(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
10:33 AM: Firefighters are reporting flames as they arrive at the scene of a house fire in the 3400 block of 44th SW (map). We’ll be there shortly.
10:44 AM UPDATE: No word of injuries so far. Firefighters have put out the call for investigative unit Marshal 5, which is standard operating procedure.
10:51 AM UPDATE: Firefighters tell our crew at the scene that this was a “small kitchen fire” and it’s now out. Nobody was home when it started. A neighbor saw the smoke and called 911.
12:48 PM UPDATE: One of the neighbors shares more in the comment section. Another one sent this photo of a dog that got out safely:
We’ll update here when there’s official information on the fire’s cause.
1:25 PM UPDATE: SFD says “overheated electrical wiring” caused the fire, and they’re “classifying (it) as an accidental fire.” Damage is estimated at $20,000; along with the dog shown above, another dog and a cat were rescued by firefighters, according to the SFD update on Fire Line.
12:26 PM: A big response is headed for a house-fire call in the 7100 block of 34th SW. Crews on the scene are seeing light smoke, but “no sign of fire,” and some units are being canceled. We’re on our way – updates shortly.
12:37 PM UPDATE: Firefighters say it was a kitchen problem (assessed in fire-department terminology as “food on the stove”). They have ventilation going to clear out the resulting smoke. No injuries reported.
6:13 PM: Fire crews have responded to a brush fire reported on the north end of Riverview Playfield. The scanner suggests arson is suspected and that someone was seen running away; the fire marshal has been called to investigate. No word of any injuries; we’re en route to check on damage. Also per the scanner, the fire is reported to have been in an area of roughly 6,100 square feet.
8:02 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Alan for the photo; he went over after the fire trucks left: “I hiked down to see where it was and took a picture. Sadly it appears to have been in a section that had recently been planted by Nature Consortium. You can see the melted grow tubes. Fortunately, it could have become much worse. The grass around it is tinder dry and we have a good breeze going.”
9:25 PM UPDATE: First units there say it appears to have started in a gutter and it appears to be out. Most of the units have been canceled.
9:31 PM UPDATE: Per scanner traffic, the fire may have been caused by “someone setting off flares” in the vicinity; police are looking around.
2:34 PM: If you saw all the Seattle Fire crews, they were responding to a possible house fire in the 7700 block of Highland Park Way SW – but most have just been canceled. We’re en route and will check at the scene to see what happened.
3:22 PM UPDATE: Couldn’t get anything definitive at the scene – just one engine left (photo) and not easy to pull over on the busy street – but whatever it was, it was being extinguished with a garden hose in the front yard.
(May 2012 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Last year, we reported on a house fire in the 8400 block of 20th SW. But in the days afterward, the story moved far beyond the fire itself, to become a story of neighbors helping neighbors. Today, we received a note from the home’s owners, Martha and Brian Mallett, who say they are finally back home, and wanted to share words of thanks:
We, Brian and Martha Mallett, victims of a house fire May 1, 2012, have returned home after being away for eleven months. We were cared for two days by the Red Cross, had a two-month stay in the West Seattle Motel (wonderful hospitality) and nine months in a big house on Orchard Street in Highland Park. Our home is brand new, some furniture is still missing but we have the essentials.
The community, our friends, and our family have given us so much to be grateful for. There have been phone calls, notes, cards with words of encouragement and gifts. There were so many good samaritans, we cannot name them all. Speaking of family, they have worked really hard to reach our intended goal. All these folks have given from the heart and we plan to pay forward. We credit Lisa and Randy Leininger and their followers, the Seattle Fire Department, and the Highland Park Improvement Club for contributing in a big way to our well-being. We love West Seattle and the people in it.
Lisa and Randy were the neighbors who organized a fundraiser days after the fire. They posed with Martha that day, and shared the photo with us:
Thanks to Martha and Brian for sharing the followup!
Big house-fire callout to Genesee Hill – 4100 block of 47th SW. First engine on scene reports nothing visible – turns out to be “food on the stove.” We’re en route to doublecheck, but just letting you know, in case you saw the big response, that’s what it’s about.
6:25 PM: There’s a car fire in the outside lane on the westbound West Seattle Bridge – M., who shared the photo, says it’s just past the ramp from 99. No word of any injuries.
6:50 PM: Fire call on it has already closed; no backups visible on cameras. So, good news, this does not seem to be a major commute impact.
1:45 PM: Firefighters are responding to a house-fire call in the 3900 block of SW Arroyo Drive (map), in southwesternmost West Seattle.
1:55 PM: There’s still smoke, according to radio communications.
Commenters and a caller reported black smoke initially, turning white after firefighters arrived and started putting water on the fire. Our crew should be there shortly. (Photo added above, courtesy of commenter Joel)
2:03 PM: The fire is reported to be under control. No word of any injuries so far.
2:11 PM: Our crew on the scene says the fire is in a building behind the home on this property, and the damage and smoke are clearly visible.
2:25 PM UPDATE: Our crew just talked to the incident commander, who in turn had been talking with the property owner. Nobody was home at the time; no injuries. The building had been used for storage, and its contents are heavily damaged. The cause is not yet known – we’ll update the story later when investigators make a determination.
(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Another short-lived fire call this morning is wrapping up right now in the 8600 block of 13th SW (map). The incident commander tells us a propane barbecue appears to be to blame for a small fire that damaged the back of the house. No injuries reported.
1:18 PM UPDATE: From SFD’s Kyle Moore:
The cause is a BBQ left on all night. It ignited the deck and the side of the house but the flames did not get into the home. The damage estimate is $30,000. The homeowner was home and tried to fight the fire with a garden hose after calling 911.
Just in case you heard/saw the big response – the initial call in the 8800 block of 20th SW (map) was for a possible house fire, but crews got there and discovered what Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore describes as a “rubbish fire” that was put out quickly.
1:21 PM UPDATE: Moore says the fire “was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials. The smoking materials ignited nearby combustibles and the porch. The damage estimate is less than $1,000. No one was home at the time of the fire.”
Just in case you saw or heard it – there was briefly a big fire response that’s now being scaled way back, after firefighters were told the homeowners were having woodstove trouble. The address was originally in the 7000 block of 47th SW but has been changed to Seaview Terrace (map).
Big response to what was reported as a possible house fire in the 4400 block of SW Juneau – but crews have just reported it appears to be a fence fire, and it’s tapped.
More utility news tonight: Seattle Public Utilities plans to start work tomorrow to ensure that the city’s remaining low-flow fire hydrants are clearly identifiable. It’s an issue that came glaringly to light during the August 2011 fire that destroyed a home in Arbor Heights while firefighters struggled to get an appropriate water flow. That area has seen hydrant and water-line upgrades since then, and the city reported later that year that it was working on how to clearly mark the low-flow hydrants that remain in service within city limits, about half of them in West Seattle. Here’s the SPU announcement:
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) crews will install a red reflective ring on low-flow fire hydrants in your neighborhood. Low-flow hydrants are defined as those that deliver less than 500 gallons of water per minute.
The red ring provides a distinct and very visible way for Seattle Fire Department personnel to quickly and easily identify low-flow hydrants in cases of emergency.
Low-flow hydrants are fully operational, but output less water per minute than other hydrants.
A house fire on 28th SW a few blocks south of Roxbury, next to Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor). is under investigation this morning. The house is just north of the campus, separated by a driveway and embankment, so there was no damage at the school. The fire started after 11 pm; the incident commander from North Highline Fire District told us nobody was home at the time, and nobody was hurt. A county fire investigator arrived on the scene while we were there and started working to find out how the fire started.
The design for the new Fire Station 32 in The Triangle will be shown off at an open house June 1st. First word of the event has just arrived in the mailboxes of neighbors including Sharonn Meeks of the Fairmount Community Association, who shared a copy of the invitation. The station at 37th and Alaska is almost half a century old, and its replacement will be headquarters to SFD’s Battalion 7 – a larger role than the station has now, though it’s already home to the only West Seattle-based medic unit, Medic 32. Though the city has applied for permits, construction of the $15 million project is still a ways off, with demolition likely late next year, as we reported in a project update two months ago. You can find out more firsthand at the June 1st event, 1-3 pm, promising tours as well as a chance to see the design planned for the new station, which will be built on the current site, with station operations located to a TBD temporary site during construction.
(Photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
2:15 AM: A big Seattle Fire callout is en route to the 9000 block of 35th SW (map). The callout is “fire in a building.” The reported address checks to the Barton Court apartment building.
2:25 AM: Via radio: Crews say the fire is in a first-floor unit, and they have it “knocked down” – crews are checking the other floors and haven’t found evidence of spreading, though they’re reporting smoke on the second floor. No word of any injuries, so far.
2:36 AM: From the scene, co-publisher Patrick Sand reports that the tenants evacuated safely and were gathering across 35th outside Southwest Library (photo above) – at least 20 tenants, and several pets. (Here’s one – Taco the cat:)
Firefighters are calling for a Metro bus to give them a place to gather. The smoke in the area is thick, he says. The massive response has 35th SW basically blocked off between Henderson and (to the south) Barton. Compounding matters for all involved: Pounding rain.
3:03 AM: Patrick reports that the fire seems to be out and the concern now is for the evacuees, who as you might expect had to rush out of their apartments not particularly dressed for the outdoors, much less pouring rain. Still awaiting the aforementioned bus. No word if any of them will be able to get back into their apartments tonight – we hope to hear that from the SFD public-information officer that’s been summoned to the scene.
3:31 AM: Update from the scene: A librarian showed up and let the evacuees into Southwest Library to take refuge from the chilly rain. Meantime, some of the SFD units are clearing out and heading back to their stations.
3:51 AM: The incident commander tells us 32 people in all had to leave their apartments – no telling how soon they’ll be allowed back inside, though the damage was reported as largely confined to one first-floor unit and the hall outside it.
(And the Metro bus for the evacuees finally arrived.) 35th is still closed between Henderson and Barton.
4:30 AM: Above, that’s our video of the incident commander’s briefing. Also added a few more photos.
4:43 AM: In comments, a tenant says some of the residents have been allowed back inside.
10:33 AM UPDATE: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore says “an electrical malfunction in the kitchen range which ignited combustible materials in the kitchen” is to blame for the fire, adding: “Investigators say the kitchen fire extended to the living room of the bottom level unit. The fire is being ruled accidental. … The apartment resident says a smoke detector alerted her to the fire which allowed her to safely escape. The Red Cross was called to assist the one resident with temporary shelter. The damage estimate is $47,000.”
(WSB photos added 11:16 am: Sign posted on P-Patch shed)
Seattle Police are investigating a shed fire at Longfellow Creek P-Patch in Westwood this morning after it was determined to be arson. From Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Kyle Moore:
Fire Investigators have determined a shed fire located at a West Seattle P-Patch is an incendiary fire.
At 6:50 a.m., a delivery driver called 911 to report a shed fire located in the park in the 2400 block of SW Thistle Street. Engine 11 arrived to find a smoldering pile of combustibles in a wheelbarrow bucket.
The fire was quickly extinguished. There was also minor scorching to the shed.
The damage estimate is $500. The Seattle Police Department’s Arson Bomb Squad was notified of the fire and will investigate.
Anyone with information that can help solve this case is asked to call the Arson Hotline at 800-55-ARSON.
The garden area where this fire happened is alongside Longfellow Creek, just east of Chief Sealth International High School. According to the P-Patch’s city website, it has more than two dozen garden plots.
(Photo by David Ryder)
If you saw the smoke last night in the Admiral area – it was from that car fire in the West Seattle High School parking lot, caught on camera by photographer David Ryder. Because of conflicting incidents/events last night, we didn’t get there until the fire was already out and firefighters had departed, but followed up after getting questions today.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Kyle Moore says it was a one-engine callout, but since there was nothing extraordinary about it, he has no information on its cause and says the fire crew that handled it is off-duty today, so he can’t check with them, but he notes that the fire marshal wasn’t called out – which would have been the case if there had been anything suspicious – and no medic unit was called, meaning no serious injuries, if any.
ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: Moore has since been able to reach the crew, and says: “The driver of the car said smoke started in the steering column when she tried to start the car. The most likely cause of the fire was an electrical fire inside the steering column.” He also confirms that no one was hurt.
If you’re wondering about a large Seattle Fire Department call-out in the 6300 block of High Point Drive SW, all units are being dismissed from what has now been reported via the scanner as “Food on the Stove.”
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
(10:18 pm) We’re checking out the fire response in the 5900 block of SW Stevens, about half a block west – reduced from what was originally a “full response.” (added 10:25 pm) A neighbor says there was “a lot of smoke” initially but whatever it was, it appears to be out now, and units are clearing the scene. (added 10:31 pm) Christopher Boffoli reports it was “food on the stove.”
Christina shared that photo of a scary but short-lived sight in front of the New Apostolic Church at 32nd and 106th in east Arbor Heights last night. The call was logged as “brush fire”; we checked this morning with Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Kyle Moore, who says that once Engine 37 got there, they had it “knocked down in less than a minute.” He adds that it’s believed to have been sparked by “improperly discarded smoking materials” – a reminder that it doesn’t have to be the dusty dry heart of summer for a tossed-aside cigarette (etc.) to cause trouble.
12:14 AM: A caller driving by told 911 about seeing smoke and possibly flames at a home in the 9800 block of 35th SW (map), so Seattle Fire Department has a full response on the way. First unit on the scene isn’t seeing anything, though. 35th SW is closed between 98th and 100th while firefighters investigate.
12:59 AM: Call’s closed, which means the crews have cleared from the scene.
6:29 AM: Firefighters have responded to a house-fire call in the 8600 block of 9th SW. We’re on the way to find out what’s happening.
6:37 AM: The call has closed on the 911 log and no crews remain, so apparently nothing major.
9:14 AM: We checked with SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, who explains: “It was an overheated potato in the microwave.” Smoke, but no fire.
P.S. Moore points out that cooking food, left unwatched, is the #1 cause of residential fires.
(First two photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
7:45 PM: House-fire call (35th and Cloverdale) drawing the big response right now. More to come.
8 PM: 35th is closed both ways at the fire scene in the 8600 block of 35th SW. Smoke is visible.
8:05 PM: Additional medics were dispatched to the scene; WSB’s Patrick Sand is there and tells us medics can be seen checking out one person so far.
8:10 PM: Medics now checking out two people and trying to determine how many people were in the house. Neighbors tell us it is occupied by “many.” Other neighbors say it was converted to a triplex a while back.
(This photo and next one are by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
8:21 PM: Our crew got an update at the scene. Six people in the house; two were checked out but are not expected to need to be taken to the hospital. The fire is believed to have originated in the basement, though the cause hasn’t been sorted out yet – that’s where the smoke was coming from. 35th SW remains closed from Thistle to Trenton but should be open within an hour or so, authorities believe.
9 PM: Adding photos (including one to replace our original cameraphone picture). Two bearded dragons were rescued from the house, according to this comment from Glenda, who says they and their person need a little help:
The house that burned on 35th & Cloverdale was the home of 2 Bearded Dragons (1 Male / 1 female). Their person got them out, but their set-up is inside & they aren’t allowed to go in for it. If anyone out there has a couple of old glass aquariums & a couple of heat lamps to get them through the night it would be very much appreciated. I’ll watch for responses and give directions.
The Red Cross also has been called in to help the fire victims, according to SFD.
9:12 PM: Southbound 35th SW is opening, per the scanner. Northbound will remain closed TFN.
11:16 PM: Drove by a short time ago to check – 35th is now fully open, and the fire scene is clear. SFD, meantime, has tweeted the fire’s cause: “West Seattle triplex basement fire caused by overheated electrical cord. Damage estimate is $125k to structure, $25k to contents.”
(UPDATED Wednesday morning with fire’s cause)
(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
4:22 PM: Fire crews are in the 1700 block of 46th SW in North Admiral on a house-fire call. First units on scene say it’s a possible wall fire in the back of the house.
ADDED 4:31 PM: We have a crew on scene who says some smoke is visible. Per scanner, fire crews have isolated the fire to “the electrical panel area” in the house.
4:38 PM UPDATE: Added a photo. Some units are being dismissed from the scene, as the relatively small fire is in check.
(Photo by Craig Baerwaldt)
No injuries reported.
4:51 PM UPDATE: WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand talked with firefighters at the scene. A resident was home when this happened and has been going through the house with fire crews to check everything else. SFD’s investigator is on the way to doublecheck/verify the cause.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY MORNING, 10:12 AM: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore verifies: “The cause of the fire was … a malfunction at the electrical panel. The fire extended to an interior wall. The estimated loss is $25,000.”
(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
Big scare in the 4500 block of 41st SW in The Junction tonight after that truck caught fire. WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli says the resident who reported it said the truck’s wheel/fire appeared to be burning first, and then the front of the truck burst into flames, with an audible explosion.
No reports of injury – SFD’s investigation unit, Marshal 5, was called to the scene to check it out; we’ll be checking to see what they figure out about the cause.
ADDED 11:02 AM MONDAY: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore tells WSB their investigator “determined the 2000 Ford pickup truck’s fire was most likely an electrical fire. The damage estimate is $5,400.”
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