VIDEO: Electrical problem blamed for van fire inside Morgan Junction condo-building garage; no one hurtApril 15, 2015 at 3:39 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 19 Comments
(First three photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
3:39 PM: Avoid California SW south of Morgan Junction – a fire response has closed California in the 6900 block (map), south of Fauntleroy. It’s reported to be a car fire inside the garage of an
apartment condo complex. Firefighters on the scene report heavy smoke and they’re having trouble getting to the source of the fire.
3:45 PM: Firefighters report they have “water on the fire” now.
3:50 PM: Fire’s still being fought; people in the building have been evacuated.
Though it’s a garage fire, lots of smoke is still coming out, and that’s being seen for a long ways around. No word of any injuries.
The big MVU ventilation unit is on the way to help.
(Updated photo: MVU in action)
4:01 PM: Again, California is blocked between Mills and Willow, lots of SFD. Investigators are on the way, to be ready to go in when it’s safe. Firefighters just reported by radio that they have searched upper floors of the building to make sure everyone got out OK.
(Added: Photo courtesy Diana Phelps)
We haven’t heard yet if the fire has spread beyond the garage at all, but as you can see in our photo, the smoke has been heavy. While it’s been described as apartments, county records show this is actually a 28-unit condominium building called Cinnamon Ridge.
4:20 PM: The MVU is being dismissed. Meantime, Metro has sent an alert that Route 22 is rerouted because of the fire. (Use stops north of Fauntleroy or south of Myrtle.)
We’ve just gotten briefed by SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, who says: A VW Bus about 70 feet inside the garage is what caught fire. It was just underneath some of the building’s major electrical conduit, so the building has no power right now – they asked City Light to shut it off – and they’re evaluating the situation. A few residents were evaluated for possible smoke inhalation because of smoke in the lobby but no one needed hospitalization, we’re told.
4:50 PM: More units are being dismissed from the scene. We’ll update when the road reopens – for now, if you’re headed this way, you’ll want to access California south of Myrtle via Holden or Thistle from 35th. Meantime, our crew is back at HQ and we’re adding more photos.
5:19 PM: Adding video of SFD briefing mentioned above. California has now reopened both ways.
6:02 PM: Fire’s cause determined, we found out while revisiting the scene and talking to Moore, who had just tweeted it:
California AV SW fire caused by electrical event in VW van. Damage estimate $55k damage pic.twitter.com/qmtxcAlFv2
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) April 16, 2015
The last units are just now leaving the scene. Moore also told us no major damage to other vehicles in the garage because the van’s owner pushed it out of its space for more separation.
11:02 PM: We’ve learned that the building’s residents were advised to stay elsewhere tonight as the building management brings in private crews to assess damage and make repairs, especially to the electrical system. They’re expecting an update from building management tomorrow.
1:01 PM: Big Seattle Fire response this past half-hour for two kayakers reported to possibly be in trouble. The SFD units went to Jack Block Park; an SFD fireboat crew picked the kayakers up and took them to Seacrest. Rescuers checked them out and told us at the scene that neither needed to go to the hospital.
6:04 PM: This comment has more on what happened.
SW Barton is blocked between 25th and 26th on the southeast side of Westwood Village after a car and Metro bus collided. Our crew says the car’s driver is going to the hospital; no injuries on the bus, which had no passengers as it was en route back to the terminal. A tow truck is expected in half an hour or so to clear the scene.
ADDED: Thanks to Heath for this photo:
7:05 AM: Police and fire are headed for the 8100 block of 9th SW. The call is “assault with weapons”; the initial reports are that someone has a gunshot wound, possibly self-inflicted. We’re headed over to find out.
7:08 AM: Per scanner, most of the SFD units are being canceled, but they’re calling for a chaplain.
7:32 AM: Police cars were visible at the scene, but the officers were in the house and unavailable to talk to. A reminder in the meantime … the local 24-hour hotline from the Crisis Clinic: 206-461-3222.
UPDATE: The situation was resolved overnight, as explained by SPD here.
ORIGINAL 8:32 PM REPORT:
Click to read the rest of UPDATE: Amber Alert over, child found safe…
2:37 AM: If you’re hearing the sirens – Seattle Fire is en route to a possible house fire near 26th/Roxbury. Updates as we get them.
2:41 AM: First units on scene aren’t seeing anything. They’re detecting a “light odor of smoke,” though. The dispatcher had told them the house is believed to be unoccupied and had recently been sold.
2:45 AM: “Paint can burning in the kitchen” is what they’ve found, and they’ve handled it. Most of the units are being dismissed.
3:27 AM: Remaining units are leaving, and the call will be closed.
Thanks for the tips – we just checked out an incident that drew fire, police, and a private ambulance to Westwood Village, outside Marshall’s. SFD spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl tells us the initial report was that two people were hit by a driver. We were told at the scene that one was being taken to the hospital by AMR, a woman who apparently had just been shopping at the store; her injuries were not major – she was talking with emergency personnel as they took care of her.
5:35 PM: Crash at West Marginal Way SW/Puget (map), and SFD has dispatched a sizable “automobile rescue” response. Avoid the area; we’re on our way to find out more.
6 PM UPDATE: Southbound W. Marginal is blocked off at the Duwamish Longhouse; NB has a lane open. Police tell us one person was taken to the hospital, in stable condition. SFD says the victim was a female passenger and had to be cut out of the car; two others didn’t need medical attention. NB lanes open now, SB not likely to be long.
6:49 PM UPDATE: Commenters say the road has reopened both ways. We’re back at HQ and adding photos.
ADDED: The photo above this line is by Amy, who adds, “I live off of West Marginal and Puget Way and have seen several accidents at this spot. For your sake, and ours, please slow down on West Marginal!”
SUNDAY UPDATE: We’ve confirmed with police that the driver was arrested for suspected DUI. He and the other two people in the car were all in their early 20s and speed is believed to have been a factor as well.
(SATURDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Pole fixed, store open)
10:25 AM: Thanks for all the tips (and the photo!). Police and firefighters are at PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) because, we’re told, a utility pole was hit by a truck and is in danger of toppling. The store is still open, we’re told, but Stevens is closed off at California on the south side of the store’s parking lot. We’re en route to find out more.
10:47 AM: Here’s what our crew found out: Until the pole problem (which is on the alley off the west side of the store and its lot) is fixed, much of the parking lot is blocked off, as is Stevens from the alley to 44th SW. Thanks to David Whiting from the Admiral Neighborhood Association for this photo:
The parking that remains open is on the east side (along California). The store itself is not affected otherwise. (Added: Here’s a photo from our crew, showing the entirety of the pole:)
We’ll check back again later.
1:20 PM UPDATE: The store confirmed, when we stopped by a short time ago, what commenter OVR said – they’ll have to close temporarily when the repairs are under way, because power will have to be cut. No ETA for that so far. More of the parking lot is open (about half), in the meantime.
6:23 PM: Went back to check. Store is temporarily closed while pole repair is under way.
6:59 PM: Back at HQ, added the photo of repairs under way. No ETA on reopening but we’re told the store does hope to reopen sometime this evening (midnight is the usual closing time), so we’ll update when there’s word.
8:23 PM: Now that the pole repairs are over, the store’s open, says Melissa via Twitter, but no hot bar/soup for the rest of the night.
(Thanks to Aleda for sharing the photo)
8:20 PM: Seattle Fire crews are checking out a possible fire at 4700 42nd SW (the Jefferson Square office building). Nothing reported to have been found so far; they’re checking floor by floor.
8:24 PM: Still nothing found; much of the response is being dismissed.
8:58 PM: The call is now completely closed, meaning all SFD crews have left the scene.
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
7:04 PM: For those asking about the big Seattle Fire response to a possible “fire in building” on 54th Place SW in Alki: The call is being reduced and most of the engines are being dismissed, though, as they’re not finding any sign of fire or even smoke.
7:51 PM: Turns out longtime WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli did go to check it out; we’re adding his photo of the last unit that was left on scene as of quarter past 7 or so, Engine 29 from Admiral. Christopher says he asked the firefighters if it was a case of “food on the stove” and they replied, not even that.
10:31 PM: Big Seattle Fire response now in the 6500 block of 35th SW. Updates shortly.
10:37 PM: 35th northbound is blocked at SW Holly, according to the scanner. We’ve just arrived in the area; there’s also an engine in the southbound lanes at 35th north of Morgan.
10:42 PM: No fire, though alarms were going off, firefighters have determined (this is in the apartments next to WS Food Bank). So they’re packing up.
(Added: WSB photos by Tracy Record)
3:16 AM UPDATE: Busy night for emergency responders. Now there’s word of a flipped pickup truck in Gatewood, near 39th/Myrtle. It went out as a major “heavy rescue” response but most units have been canceled. We’re checking it out.
3:37 AM UPDATE: Police told us at the scene that the pickup’s driver was gone when they arrived, so this is a hit-and-run. The driver appears to have hit a parked vehicle and a couple of mailboxes along 39th SW south of Myrtle before the truck flipped. So this is the second hit-and-run-away of the night in West Seattle.
3:34 PM: Rescuers are headed to 63rd/Beach Drive to look for a report of two people on a raft that might be having trouble getting back to shore. More to come.
3:38 PM UPDATE: Via scanner, we’re hearing that the scene is a bit further south, by the Harbor West condos-on-pilings, and that Harbor Patrol has made contact with the two people, “neither in need of medical attention, all persons accounted for,” so most of the rescue response will be canceled.
Lot of questions came in about a police/fire response at California/Admiral a little while ago. We got there as it was breaking up, and here’s what police told us: They were called about a man who was yelling unintelligibly. But he didn’t commit a crime, and wasn’t in need of medical attention, so they all wound up leaving, as did he.
6:15 PM: Seattle Fire is arriving at a 6-story apartment building in the 1500 block of Alki to check out a possible fire. More to come.
6:21 PM: Not a full-blown fire; some SFD units have already been dismissed.
6:30 PM: SFD tells us at the scene, just a fireplace fire gone a bit out of control with smoke and embers. Everyone’s OK and this is wrapping up.
(Photo courtesy Edgar Riebe)
4:03 PM: On SW Morgan between 41st and 42nd, just east of West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), police and fire are dealing with the flipped car you see above. Thanks to everybody who’s texted, called, sent photos. Metro says Route 128 is re-routed as a result – use the stop on Morgan east of 38th. More to come.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
4:09 PM: Added another photo. Our crew at the scene tells us the driver of the flipped car (added: 73, per SFD) was taken to the hospital; she hit a parked car that’s also seriously damaged.
Tow crews are at the scene now.
4:46 PM: The road is open again – Metro just texted that Route 128 is back to normal routing.
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
9:36 PM: Alki Avenue SW is blocked at 59th right now because of a crash involving a motorcycle rider. We’ve heard conflicting reports about whether or not another vehicle is involved. More to come.
10:03 PM: The scene is already clear. WSB’s Christopher Boffoli got here before SPD left and says the rider was the only one involved and is being taken to the hospital.
10:42 PM: A little more from Christopher: “I spoke with a friend of the victim who told me a group of friends were departing eastbound at the same time, several on motorcycles and a few more in cars, from roughly the intersection of 59th & Alki. The man I spoke to said he watched as his friend wobbled and lost control of his motorcycle right in front of Saigon Boat Cafe. He said the victim has recently had a shoulder injury and that tonight he apparently fell over and hit the street on the same shoulder. The bike was drivable so his friends were riding it home for the victim.”
6:09 PM: Northbound Delridge at Oregon, near Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, is blocked by a 2-vehicle crash. Avoid the area. More to come.
6:22 PM: Police confirm at the scene, no major injuries. Two people were being transported by private ambulance. No TCI callout, so it will not be a long closure.
6:39 PM: Added a photo taken from the footbridge by Youngstown, looking south over the northbound lanes. We’ll be checking back on the scene before the top of the hour.
6:44 PM: Police just announced via scanner that Delridge is open both ways again.
10:52 PM: A crash at Admiral Way/51st SW is blocking the westbound (downhill) lanes right now. One person is reported hurt, but injuries are not believed to be major.
11:27 PM UPDATE: Won’t be blocked much longer. Car’s already on a tow truck and scene will be clearing.
3:45 PM: An incident reported to involve a pedestrian has a police/fire callout at Delridge/Orchard, and we’re told northbound lanes are blocked, with traffic backing up. More to come.
3:58 PM: Our crew at the scene reports the road is now fully open and police are clearing out. A private ambulance was leaving. That suggests the victim’s injuries were not major. We’re trying to find out more.
4:03 PM: Police tell us at the scene that the victim was a juvenile who suffered a broken leg. And they confirmed an earlier incident we had been checking on – 15th and Roxbury, less than an hour ago, in which a juvenile pedestrian also suffered a broken leg. Both scenes are now clear.
(September 2014 photo by John Westrock, recently added to WSB Flickr group)
Weekend’s almost here! While you await Sunday’s Big Game – and/or other weekend excitement – here’s what’s up for the rest of today, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
REMINDER – FOOD DRIVE! As noted here earlier this week, Straight Blast Gym (WSB sponsor) has a big month-long food drive under way – drop something off today/tonight/this weekend (or any time before January 31st) and help them get to their goal of a ton and a half! (5050 Delridge Way SW)
TEEN SPACE: DESIGN CHALLENGE! 3:30 pm at Southwest Branch Library – teens are invited to take the challenge and build a structure that won’t collapse under pressure. Or – just chill. Details here. (35th/Henderson)
HIGHLAND PARK MOVIE NIGHT: Doors open 6 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club, kids’ short 6:15 pm, main movie at 7 pm. Details on the HPIC website. Free – BYO chair or use one of theirs. (12th/Holden)
HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Only West Seattle High School has home games tonight, with Bainbridge Island HS visiting: Full schedule here; girls’ varsity at 6:15 pm, boys’ varsity at 8 pm. (3000 California SW)
‘BUS STOP,’ NIGHT TWO: West Seattle High School Drama Club presents “Bus Stop,” student-directed by Kaya Hubbard, again tonight at 7:30 pm in the school theater. Details on the WSHS home page. (3000 California SW)
LOTS OF LIVE MUSIC! Listings for musicians performing tonight at Salty’s on Alki, C & P Coffee, Feedback Lounge (all WSB sponsors), Skylark, and Benbow tonight – find them all by going directly to our calendar.
2:28 PM: Big police and fire response headed for the north end of Delridge Way on a “heavy rescue” call. Per scanner, a car went over an embankment. No serious injuries reported so most units are being canceled.
(Added: This photo and next two, by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
2:36 PM: The car involved is a Ford Explorer – it’s actually gone behind the brick business building on the northeast corner of Delridge/Andover.
2:46 PM UPDATE: The vehicle’s driver is going to the hospital via private ambulance. Our crew at the scene has spoken with the building’s owner Christopher Price, who owns the businesses (Allstate and HR Block) based there; he says so far the main damage includes a broken window. Traffic-wise, Delridge isn’t affected much – most of the effects are on Andover east of Delridge.
3:14 PM UPDATE: As discussed in comments, CenturyLink Internet service is out because the driver took out a box at the crash scene:
5:02 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Dan Jaramillo for the photo below, showing two tow trucks working to get the SUV out of the crash spot along that steep section of SW Andover:
Once that’s done, the road should be clear – we won’t be able to check back for a while, so please comment if you do see it back to normal condition.
9:21 PM: As commenters are noting, the CL service is still out.
12:36 AM: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli went back to the scene late tonight and found a crew still working on those repairs:
They had already poured a new footing for the most-uphill box, Christopher reports, but they acknowledged getting everything back will take days, not hours.
5:41 PM: The hilly stretch of SW Andover east of Delridge is closed right now because of a crash – for a while only half the road was blocked, but fluid from the crash has apparently caused vehicles to slide on the other side, so police have closed the entire hill. No word yet on how long cleanup will take; no major injuries reported from the crash.
8:07 PM UPDATE: Just went by – the hill is clear and open.
1:32 PM: Police and Fire are at the scene of a crash at California/Alaska involving a motorcycle, and we’re hearing that northbound traffic on California is blocked. Apparently no major injuries, as the medic unit has been cancelled and a private ambulance summoned.
1:39 PM: Added a texted photo (thank you); our crew is en route. Looks from that photo and this one on Twitter that the motorcycle is down on California just north of Alaska.
1:51 PM: Emergency vehicles have cleared the scene and everything’s open again.
Update: Woman found dead in the water off Beach Drive SW; police are not investigating as a homicide, so farJanuary 8, 2015 at 6:52 am | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 50 Comments
(UPDATED 11:20 am with video of SPD media briefing at the scene)
(Photo tweeted by Aloysha)
6:52 AM: Fire and police are headed for Beach Drive SW and Oregon, for a report of someone in the water, possibly face down, about 20 feet offshore.
7 AM: By all accounts (via scanner), this is confirmed to be a body, brought ashore, and most of the rescue response has been canceled.
7:06 AM: First evaluation is that this is a woman around 50 years old, per scanner. The Medical Examiner is on the way. Our crew should be arriving shortly to find out more.
(WSB photo: Police have taped off the scene)
7:15 AM: At the scene, we’ve learned the body was spotted by two people out for a walk. Police are declining comment, referring us to the media-relations unit. This all happened near the stairway that goes from the sidewalk down to the lower part of Emma Schmitz Overlook, across from Me-Kwa-Mooks Park.
7:35 AM: An SPD spokesperson is apparently headed to the scene to talk with us and the TV crews that have arrived. As already noted in comments, if you’ve been here since at least 2012, you probably immediately recall the unsolved murder of 53-year-old Greggette Guy; her body was found in the water about half a mile north in March 2012, her car was found near where all this is unfolding today. But again, there’s NO information yet on how the woman found this morning died. We’ll update as soon as police have an official statement.
(WSB photo: King County Medical Examiner crew arrives)
8:24 AM: SPD spokesperson Sgt. Sean Whitcomb has briefed us. This is NOT currently being investigated as a homicide and is (corrected) NOT considered a “suspicious death”; so SPD is investigating with the Medical Examiner, which has a crew on scene. The woman is believed to be in her 50s but that is just a guess so far – apparently no ID on her; they will be checking missing-persons records to try to find out who she is. Police are likely to be at the scene another hour or so, but the woman’s body will be taken away by the ME shortly.
11:20 AM: Above this line, we have added the video of Sgt. Whitcomb’s briefing, in its entirety. Questions were asked by the four crews who were there – ours, and three of the four local TV-news organizations. SPD Blotter has just published a post about this, but there’s no new information.
ADDED FRIDAY, 5:29 PM: The King County Medical Examiner’s Office identifies the woman found off Emma Schmitz Overlook as 69-year-old Carolyn Arnold. According to the KCME’s afternoon media-hotline recording (a daily list of cases they investigate), the cause of Ms. Arnold’s death has not yet been determined, pending toxicology tests (which can take weeks).
(WSB photo: Some of the many SFD units that staged on SW Webster alongside the precinct)
3:19 PM: If you’ve seen the fire units rushing by – it’s a hazardous-materials (hazmat) response to 2300 SW Webster, which happens to be the Seattle Police Southwest Precinct. Updates to come.
3:29 PM: From our crew at the scene as well as scanner traffic: This will all be clearing soon – no hazmat, nobody sick/injured. Someone dropped off an unknown substance at the precinct; turned out, apparently, to be a solvent and/or paint thinner (or something similar), according to early assessment.
P.S. We don’t know the exact circumstances of how/why the substance was brought to the precinct, but if you have “household hazardous waste,” here’s info on how to dispose of it safely.
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