West Seattle, Washington
1:41 AM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to a reported house fire in the 8100 block of 30th SW [map]. It is reported to have started as a deck fire, and everyone is reported to have gotten out OK.
1:44 AM: The first units on scene say it’s under control, and they’re downsizing the response.
1:58 AM: The fire is reported to be out. We’ll check on the cause later this morning.
4:50 PM: SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley tells WSB, “The fire was ruled unintentional. A barbecue ignited nearby combustibles.”
6:41 PM: The photo is from WSB’s Christopher Boffoli, who is at the scene of a sizable Seattle Fire response for a garage fire in the 2600 block of 50th SW [map].
6:48 PM: Update – the fire is tapped, SFD tells Christopher at the scene. No injuries, and no information yet on how it started.
7:05 PM: As for damage, Christopher says there wasn’t a vehicle in the detached garage, but what he described as a charred canoe was visible. The fire did not spread to the house. SFD’s fire marshal is investigating.
9:21 PM: More photos added, including the two below in which, once the fire was out, firefighters explained their gear to a curious young neighborhood resident:
We’ll check tomorrow on the final report about the fire’s cause.
ADDED 9:22 AM WEDNESDAY: According to SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley, “Fire investigators ruled this fire as accidental and determined the cause was from smoking material discarded into a garbage can. Estimated loss is $20,000.”
A big initial response is now being downsized for a reported brush fire near Southwest Teen Life Center/SW Pool at 28th SW/SW Thistle. The fire report is concurrent with a fireworks report to which police were dispatched. It’s the third brush fire reported in West Seattle in about an hour – firefighters also have responded to reports in High Point and South Admiral.
(Added: Photo by Carolyn Newman – firefighters aboard fireboat Leschi, off Seacrest)
7:16 AM: Seattle Fire was sending a big land-and-sea response to a possible tugboat fire off Seacrest but has just canceled the land response – the fire is believed to be out – a fireboat will continue heading that way.
7:23 AM: Per scanner, the tugboat, identified as the Westrac, is actually on the Duwamish River, “near Ash Grove Cement.” (MarineTraffic.com verifies that as well.)
10:24 AM: Once this was all sorted out, it was a shore fire handled BY the tugboat, as explained in comments. (We are also following up with SFD.)
10:41 AM: SFD adds, “The fire boat remained on scene to confirm the location and situation. They found evidence of a small rubbish fire that had occurred on a metal barge.”
7:35 AM: Seattle Fire has sent a full response to an apartment building in the 7100 block of California SW [map]. First crews on scene say they’re seeing smoke.
(Added: Photo tweeted by @katelynchowell)
It’s reported to have started as a grease fire.
7:43 AM: The fire is reported to be under control.
7:56 AM: The fire is tapped. California remains closed between just north of Myrtle and just north of Orchard. No injuries reported.
8:05 AM: Some units are being dismissed. SPD is directing traffic.
9:59 AM: California is open again. We have followup questions out to SFD and will update this story when the answers are in.
2:05 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to check out a potential house fire in the 7700 block of 20th SW [map]. Updates to come.
2:09 PM: First unit on scene reports via SFD radio that this appears to be a kitchen fire, and that as far as they know, everyone’s safely out of the house. They’re calling for a ventilation fan.
2:13 PM: The call is being downgraded and most of the responding units are being dismissed.
2:26 PM: SFD Lt. Harold Webb tells us at the scene that the fire extended to the kitchen cabinets but did not damage the structure, and it’s out now. Nobody hurt. The family should be able to go back into their house before too long.
12:20 AM: If you’re hearing sirens, it’s a “full response” for a possible fire in a multifamily building in the 2400 block of SW Trenton. First crew to arrive isn’t seeing anything, so far. More to come.
12:23 AM: Now they’re finding “light smoke” from a third-floor unit. Suspected “wall fire.” The address checks to the Westwood Plaza complex.
12:45 AM: What’s described as a “small wall fire” that did not spread is tapped and some units are being dismissed. No injuries reported. Adding a photo of Ladder 7 just before it pulled back.
4:47 PM: Big initial response for what turned out to be a small fire this past hour at a house in the 4900 block of SW Hanford (map). Metro says Route 57 is rerouted until SFD units clear. We’re checking on the fire’s cause.
4:59 PM: Firefighters at the scene tell us it was a small electrical fire but they stayed around a while to monitor and be certain it hadn’t spread. They’re certain now, and getting ready to leave, so the road should reopen before long.
8:21 AM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to a possible house fire reported in the 7300 block of 30th SW [map].
8:33 AM: Turned out to be an unfounded report, and the call has closed.
8:42 AM: On the way back, we stopped by Station 37 to verify what we had heard on the scanner – they confirmed that before they closed the call after looking around the area, they had talked with the original caller, who said the smoke he had seen was gone. This kind of call is one reason we don’t report exact addresses of fire scenes until we can confirm them in person – sometimes the real-time SFD log shows an approximate or reported address, and might not be corrected for some time (if you see an address on the log that’s in all capitals, it means the address has changed since the original report).
3:51 PM: If you’ve heard the sirens or seen the smoke (one texter said it was visible from Westwood Village) – Seattle Fire is arriving at a van fire at 27th and Roxbury. The dispatch started fairly sizably because there was concern about “exposure” – possibly to a nearby structure – but per scanner, that didn’t turn out to be the case, and the response is being downsized. We’re still on the way to check it out.
3:59 PM: Fire’s out.
4:05 PM: Talked to firefighters. No one hurt. The possible “exposure” – concern about the fire spreading – turned out to be the tree under which the van was parked, as you can see in the photo we added above.
6:47 PM: Seattle Fire is calling out a “full response” for a possible house fire in the 9000 block of 12th SW [map].
6:50 PM: The response is already being downsized.
7:02 PM: Our crew reports that while there’s some smoke, there’s no sign of fire, and the SFD units there haven’t even rolled out the hoses. Photo added above.
7:28 PM: Firefighters tell us they traced the smoke to a kiln that was in use. No fire, no injuries; they’re ventilating so the resident can go back inside.
Some promising news about one of the stops set for Thursday night’s Find It, Fix It Walk in Highland Park. It’s the long-closed, arson-damaged restroom/storage building at Riverview Playfield. As we’ve reported previously, community members are concerned that the building has yet to be fixed and reopened, almost a year after last year’s arson -and at one point were told that it might be up to six years before repairs could be funded. But Christina Hirsch of Seattle Parks tells WSB that funding for repair and restoration has been secured. Hirsch told WSB’s Randall Hauk that the Seattle Park District has approved $202,000 for the work.
Parks will now work with city purchasing and contracting on details for the management of the project. Though there is no set deadline yet for completion of repairs, Hirsch says the hope is to finish by the end of the year. She adds that the schedule and scope of the project will be posted on the Riverview Playfield webpage as it becomes available. Meantime, portable restrooms will remain in place at the much-used fields until the permanent facility.
P.S. If you haven’t already seen it, the route, starting place, and other information about Thursday night’s walk – starting at 6:30 pm from Highland Park Improvement Club (where you can gather starting an hour before that) – is here.
11:54 AM: Seattle Fire has sent a “full response” to a possible house fire in the 9200 block of Delridge Way SW. More to come.
11:57 AM: The first arrivals in the area have downgraded the call, canceling most of the dispatched units. Scanner discussion indicates steam from shingles might have been mistaken for smoke.
The end is finally near for 9029 16th Avenue SW, the South Delridge house that’s been the scene of three fires in five years, most recently February 25th. One month after a demolition permit was issued, heavy equipment arrived today. Just yesterday, we had sent an inquiry to the city Department of Construction and Inspections, which had ordered the owner to take care of the situation and then issued an extension to April 21st. Since as recently as yesterday afternoon (we’ve been going by to look every day or two), there was no sign of activity, we asked the city what would happen if it didn’t happen. The online log for the site shows yet another complaint filed by neighbors as of about a week ago. While writing this update, we just heard back from SDCI spokesperson Bryan Stevens, who says the city’s been told that demolition will start tomorrow. (If you see it any sooner, let us know – we’ll go by again later.) There’s a redevelopment proposal for the site, described as a “mixed-use building.”
5:19 PM: A big Seattle Fire response is arriving at a vacant building in the 9200 block of Delridge Way SW, where they’re finding smoke but so far no obvious source.
5:27 PM: Most of the responding units have been canceled.
5:37 PM: Photo added. SFD says the fire started in a trash can or similar receptacle outside the house. Firefighters also confirm a fire here a few years ago – (update) our archives show one person died in that fire in June 2014.
5:53 PM: The 2014 fire also killed four puppies, as noted in a followup. We’re checking records for the address, 9222 Delridge Way SW, and have found only two items, both 2015 complaints about alleged unspecified violations of the city’s vacant-building ordinance.
FIRST REPORT, 8:51 AM: Our apologies for failing to cover today’s 3:40 am fire call in real time. Several people have asked about it, and this is what we have found out so far this morning: While Seattle Fire sent a “full response” to this house on 16th SW near Cloverdale, it was an “exterior fire that extended into the home,” quickly extinguished, according to SFD spokesperson Lt. Harold Webb. Everybody got out before the SFD units arrived, he says; no one was hurt. Lt. Webb is awaiting the investigator’s report on the cause, and we’ll add that information here when it’s available.
3:58 PM: Just in from Lt. Webb – the fire was ruled accidental, sparked by “hot ashes in a trash receptacle” that “ignited next to the house and extended into the house.” Damage is estimated at $70,000.
3:52 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a full-size response to the 4500 block of SW Hill in North Admiral [map] for a possible house fire. More to come.
3:55 PM: First unit arriving reports some smoke. This is about two blocks west of California SW so should not have major traffic effects outside the neighborhood streets.
4:03 PM: Haven’t heard a full update yet, and our crew is still en route, but some units are already being dismissed.
4:20 PM: Photo added. SFD says it was a kitchen fire, no injuries.
10:11 PM: A large “fire in building” response is arriving at an apartment building in the 5600 block of California SW. More to come.
10:21 PM: Sorry the website jammed up for a bit. This is a kitchen fire, per scanner, and already “tapped.” One person has been taken out of the unit where it happened but is NOT reported to be seriously hurt.
10:30 PM: Some of the units are already being dismissed since it turned out to be a small fire. Whenever a fire is reported in a residential building – and this was initially reported to have generated a lot of smoke inside the building – a large response is sent, as it could be a matter of life or death to send too few units and have to add more later, rather than to have too many and have to cancel some.
10:34 PM: Our crew at the scene confirms that no one was seriously hurt and that it was a kitchen fire, albeit a very smoky one. The units on scene will continue to clear out and California SW should get back to normal within a half-hour or so, SFD tells us. And we’ve confirmed the log address is correct, 5656 California SW – the building’s name is Green Acres.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Today was the original deadline for the owner of 9029 16th SW to either demolish the charred remains of a house that had caught fire at least three times in five years, most recently February 25th, or to show it is “not unsafe.” We reported the March 28th deadline in this followup on March 2nd, five days after the latest fire.
Since then, we have been going by to check on its status, and after still not seeing signs of demolition by late last week, checked the Department of Construction and Inspections page for the case, and discovered the property’s owners had been given an extension, to April 21st.
What the online-file notations don’t show is why. So we contacted SDCI spokesperson Bryan Stevens, who replied:
The owner is trying to find a way of bringing both structures down, so we’ve offered an extension of the violation case to allow for the necessary steps to make that happen and conduct the demolition all at once.
While the fire-damaged property can be removed with an over-the-counter permit, the second building cannot. The Land Use Code requires vacant residential structures to be maintained unless there is a complete application under review to allow redevelopment and a completed plan for waste diversion. The owner made an application last week to comply with this provision. This effort demonstrates progress towards resolving the violation and allowed us to grant an extension while the final details are sorted out.
The “second building” is on the alley behind the main house, and was not involved in the February fire. The city had ordered the owner to “secure” it, and as shown in a photo in our previous followup, it had been boarded up.
The city files, meantime, show the application for the redevelopment project, described as “mixed-use,” was officially accepted today. And SDCI spokesperson Stevens reminds us of something that we noted (with extensive backstory) in that March 2nd followup – the city is looking to change the rules to make it easier for owners to demolish vacant/derelict properties. We’re checking to see if there’s a current estimate of when the proposals are expected to go before City Council.
8:41 AM: Went over to find out. Our crew talked with firefighters, who say it turned out to be a small kitchen fire in an apartment.
7:28 AM: As first mentioned in our traffic report, Seattle Fire has sent a “full response” to an apartment building at 2331 42nd SW. Units arriving are NOT finding a fire, so far.
7:30 AM: Via scanner, firefighters report this was a “dryer fire” and it’s out. They’re dismissing most of the responding units.
7:42 AM: “Small dryer fire” confirmed by our crew after arrival, just as more firefighters were leaving. This was in the apartment building over the Admiral District Bartell Drugs. No injuries reported.
Six months after the three-alarm fire at the Lam-Bow Apartments complex (6955 Delridge Way SW), the building left “unsalvageable” (as the Seattle Housing Authority deemed it) is being demolished. We just went by for a look, after two reader tips (thank you!). SHA spokesperson Kerry Coughlin had told us in January that they were waiting for permits so they could tear it down, and now the work is under way. The September 27th fire displaced more than 40 residents; no one was hurt, and investigators never determined the cause, just that the fire started on the building’s exterior. Coughlin told us this afternoon: “Rebuilding will not start immediately and we don’t have any plans or details. We had to get the damaged structure down as soon as possible but need due diligence time to make sure we maximize the opportunity to replace.”
12:54 PM: A “full response” is on the way to a possible house fire in the 5600 block of Delridge Way SW [map]. More to come.
12:59 PM: Police are being called for traffic control – avoid this area of Delridge TFN. Via scanner, fire crews report “water on the fire,” and then seconds later, it’s reported to be under control/”knocked down.”
1:09 PM: The fire is now reported to be “tapped.” No word yet on injuries; we’re waiting to hear from our crew at the scene. County records confirm the address on the fire log – 5618 Delridge Way SW, a single-family house built in 1943. And if you’re hearing a helicopter in the area, that’s TV.
1:24 PM: Our crew reports that the three people who were in the house got out OK, no injuries, but they lost one cat (possibly two) in the fire. There’s more damage in the back of the house than the front.
Some units have been dismissed but there’s still a major SFD presence in the area – Delridge is likely to be closed in the vicinity for at least another hour, we’re told – and we’re expecting to hear soon from SFD’s public-information officer at the scene.
2:10 PM: Metro says that Route 120 is back to its regular route southbound, but still rerouted NB between Brandon and Juneau.
3:43 PM: Metro says Route 120 is fully back to normal.