West Seattle, Washington
A 41-year-old man is being taken to Harborview Medical Center with burns to his face and hands after what was described on Seattle Fire radio as a propane explosion in an RV. Several SFD units were dispatched to 1st Avenue South and SW Kenyon [map] to fight the resulting fire and treat the patient. The fire is under investigation.
6 PM: Units on scene report it’s a kitchen fire and it’s out.
6:07 PM: Update: Firefighters are still tackling a few “hot spots.” No injuries reported.
6:16 PM: Photo added. Our crew at the scene confirms that the fire was in the kitchen; firefighters are wrapping up and say everyone is unhurt.
11:44 PM: A “full response” is headed to a possible house fire in the 7700 block of 8th SW [map]. Initial description is that it’s believed to be an electrical fire in the basement.
11:48 PM: Per scanner, first crews to arrive report “light smoke.”
11:51 PM: It’s been assessed as an electrical problem but no flames; most of the SFD crews are being dismissed.
2:50 AM: Firefighters are at a house in the 3700 block of 59th SW [map], fighting what SFD calls a “small attic fire.”
3 AM: The fire has been declared “under control.” No injuries reported so far.
3:05 AM: And now the fire is pronounced “tapped.”
3:12 AM: Our crew has arrived and confirms the fire’s out, no one hurt. The cause is under investigation.
10:06 AM: We just checked back with SFD about the cause. Spokesperson Kristin Tinsley says, “Fire investigators ruled this fire as accidental … caused by heat from roof work earlier in the day, which ignited a smoldering fire in the eaves above the front door.” Damage/loss is estimated at $70,000.
5:52 PM: Per scanner, the fire may have extended into the house. Everyone is reported to have gotten out OK.
5:56 PM: The fire’s reported to be burning in the attic. SFD confirms no injuries reported.
6:10 PM: Traffic alert – SW Holden is blocked in the area. The fire is now reported to be under control. The Red Cross is being called to help the house’s residents.
6:19 PM: One resident told our photographer that they believe the fire was electrical and started in a wall in the back of the house. She confirms everyone got out OK, but they’re currently looking for their two cats.
7:19 PM: Holden is open again.
4:33 PM: Seattle Fire has a “full response” headed for a house in Arbor Heights, in the 9900 block of 37th SW. More to come.
4:49 PM: The log shows most of the SFD units have been dismissed from the call, so it’s not major. We are en route in hopes of finding out.
5 PM: Last SFD crew (Engine 37) left just as we were arriving in the area and the call is officially closed. No one else around to ask but note that 99th is blocked off in the area – looks like downed wires/cables of some kind, on the other side of the yellow “caution” tape.
SUNDAY NOTE: Lynn explains here what happened.
If you saw/heard all the SFD units just now – they were headed to a possible fire in a multifamily building in the 2200 block of Alki SW. We’ve just heard via scanner that it was a false alarm – somebody was starting up a grill and the smoke set off a smoke detector. So the units are being dismissed.
1:43 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” for a possible apartment fire at 44th/Oregon. The first unit on scene is seeing some “white smoke from a 5th floor window.”
1:50 PM: Our crew isn’t there yet but we’re hearing via the scanner that this is a kitchen fire. Just added photo above, courtesy of Eddie.
1:57 PM: Our crew on scene confirms that it’s indeed a kitchen fire. It’s now out. The photo above this line is from WSB’s Patrick Sand – we’ve also confirmed that it’s The Lofts at The Junction (4535 44th SW). No injuries reported.
2:15 PM: SFD says one person has been treated for smoke inhalation.
9:33 AM: Seattle Fire has a “full response” headed to a possible apartment fire in the 9000 block of 9th SW [map]. More to come.
9:44 AM: Still waiting to hear from our crew but the SFD log shows most units responding to this have been canceled.
9:47 AM: It was a small kitchen fire. No injuries reported.
FIRST REPORT, 2:28 PM: A “brush fire” call that’s been open since late morning in the Roxhill Park area is actually an underground peat fire, according to Seattle Parks, which says it’s under control but has claimed a few trees. Parks also says part of the park will be closed TFN because of the fire. We’ll be heading over to find out more. The peat bog in the park was restored years ago but has gone dry because of a variety of problems that the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition has long been trying to get the city to address. More to come.
3:04 PM UPDATE: We are at the park now. SFD and Parks are working together to dig into the peat to try to get to a not-burned area so they can cut off the fire. They have had to tear out some trees to get to it.
(And yes, that’s a TV helicopter.) What looks like smoke in our photos, we are told, is ash. Peat fires can burn for days, weeks, even months, so SFD is hoping this hasn’t extended too far. It’s at the southeast corner of the park.
3:56 PM UPDATE: Back at HQ now, and adding more images.
Since the fire isn’t out, SFD can’t say for sure how it started, but Deputy Chief Gene Zimmerman told us firefighters have been out a few times in recent days to extinguish “small warming fires” in that area of the park. We will check back in early evening but right now, this is NOT affecting the play area on the west side of the park, except that an SFD line is running to the fire area from a hydrant on 29th SW on the southwest side of the park. (added) This view of digging to fight the fire …
…is reminiscent of a view from the Seattle Municipal Archives, dated 1961, of peat being dug up in the area during road work (we’ve published this photo before):
FRIDAY NOTE: SFD closed out the call late Thursday night. We haven’t received a response yet to our question for them, whether the fire’s considered extinguished, but we went over at 5:30 pm for a look:
All that remains is a big muddy area, with chain-link fence around it. The paths to the east and to the north (toward the bus stop) are taped off, but nothing else in the park is affected. We’ll be checking with Seattle Parks, and again with SFD, next week.
More than a week after the fire at the Green Acres apartment complex north of Morgan Junction, Jilyan at nearby C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) has continued coordinating efforts to help those who were affected, and says one person still needs help in two ways – urgently:
Urgent help needed!!! Please bring packing supplies (boxes, tape, bubble wrap etc) to C & P Coffee between now and Sunday night.
Some of you may have seen the fundraising that’s been organized for Green Acres. Everyone seems to have the help they need with the exception of one resident. I have been meeting with her, and the apartment manager to try to figure out how best to help her.
Joanie is still living in her apartment, with no electricity, because she has nowhere to go (and is not able to tackle this task on her own). Seattle Housing Authority will pay her rent and utilities once she finds a place but offers no assistance with moving or the cost to move/store belongings (understandable).
On Monday, a group of amazing C&P community members will be moving her belongings out and setting up a storage unit for her. This is how the money raised from GoFundMe and cash donations will be used.
We need boxes, Rubbermaid tubs you’re willing to part with, anything to pack up an apartment. If you are available Monday to help us move stuff with a truck, please contact me as soon as possible. If you know of an apartment Joanie can rent (section 8), please contact me. email@example.com
West Seattle, you’re amazing! I know this community can help one of our own that is so unexpectedly displaced.
C & P is at 5612 California SW and is open until 9 tonight, and 7 am-7 pm on Sunday.
(UPDATED 11:11 AM with new info from SFD, and aftermath photo)
(Added 2:50 am: Video courtesy Monika)
FIRST REPORT, 1:04 AM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to California/Juneau for a report of a possible apartment fire. More as we get it.
1:07 AM: The first units on scene report a “working fire” that appears to be on the exterior of the three-story apartment building.
1:13 AM: The log has updated this to 5656 California SW [map], which is the Green Acres complex, the only three-story building at that intersection. Firefighters have water on the fire. A second alarm has been called. Most if not all of California is blocked, too.
1:25 AM: Our crew has arrived and confirms California is blocked. The damage is visible on the southeast side of the building, as you can see in the first photo we’ve added. No word of any injuries so far. Firefighters are still working to check whether the fire spread into the building anywhere.
1:43 AM: Fire’s not out yet but SFD says it’s under control and confirms no injuries are reported. Firefighters have been working on ventilation to deal with the fire reportedly having spread into the attic.
SFD’s public-information officer has arrived. The Red Cross is being called to help the residents.
2 AM: PIO Kristin Tinsley just briefed us and citywide media. (Video of briefing added 2:50 am)
No word on the fire’s cause yet but it’s believed to have started on the first floor and spread up. At least six units are damaged. Fire’s now reported to be out, but SFD is expected to keep a presence at the scene for some time on “fire watch.” Side note: You might recall a big SFD response to the same building almost six months ago – that one turned out to be just a kitchen fire.
2:32 AM: The fire forced pet evacuations as well as people, above, that’s Kona the bulldog, with Kona’s people, whose apartment is one of those damaged. More info later when there are official updates on cause and damage.
11:11 AM: SFD says the cause is “undetermined” and damage totals more than $500,000. We just went back over for this photo:
We should also note that, as SFD mentions, West Seattle Church of the Nazarene across the street (42nd/Juneau) opened its doors early this morning so the evacuated residents had someplace to go.
12:58 PM: More news of helping – C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) is in the same block as the building and says it’s donating tips and has a fundraiser going for the fire victims:
10:23 AM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is on its way to a possible house fire in the 4100 block of SW Monroe in Gatewood.
10:27 AM: Most of the SFD units have been canceled, with the fire having been a small exterior fire, per scanner, but police are on scene, our crew reports upon arrival, and we’re hearing a medic unit being dispatched for someone believed to be ill/injured.
12:35 PM: Police investigators are still on scene, looking at both a vehicle that was up on the home’s lawn and at the area that’s possibly where the small fire started. We’ll be checking back with SPD later this afternoon to see if there’s an update.
5:35 AM: Thanks for the tips. The helicopter you might have heard over White Center/South Delridge was TV, checking out a fire call on 16th in downtown WC, just south of Roxbury. West Seattle fire units were dispatched for mutual aid for a while. We have a crew checking it out.
5:52 AM: What caught fire was a refrigerated truck trailer parked by a building at 15th/SW 98th that firefighters also say sustained damage. No injuries. Power’s out because lines were involved. (The TV helicopter has long since moved on to something else elsewhere in the region.)
6:13 AM: Added photos. Metro says buses that use 15th SW in the area might be affected; fire trucks were still blocking that street when we left a few minutes ago – we’ll be going back after sunrise for a closer look.
9:58 AM: The investigation continues:
In the photo above, you can see the blackened area where the fire spread to the building by which the trailer was parked.
4:26 AM: The fire is described via radio communications as “well-involved” on at least one side of the house – mostly exterior but partly extended into the house’s kitchen.
4:38 AM: The fire also is reported to have extended into the attic. Two more engines have been requested. Our crew is just arriving.
4:51 AM: This is not yet under control, firefighters have radioed, and our crew verifies they’re continuing to haul more hoses toward the house; they’re also reporting roof collapse on a shed-type structure behind the main house. No injuries reported so far, and they’re dismissing a medic unit.
4:56 AM: Now it’s been declared under control.
5:07 AM: … now “tapped” in both structures, and they’re calling for the investigator to find out how this started.
5:29 AM: That official determination won’t come until later this morning, but SFD spokesperson Capt. Shata Stephenson just talked with us at the scene and says the fire appears to have started toward the back of the house, which actually has two non-residential structures behind it, and the one with the roof collapse is the one all the way at the rear of the lot. (added – video from his briefing)
Two people were home at the time, both checked out for possible smoke inhalation, but both found to be OK. We’ve also confirmed that the address is 4737 26th SW. Crews will be here at least another hour, so you’ll want to avoid 26th SW – which is an official greenway – in this area.
10:35 AM: SFD says the fire was accidental, started by a candle; damage totals $150,000 to the structure, $100,000 to contents.
8:06 PM: A “full response” is headed to a possible house fire at Delridge and Holden.
8:12 PM: First units on scene noted smoke. But it’s not a major fire – most of the units are being dismissed. We’ll find out more once our photographer is on scene.
8:21 PM: SFD tells us this started with trees/shrubbery catching fire – they’re not sure how, but it’s so dry, it doesn’t take much. @drewhamlet tweeted this photo:
The flames spread to a fence and the siding of a condo building but it’s all extinguished now, and no one was hurt.
4:03 PM: SFD has quickly extinguished what was described as a wall fire at a house in the 8100 block of Delridge Way SW. No injuries reported.
5:37 PM UPDATE: Added photos from WSB’s Christopher Boffoli, who says firefighters weren’t certain how this started, but it appeared to have originated on the outside of the wall.
— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) August 4, 2017
(Added: Video tweeted by @WSDOT_Traffic)
Thanks to the person who texted about this – Seattle Fire now has a big response headed to a brush fire reported along southbound Highway 509, south of Cloverdale. They’re also checking out the top of the slope along Myers Way.
5:44 AM: SFD describes the house as small and “boarded up.” Firefighters spotted a hole in the floor so they are fighting the fire “defensively” – from outside. Avoid that area of Delridge, as it’s an extensive response, blocking the road.
5:54 AM: Our crew is there; we’ve added a photo. It’s the same house that had a fire back in May, and a deadly fire three years earlier. No word of injuries in this fire so far; firefighters report it’s under control. Note that the address on the SFD log right now is NOT accurate – 9226 is the address for the auto shop to the south, which is NOT involved.
6:04 AM: Some of the SFD units are being dismissed. No one inside, no one hurt, so far as firefighters have determined (update: as of a few minute later, they’re searching again). SFD’s investigator has been summoned to find the fire’s cause. Metro Route 128 is being rerouted, according to an alert just texted/tweeted.
6:27 AM: Route 60 is rerouted too. Meantime, our crew is back and we’ve added another photo. We’ve checked the property’s history, in light of the multiple fires; no complaints listed since 2015, and no redevelopment plans on file.
7:15 AM: Metro says buses are back to regular routes.
12:15 PM: SFD spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl tells WSB the fire investigator could not determine what caused today’s fire, so it will remain officially “undetermined.”
7:23 PM: We’re on our way to the 3700 block of SW Thistle for a house-fire response. More to come.
7:25 PM: First firefighters to arrive say they’re seeing smoke from the basement, and that everyone is out OK.
7:31 PM: We’re just arriving. Thistle is blocked off by fire units west of 35th SW – and side streets are blocked by Night Out parties. Via radio exchanges, we’re hearing this is an “appliance fire” and it’s tapped. No injuries reported.
7:43 PM: Much of the initial big response is being dismissed, now that this is winding down. Neighbor Mike shared this video of the first SFD personnel on the scene:
MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: SFD says it was an accidental fire, caused by a malfunctioning battery charger, and that damage to contents and structure totaled $20,000.
Just in case you heard all the sirens a short time ago and wondered – what was a relatively sizable Seattle Fire dispatch to the 3000 block of SW Raymond in High Point was downsized quickly when a kitchen fire (according to radio communication) turned out to be nothing more than that. One engine was kept on the call.
P.S. Likely unrelated but we also got a text asking about a burning smell in the Admiral area. No other fire calls working anywhere in the city right now, so that one’s a mystery.
Last Sunday afternoon, we reported on a house fire in Highland Park, in the 8100 block of 14th SW. No one was hurt, but it turns out the damage was greater than first assessed, and the longtime West Seattle resident and Denny International Middle School employee who lived there has lost most of his belongings, as well as a place to live, so a family friend has organized a crowdfunding page for community members to help. Michelle Whelan explains:
Lifelong West Seattleite Roger Baker, or “Mr. Baker” as he’s known to students at Denny Middle School, recently lost his house and most of his belongings to an electrical fire. The home had been in the Baker family for about 40 years and … is essentially a total loss due to internal damage and the prohibitively expensive cost to rebuild.
This is the same home Roger returned to 20 years ago help care for his ailing parents. In 2009 he obtained his current position as custodian at Denny MS. In the intervening years, while also working full time, Roger helped provide elder care for his parents — driving them to and from appointments, family events, and taking care of the home. His mother passed away several years ago, followed by his father more recently.
The Baker family, tribal members of the Turtle Mountain band of Chippewa, has deep, longstanding roots in West Seattle. Multi-generational graduates of West Seattle schools, the Bakers are a strong and close-knit family…which makes Roger’s loss all the more upsetting as he no longer has a place to live.
There’s even more to the story, which you can read on the GoFundMe page, which also has post-fire photos of the house’s interior. (SFD says the fire was accidental, sparked by a battery charger.) The GFM page also has details on non-monetary donations that would be helpful as well.