right now to a possible house fire in the 7900 block of Delridge Way SW. More to come.
6:44 PM UPDATE: It was a case of “food on the stove” – lots of smoke, being aired out now.
8:33 PM: Firefighters are arriving at a house fire in Arbor Heights near 34th and 102nd (map), reporting black smoke and also that ammunition is going off in the house – so they’ll be fighting it from outside.
(Photo texted by Joe)
8:38 PM: Scanner now indicates they don’t believe there’s more ammunition in the building and they are changing firefighting tactics.
8:48 PM: Our crew is at the scene. No word yet on whether anyone’s been hurt. They believe everyone in the house got out safely.
— Colby Blanton (@colby_blanton) July 16, 2014
8:58 PM: Just talked again with our crew at the scene. The fire appears to be under control but there are still flare-ups of flames visible here and there. Way too soon to know what caused it.
Above this line, we’ve added a quick Instagram clip – you can see firefighters on the roof and hear the saws they’re using to ventilate the attic.
9:18 PM UPDATE: We’ve just talked again with firefighters. The fire began in a bedroom and spread up to the attic. The house has major damage and isn’t inhabitable. One person was inside when it started, and we’re told he got out OK, unhurt. The “ammunition going off” suspicion is now a mystery – we’re told the resident said there had been firearm(s)/ ammunition in there, belonging to a renter who moved out a few weeks ago, so whatever the bangs/pops were in the early going, they now don’t know. SFD’s investigator is en route to work on figuring out how the fire started.
ADDED 11:16 PM: From SFD: “Cause of West Seattle Arbor Heights fire is man using spray paint can & lighter to try and kill spider in the wall. Damage estimate $60k.”
1:03 PM: If you’ve seen smoke and/or the big Seattle Fire response – a tanker truck caught fire in the 2500 block of 11th SW on Harbor Island. SFD says the fire was in the truck’s engine and did NOT spread to its tank(s). Smoke was visible for some distance for a while – thanks to Creighton for the photo.
2:12 PM: From SFD via Twitter:
Investigator searching for cause of semi truck engine fire on harbor island. Tanks of truck empty pic.twitter.com/86i8ncgwbB
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) July 13, 2014
3:05 PM: And an update:
Cause of Harbor Island semi tractor fire was most likely electrical malfunction in engine. Damage estimate $200k pic.twitter.com/cUUz5WWe0F
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) July 13, 2014
MONDAY AFTERNOON POSTSCRIPT: Noted in the comment discussion – the firefighting wasn’t over yet when we published the first paragraph – the fire spread to tanks later, explains SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore: “When the first engine arrived the flames had not spread to the tanker. By the time we extinguished the fire the tank did burn. The tanks were empty and there wasn’t any fuel in them.”
10:50 PM: Big fire call to the 3700 block of California SW – but it’s being scaled back because it’s now believed to be a fire pit on a building roof.
— Chris Burton (@CBurtonDesign) July 13, 2014
10:53 PM: Now they’re raising the call back to a full response after all. And they’re calling for police to block northbound traffic.
It’s described as a rooftop fire, about a 12 x 12 section of wooden deck, and under control.
(This photo and next two, by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
11:13 PM: Our crews at the scene say the four-story mixed-use building – residential over ground-floor commercial – was evacuated.
But firefighters are reiterating via radio that the fire was confined to wooden decking over a section of roof and is tapped.
11:18 PM: We just talked to the incident commander, who said the residents will be allowed back in within the hour.
(UPDATED THURSDAY with fire’s cause, damage estimate)
(WSB photo by Katie Meyer)
12:21 PM: Now there’s another fire call in Highland Park – this one for a house in the 7500 block of 11th SW (map). First crews on the scene are seeing smoke.
12:26 PM UPDATE: Fire crews say the house is fully engulfed in flames. Per scanner, they’re saying they’ve been told no one is inside. It’s a duplex and they report the fire is “knocked down.”
(This photo and next by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)
1:10 PM UPDATE: WSB’s Katie Meyer confirms from the scene that everyone got out OK, including a cat and dog. Firefighters are still working to figure out how the fire started.
2:04 PM UPDATE: Also from the scene, WSB’s Christopher Boffoli reports that SFD plans to keep a crew there on “fire watch” in case it rekindles.
ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore says the investigation determined the fire was caused by “improperly discarded smoking materials, discarded into a couch. The damage estimate is $60,000 to the structure and $10,000 to the contents.”
(Seattle Fire Department photo via Twitter)
12:01 PM: The big Seattle Fire response is for an industrial building in the 7000 block of Highland Park Way SW, near the intersection with West Marginal Way SW. SFD describes it via Twitter as a machinery fire and says all employees have been evacuated.
12:05 PM: Per scanner, the fire is declared “tapped.” The address checks to Pioneer Industries/Human Services. Firefighters are working to ventilate the building because of the smoke.
12:57 PM: SFD says the fire was “limited to a bin of metals” and that the “smoking bin” is being taken out of the building.
1:25 PM: SFD also has tweeted a picture of the aforementioned bin:
Pic of metal bin that was on fire. Mobile ventilation unit being used to air out building pic.twitter.com/WFqdf6aAeT
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) July 9, 2014
(SCROLL DOWN FOR ONGOING UPDATES: Damage estimate, daylight photos, district and PTA comments)
1:30 AM: Response is being downsized; the fire is apparently on/in play equipment outside, no building/interior involvement. Mostly a bark fire, but “some melted play equipment,” SFD reports. Our crew is still en route.
1:54 AM: Our crew reports it’s some climbing-type equipment at the play area on the west side of the school but it’s significantly damaged. We’ll go back for a daylight look later. No official cause of the fire – the marshal’s on the way.
8:12 AM UPDATE: From Kyle Moore at SFD:
Seattle Fire Investigators have classified an overnight fire at a West Seattle playground as undetermined because there was no obvious source of ignition.
At 1:19 a.m. a call came into dispatchers at the Fire Alarm Center reporting a fire coming from the back of a school located in the 5000 block of SW Spokane Street. The first arriving engine company found flames coming from a playground area. Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire which was confined to the wood chips. The heat and flames also melted and damaged the metal and plastic playground equipment. The damage estimate is $50,000.
We will add daylight photos shortly.
9:13 AM: Just back from the school. Photos of the damage, above and below.
We are following up with Seattle Public Schools for starters. Schmitz Park is West Seattle’s most-populous elementary, with more than 600 students expected this fall. It’s scheduled to move into the new school to be built on the Genesee Hill Elementary site, likely in early 2016.
12:05 PM: District spokesperson Tom Redman tells WSB, “The play equipment was new and installed last summer and funded by the District. Our risk and loss prevention manager will inspect the equipment, after which we’ll determine our next steps.”
2:09 PM: We’ve also heard from the SPES PTA – starting with this detailed comment from outgoing president Jeff Rayner.
8:51 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a major “fire in building” response to Stewart Manor, the 72-unit Seattle Housing Authority apartment building at 34th and Morgan (map). It’s been described on the scanner as a “room fire.” This will affect traffic traveling Morgan/Sylvan east of 35th.
9:01 PM: Firefighters have reported over the radio that the smoke appears limited to the fifth floor and it does not appear to be a major fire – they’ve just declared it “tapped”, originating in the kitchen, and are working on ventilation; no injuries reported.
9:11 PM: Many of the units are being dismissed; firefighters are monitoring air inside the building to be sure it’s safe for residents to go back to unaffected apartments.
9:29 PM: Our crew was told at the scene that no one was home in the unit where the fire started on a stove. That unit probably won’t be inhabitable tonight but other residents should be let back in the building soon.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 7:12 PM: Big response for a “fire in building” call at 41st and Edmunds – our crew was nearby and reports that it’s at the Jefferson Square Apartments on the south side of the shopping center. No smoke or flames visible from outside, according to our crew. Per scanner, they’re checking out one specific unit. Avoid Edmunds/42nd/41st. More to come.
7:33 PM UPDATE: No fire found. Units are leaving. Area should be clear soon.
ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: See the comment from Quinn, with an important bottom line.
(WSB photo from Monday’s fire)
After Monday’s deadly fire in South Delridge – taking the lives of one resident of the house and four puppies – people asked if there was any way to help the survivors. Now there is. Friends have set up an online fundraising page for Stefan and Stephanie, who lost not only their friend Lester and four puppies, but also most of what they owned. Stefan, says the gofundme.com page, is the drummer for the band Smashie Smashie (whose Facebook page includes a tribute to Lester), and lost “a lot” of equipment in the fire, which was ruled accidental and started in the kitchen. A benefit show is in the works, friends say, but in the meantime, anyone who wants to make a donation can do it by going here.
(UPDATED MONDAY NIGHT with fire cause)
2:07 PM: SFD has reported that heavy smoke is coming out of the house, and also that everyone has gotten out OK. Our crew will be there shortly.
(This photo & those below are by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
2:12 PM: SFD says the fire is “knocked down”; we’ve just arrived in the area and can still see smoke. Avoid Delridge in this area – police have the street blocked at Barton.
2:25 PM: Photos added.
Yes, this is why there’s a TV helicopter over South Delridge/Westwood (directly over us at the moment). A dog was rescued and we’re told it will be OK.
2:39 PM: There are now conflicting reports about whether everyone did indeed get out OK. SFD’s public-information officer is en route and we expect an update shortly.
Police also have arrived to investigate – not just to direct traffic.
2:55 PM: It’s just been confirmed that one of the residents of the home, so far described only as male, has been found dead inside the back bedroom. Authorities had originally reported everyone was out safely but that obviously turned out to be wrong. And while they rescued two dogs and a puppy, four other puppies did not survive.
3:54 PM: Added the briefing video, above – that’s SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, explaining that police involvement at this point is routine for any fire involving a death. No information yet on the person’s identity or cause of death, nor the fire’s cause – we will add new information here whenever it becomes available.
4:49 PM: SFD has tweeted photos of the rescued dogs/puppy:
Picture of puppy firefighters rescued and revived at fatal house fire on Delridge AV SW pic.twitter.com/zl5CyOFDcM
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) June 2, 2014
Picture of two dogs firefighters rescued and resuscitated at fatal Delridge house fire pic.twitter.com/x9ePLo25TR
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) June 2, 2014
9:42 PM: Seattle Fire investigators say it started with a cooking fire:
Cause of Delridge fatal house fire is unattended food on stove. Damage estimate $120k. 3 people displaced pic.twitter.com/0uPbb8n4uA
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) June 3, 2014
11:20 PM: No word yet on the victim’s identity – that will come from the Medical Examiner’s Office, no sooner than tomorrow afternoon. But SFD has one more tweet about the rescued dogs:
Here is picture of firefighter using pet oxygen mask to revive puppy who suffered smoke inhalation in Delridge fire pic.twitter.com/YVtHLZkzOS
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) June 3, 2014
An SUV fire led to a traffic snarl under the bridge for a while this afternoon – right at Spokane/Harbor/Avalon in the heart of a sunny Saturday. We didn’t catch word of it in real time, but Kristina shared the photo above while the SUV’s front end was ablaze, and Dana sent the aftermath view below:
No word of any serious injuries, but traffic was diverted for a while. We believe the scene’s clear now but are going by to doublecheck.
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