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.
3:09 PM: A big Seattle Fire response has rushed to a house in the 2200 block of 46th SW (map). Details to come.
3:19 PM: We’re still en route, but the call has closed, which explains the lack of scanner discussion.
3:36 PM: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore says the call turned out to be somebody burning leaves.
2:49 AM: Big Seattle Fire response on the way to a call in the 9000 block of 20th SW. Updates to come.
2:53 AM: First units on scene aren’t finding any sign of smoke or fire, so most of the units are being canceled.
3:12 AM: Our crew has verified at the scene, no fire. Residents say they smelled smoke and thought they saw some, but nothing turned up.
7:50 AM: Small fire – it’s already reported tapped, and some units are being sent back.
8:07 AM: The fire was indeed small and was on the back porch, Seattle Fire is telling us on scene. Their investigator is currently trying to figure out how it started. No injuries.
3:37 AM: The call already has been closed/canceled (and a few minutes later, our crew arrived, verifying no one from SFD remained on scene).
(Photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
1:53 PM: Seattle Fire has a house-fire-sized response headed for an address in the 5200 block of Delridge Way SW (map). Smoke can be seen from the house. More as we get it.
2:08 PM: SFD tweets that it was a “room fire” and it’s out now. Nobody hurt. Investigators will be working to figure out how it started.
2:14 PM: Our crew at the scene says Delridge is closed because of the fire vehicles, and they expect to be there another 45 minutes or so. The fire apparently started in/on a mattress, and nobody was home, according to the incident commander. (Added: Closure zone is roughly Findlay to Hudson.)
4:27 PM: Added a photo of the aforementioned mattress (what’s left of it). Thanks to everyone who’s provided updates on the road status – as of 4 pm, says Betsy, it’s open (we just drove through, too, to confirm) and the Red Cross is there to help.
11:40 AM: A sizable Seattle Fire response has headed back to the 10000 block of 39th SW, scene of two fires at one house in a little more than a week. (update) First crew on scene says “no fire, just smoke” – so they’re putting water on it.
11:52 AM: Our crew on scene says the smoke is mostly coming from the back of the house (added, photo showing new fencing in back):
No flames seen so far, as noted previously.
12:09 PM: For reference – the first fire was on April 29th; second one, early Monday morning. The cause of the first one has yet to be determined; one of the home’s two residents, both said to be in their 70s, was still in the hospital at last report.
4:42 PM: As AG notes in comments, SFD announced this afternoon that overheated wiring caused the original fire on April 29th and that “residual embers” were to blame for the flareups today and two days ago.
5:34 AM: The fire is reported to be under control, per scanner traffic. Just added video from neighbor John (who also called to tip us about the fire – thank you). The cause of last week’s fire had yet to be determined, as of our most recent check with SFD last Friday.
5:53 AM: Added that photo from our crew on scene. SFD says no injuries, since house was vacant.
6:03 AM: Metro says the northbound Route 21-EX is rerouting off SW 100th because of this, between 37th SW and 40th SW – use stops “east of 37th or west of 40th,” per text. Meantime, SFD spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl has just provided an on-scene media briefing. She confirms that they still hadn’t finished investigating last week’s fire – one of the home’s two residents is still in the hospital. A crew will stay on scene here through the day on “fire watch” (as had been done last week).
6:44 AM: The bus reroute is over. Most fire vehicles have been dismissed from the scene. (Added: Our video of Lt. Stangl’s briefing, in which she discusses the possibility it “rekindled.”)
(Photos taken this morning by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
New information about last night’s house fire in the 10000 block of 39th SW in Arbor Heights (WSB as-it-happened coverage here): Its cause is currently listed as “undetermined,” but Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore tells WSB that could change: They haven’t been able to speak yet with the two residents, both in their 70s, who remain hospitalized, and it’s still not safe for investigators to go in and look for evidence of how it started.
You can see why, looking at our photos from a trip back to the scene this morning, with smoke still rising from the house:
As we reported last night, the house is considered to be a total loss; this morning, SFD estimates the damage at $350,000 for the house, $100,000 for the contents.
The fire was first reported around 7:40 pm; SFD says it was under control about half an hour after its crews started arriving.
(WED. AM UPDATE: Fire guts Arbor Heights home, 2 residents hurt, cause not yet known, scroll to see new photo)
(Photo courtesy Tim Eannarino)
FIRST REPORT, 7:49 PM: Fire crews have rushed to the 10000 block of 39th SW for a house-fire call. More as we get it.
(Photo by Tony Bradley)
7:54 PM: The callout keeps getting bigger. Smoke visible for a ways around.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand, substituted for earlier cameraphone pic)
Scanner traffic says the fire started in the basement and that there is a vehicle on fire at the site.
(Photo courtesy Christi Stapleton)
7:58 PM: Our crew just arrived on scene. Paramedics are treating one person. Black smoke continues pouring from the home. Flames are visible too.
(Added: WSB video, including the moment when fire broke through the roof)
It’s being described on the scanner as a “defensive” firefight.
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
8:11 PM: The fire continues to intensify. Neighbors are tweeting – thanks to Colby for this photo:
— Colby Blanton (@colby_blanton) April 30, 2014
8:20 PM: Two neighboring homes are at risk, according to SFD via Twitter, also confirming that two people are being treated by medics at the scene.
(Photo by Kevin McClintic)
The fire is “tapped,” our crew at the scene reports, which is one milestone toward getting it under control. The SFD public-info officer is there so we and other media will be able to get comprehensive info in addition to what we’re seeing and hearing firsthand.
(Photo courtesy Christi Stapleton)
8:29 PM UPDATE: We just talked with SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, who says water pressure was NOT a problem, but Seattle Public Utilities did increase the pressure to help with the firefight (we heard that mentioned on the scanner, too). [Added - editor's note: Those questions stem from a problem with hydrants in Arbor Heights that hampered the fight against a big house fire in 2011. There have since been major upgrades.) He says the two people are still being treated. No idea yet how this started. Moore also says two neighboring homes were evacuated because of danger the fire might spread, and everybody got out OK.
(This photo and next one by Tony Bradley)
8:47 PM: Continuing to add photos – thanks to everyone who has shared theirs – and will be adding ours too as the crew processes them back at base, including video of Moore’s briefing.
9 PM: Sounds like firefighters will be able to go inside. (added) Neighbor Christi says crews are trying to make sure it’s safe for neighbors to go back into their undamaged homes.
9:23 PM: Added – video of Moore’s briefing, including more details on the two people who were inside the house and were being treated for burns/smoke inhalation. We also added, higher up in the story, video showing the flames erupting through the roof following the dark smoke that could at one point be seen from some distance away.
9:50 PM: Earlier we had mentioned a vehicle – above, a photo by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli. We’re going back over to check on where things stand now. SFD’s Moore tweeted a few minutes ago that the man and woman who were hurt are in their 70s; both suffered smoke inhalation; both were taken to Harborview Medical Center in stable condition; the man also suffered burns. The house was ruled a total loss; the fire’s cause is still under investigation.
10:36 PM: Firefighters are still on scene; light smoke is still rising from the house. They tell us it’s not safe for the investigator to go in yet, so what caused the fire likely won’t be known any sooner than tomorrow. Since both residents of the house were taken to the hospital, there’s no Red Cross or other relief agency on scene.
1:10 AM: Another photo from neighbor Christi – Engine 30, on fire watch. With major fires like this, there’s usually an engine on scene (they rotate) for many hours afterward, just in case of a flareup.
10:12 AM WEDNESDAY: Still no word of the cause but firefighters remain at the scene; the house is still smoldering, and they have been continuing to work to ventilate it:
When there is word of the cause, we’ll publish a new story.
Just mentioning in case you heard/saw the big dispatch to 6300 block of High Point Drive about 15 minutes ago – crews have given it the “food on the stove” label so far; our crew has verified at the scene. Units are being dismissed.
(SCROLL DOWN for updates, including police joining investigation)
4:40 AM UPDATE: At least one person is reported to be hurt, and crews are calling for more medics.
4:47 AM UPDATE: It’s not a big fire – but especially for a multifamily building, it’s SOP to send a sizable response just in case. Per scanner, it’s tapped/under control. Our crew should be on scene shortly.
5:02 AM UPDATE: Our crew says the fire was in a top-floor apartment. Working to find out more about the person found, injured, in that apartment. (added) SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore will be briefing media at the scene shortly.
5:25 AM UPDATE: There’s a reason we hadn’t heard a condition for the person described as a “victim” – Moore says that person found in the burning apartment was dead. That’s the only apartment damaged by fire, but others were affected by smoke, and the Red Cross has been called in to help one person.
5:48 AM UPDATE: Moore describes the person found dead in the burning bedroom as an adult woman. As you’ll hear in the video of Moore’s briefing (above), SFD’s investigator is working to find out how and exactly where the fire started. The apartment had a sprinkler, Moore said, but it was in the hallway, not the bedroom. It will be up to the Medical Examiner to determine how the woman died – whether from the fire, or something else.
8:55 AM UPDATE: Police are now at the scene – including CSI investigators – and yellow crime-scene tape is up.
Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Renée Witt says SFD investigators asked SPD to check out the scene “out of an abundance of caution” just to make sure they weren’t missing anything.
So far, she says she doesn’t know what they have or have not found, but there has not yet been any ruling whether this was or wasn’t a homicide, and the cause of death has not yet been determined by the Medical Examiner.
4:33 PM UPDATE: We’ve been checking, but still no updated information from investigators in either department.
7:15 PM UPDATE: We’ve talked to SW Precinct Ops. Lt. Ron Smith at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council. He says ATF went to the scene today as well but that there is still no official finding about whether this was a crime or not, but it is certainly “suspicious.”
If you’re hearing the sirens and/or seeing the Seattle Fire units – false alarm; it’s just a barbecue that apparently generated enough smoke to worry somebody. The fire response has just been called off.
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
11:57 PM: A deck fire in the 5600 block of 49th SW has apparently spread into the attic. We are en route.
12:17 AM: Our crew is on scene. The fire is at a two-story home; the deck is on the second floor.
A neighbor tells us flames were visible at one point. The five people who were at home all got out of the house, thanks to a neighbor who saw the smoke and banged on the door to alert everyone; a child is being checked out for what’s described as a small burn, and that’s the only injury we’ve heard of.
12:33 AM: The fire’s out; cause is under investigation, and some units are being dismissed from the scene.
ADDED 8:45 AM: Per SFD on Twitter, “improperly discarded smoking materials” caused the fire, with damage estimated around $35,000.
(Tuesday night photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
Followup to the Brace Point house fire Tuesday night that was determined to be a case of arson: Friday afternoon was the deadline for the 54-year-old woman arrested hours after the fire to be either charged or released from jail. The jail register shows she was released Friday evening, and court dockets show no charges filed so far. She had appeared for a bail hearing Thursday afternoon, at which time bail was set at $100,000, but after Friday afternoon came and went without charges being filed, she was let out on conditional release. The probable-cause document from Thursday says her car was found parked just south of the house the night of the fire, with personal belongings and her dogs inside, as well as notes saying she was sorry and that she was leaving, offering advice to the home’s other resident about contacting someone regarding the insurance. The court documents said she was arrested after returning to the house about four hours after the fire; a five-gallon gas can missing from the home’s crawl space was found near where the fire started. We will be following up with prosecutors on Monday about the case’s future.
(1st photo from scene, by Patrick Sand for WSB)
9:36 PM: Seattle Fire is responding to a reported house fire in the 10000 block of 51st SW (map). It’s on a dead-end street in Brace Point. More to come.
(This photo & next 2, by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
9:45 PM UPDATE: Via scanner, firefighters report they have the fire “knocked down.” Our crew has just arrived and sees some flames from a corner of the roof on the 3-story house. Strong smell of smoke even here in upper Fauntleroy more than a mile north.
10:12 PM UPDATE: Nobody was home when this started, our crew at the scene has been told. Flames are out now. (Added: Video of firefighters on the roof – note the smoke and also the water rushing down the driveway:)
SFD’s investigator is there to try to figure out how it started.
11:53 PM UPDATE: No cause announced yet; the investigation is still under way, per SFD.
WEDNESDAY 10:06 AM: Police have announced they believe this was arson – finding a gas can inside the house – and a resident of the home has been arrested. Details on SPD Blotter.
10:23 AM UPDATE: We’ve checked the background of the 54-year-old woman who is in jail for investigation of arson; she does not appear to have a criminal record.
12:32 PM UPDATE: Since she wasn’t booked until this morning, her bail hearing won’t be until tomorrow, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE: Her bail was set today at $100,000, according to the jail register. We won’t have other details from prosecutors until Friday.
9:59 PM: Electrical problem, crews on the scene tell us. All over now.
3:41 AM: If you’ve been awakened by a big fire response in North Delridge – it was a dispatch for a possible house fire in the 4700 block of 26th SW (map). However, radio communication indicates it was a “porch fire,” and that police put it out before firefighters even got there. Most SFD units are being canceled.
4:14 AM UPDATE: But now there’s more to the story: This is a suspected case of arson, and at least one person is in custody. (More in comments.)
7:05 AM: Busy morning for firefighters. They’re now off to a second house-fire call – this time in the 8000 block of 45th SW (map), just east of central Lincoln Park. Not major, apparently – units still on the way are being told they can slow down. More to come.
7:09 AM: Per scanner, firefighters on scene say it’s just a furnace problem. We’re still en route to check. (Update – Our crew on scene has confirmed it.)
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