(scroll down and/or refresh for frequently added updates and photos – FIRST VIDEO CLIP AND PHOTO ARE COURTESY “ROCK STEELE”)
FIRST POST: Thanks to everyone who has called and texted. Lots of reports of big plume of black smoke visible from a long way away. Address is 2440 Alki (map), which checks out to an apartment building, though one caller describes it as “a house.” More than a dozen fire units called out. We’re on the way. Send photos if you have them (firstname.lastname@example.org) 9:07 PM UPDATE: (Second) photo above from gallery that TomA linked from the comments section (thank you), taken at 57th/Admiral. 9:12 PM UPDATE: WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli has been at the scene – he says it’s either a single-family home or a duplex-type structure, residential for sure. It was fully engulfed in flames (as you can tell from photo above). No word yet if anyone was hurt; scanner says they’re searching the second floor to be sure no one was inside. Traffic as you would imagine is “a parking lot” as Christopher puts it (and co-publisher Patrick, who is heading there to be our second crew on the scene, confirms it) so if you don’t have to be in that area, stay away. Scanner has firefighters calling in additional reinforcements for “crew rotation.” Patrick reports a SFD fireboat is visible just offshore; (added later) here’s Christopher’s photo of that fireboat:
9:21 PM UPDATE: Patrick talked to an investigator – no injuries, at least so far as they can tell now. Just added photo at very top of post, street-level pic courtesy “Rock Steele” (thank you to everyone sending photos – we’ll add other ones here inline in the post) – Alki News Beacon editor Cami MacNamara reports this is “a house converted to a duplex … the upstairs owner just left for Arizona yesterday.” 9:26 PM UPDATE: More photos just in, from Dartanyon Race, including this one:
Meantime, Patrick reports the fire is considered to be mostly “out,” with hot spots — the incident commander tells WSB investigators are on their way to start figuring out how it started. 9:31 PM UPDATE: Pulling up important info from “rlv” in the comments: “… police have Alki blocked off and are diverting traffic up 55th, which is not a huge street and is thus pretty packed. Please do avoid the area!” 9:34 PM UPDATE: Just added video clip, also courtesy “Rock Steele,” at the very top of this post. Click here for direct link to it on YouTube. 9:37 PM UPDATE: Scanner says a “media camera unit Ford Explorer” is at 56th and Lander and fire crews need it moved. Just in case any of the TV stations are reading this – check on your crews before someone gets towed! Also, Christopher’s photos are coming in – here are a couple:
9:41 PM UPDATE: Briefing from Fire Department public-info officer – cause not known – fire crews will be on scene for some time to come – she confirmed, nobody hurt and nobody home when it happened. 9:51 PM UPDATE: More pics in, this time from David Hutchinson – he shot the first one before fire units arrived, the second one as the first fire units were getting there:
9:58 PM UPDATE: Patrick reports the fire department public-info person has left, but City Light is there now, and has taken down power to part of the surrounding block. We may not have an official cause for a while; one e-mail, plus observations from Christopher at scene, place unofficial suspicion on a barbecue on the second floor – Christopher says it’s a gas grill. Here’s another of his shots, a wide shot from behind the building:
10:10 PM UPDATE: Still more photos continuing to come in – and many capture different aspects of what it took to fight this fire, like these from Thomas Wagner:
And here’s another Christopher Boffoli photo, taking a closer look at a firefighter in action:
Meantime, this photo was sent by Ray Carter, who adds some narrative (beneath the photo):
Seemed like a long response time. I ended up directing traffic for a bit, neighbors were using garden hoses both to help and to prevent spread of fire to their own places, SPD was first on scene…
A good thing to emphasize in coverage might be that:
A) Pedestrian vs Firetruck=flat pedestrian. Do not test this hypothesis, lest you become flat. At a fire scene, DO NOT try and cross roads that are approach paths.
B) DO NOT slow down, look, and stare intently at the fire as you drive past at 5mph – you obstruct Fire/Police/Medical access, and can cost lives and vastly increase property damage. Remember, Fire moves fast,
and so must Emergency Services. Usually 4 minutes from ignition to fully involved.
10:27 PM UPDATE: One of the tenants from the building has posted a comment saying her cat is missing: “… she is a medium sized older cat with mostly brown fur, her right front paw has a limp and her name is Puss, if you have any information (or) find my cat please post it here, Iâ€™m still in the area looking for her.” 10:30 PM UPDATE: Listening to the Fire Department’s media-hotline recording, their official info has a different address from the 911 log – 2508 56th SW (56th/Alki) – also describes it as “a fully involved garage fire that extended into a duplex, there was one resident home at the time and a neighbor pounded on the door and got him out.” No cause yet, though. Property records say this duplex was built in 1922. 10:38 PM UPDATE: The King County Parcel Viewer map (screengrab) gives you a better idea of the location:
Also just in, this photo from Vanessa Hutchinson:
Vanessa also blogged about checking WSB for info (and finding it) as soon as she realized something was going on. Thanks for the mention! 11:12 PM UPDATE: We are processing more video to add shortly, including an interview with an eyewitness. Checked with SFD again, still no word on an official cause. 11:59 PM UPDATE: Started a new post for additional photos, some video we brought back from the scene, and any early-am info on cause, Alki Ave status, etc. You’ll find that post here.