Updates: West Seattle house fire, northwest of The Junction

(Scroll down for newest info)

(top photo added 5:15 pm, thanks to Patty, who called 911 after seeing the smoke – next photo was our 1st one in, thanks to LeeAnne, who saw it from blocks away)

ORIGINAL 4:33 PM REPORT: On our way to the 4500 block of 48th SW (map), where crews are on the scene of a house fire. More to come. We’re told at least one helicopter (likely TV news) is in the area – so if you’re wondering about the chopper, that’s what it’s about. 4:46 PM UPDATE: Still fighting the fire. No word yet if anyone hurt. We’re on scene. They’ve called for a few more engines. The scene is close to Ercolini Park. Still smoky. A public-information officer is on the way to gather details for us and other media crews. 4:55 PM: Still lots of smoke – this is as close as media is being allowed – the house you see is immediately south of the one with the fire:

No indication of any injuries. A medic unit is on scene, as is SOP for fires, but there’s no indication they’re treating anyone. 5:03 PM: Sarah sent this photo taken behind the house:

Our crew on the scene has checked out that same angle from an alley where you can see the back of the house – you can see a hole burned through the roof, but the smoke has stopped, so crews are making progress. The PIO has arrived so we should have more official info soon. 5:14 PM UPDATE: According to SFD’s Dana Vander Houwen, the house was empty – nobody was living there, no furnishings, so nobody hurt. Major damage to basement, attic, rear of house. (video added)

Investigators will work into the evening to figure out the cause.

(Thank you VERY much to EVERYONE who texted, called, tweeted, FB’d and e-mailed to let us know about this and/or share photos and info as we rolled out – we cover breaking news 24/7/365, and your tips are vital.)

ADDED 9:27 AM FRIDAY: Vander Houwen says investigators traced the fire to overheated electrical wiring, so it was ruled accidental, damage totaling $90,000. Also, we wanted to add one of the photos taken by Ilona Berzups showing the firefighters “behind the scenes,” so to speak – at one point more than 50 were on this scene, and the support work done to make sure they can safely do their job is always interesting to watch:

10/ House fire 48th Ave SW, West Seattle

18 Replies to "Updates: West Seattle house fire, northwest of The Junction"

  • eileen July 15, 2010 (4:35 pm)

    Must be bad – I see smoke coming towards us at 51st and Hudson. Helicopters circling overhead.

    • WSB July 15, 2010 (4:43 pm)

      It’s definitely a bonafide fire. Choppers are TV, since it’s close to 5 pm news time and they’d be up anyway – TR

  • S July 15, 2010 (4:48 pm)

    I live at 35th Ave SW and SW Morgan Street near the Pizza Hut and there was A LOT of smoke. Just a second ago, the smoke was gone, but it just popped back up again.. and Engine 5 just came up through High Point and South on 35th being called to the fire as well. Hope everyone got out and the fire fighters are all doing alright.. Looks from here like its being a stubborn one.

  • wsgolfer July 15, 2010 (4:49 pm)

    Bummer. Hope nobody is hurt!

    And, by the sounds of it, the helicopter(s?) just left.

  • CW July 15, 2010 (4:49 pm)

    I just heard from a friend who is a neighbor of that house. She said she was sitting in her front yard and heard fireworks going off shortly before she heard the fire trucks.

  • ad July 15, 2010 (4:52 pm)

    Yikes, I know so many people on that block. Do we have a house number?!

    • WSB July 15, 2010 (4:55 pm)

      The 911 log says 4500 but I have to caution you that it is not always accurate. I am posting a photo but it’s not the actual home, media crews are not being allowed any closer.

  • C July 15, 2010 (4:54 pm)

    Can see smoke rising a few bocks coming from northwest of our block on 46th SW…less smoke now, maybe the house fire is under control?

  • S July 15, 2010 (4:56 pm)

    Wow, the wind is blowing the smoke up the hill. I can smell the smoke in my living room now, but it looks like they must have got it knocked down.. no more visible smoke coming up from that area. Took some pictures of it from my balcony.

  • JanS July 15, 2010 (5:04 pm)

    If the choppers have gone away, it’s because there is a tanker fire on I-5 near the Tacoma Dome. Reports say the tanker is empty, than goodness, but the cab is a total loss.

    • WSB July 15, 2010 (5:18 pm)

      Nothing left to see here, but lot of flying to do when their coverage area is pretty much the entire western half of the state. Have continued to add new info to the main story here and more photos. Things wrapped up now except for the investigation into the cause – TR

  • CR July 15, 2010 (6:46 pm)

    I live two blocks down and also heard fireworks from that direction a little while before we heard sirens and saw the heli.

  • NotInMyYard July 15, 2010 (7:21 pm)

    That’s going to suck if that house fire was started due to illegal fireworks. I hope everyone is ok.

  • bsmomma July 15, 2010 (7:28 pm)

    I was coming west down the hill by Erskine at about 4:25 and saw a big poof of smoke. But then nothing so I assumed it was a truck or something. Once Yoga started at 4:30, the air was filled with sirens. Was there maybe some sort of explosion???

  • jodi July 15, 2010 (9:51 pm)

    Myself and 2 other women were the first to get to the house. Smoke was already pouring out of the basement windows, main floor windows and chimney and the back stair rail was in flames. We pounded on doors and yelled to see if anyone was inside but heard nothing. SO relieved to hear it was unoccupied. No way we were going in there (of course). We (my kids and I) also heard what sounded like fireworks ~8 minutes before the column of black smoke went up. Scary. I was impressed with the fast response time of the SFD. Glad to have them around.

  • WSB July 15, 2010 (11:11 pm)

    A rules note – No speculation on the cause, please, particularly if speculating something illegal. Seeing/hearing something is one thing, guessing is another. I am continuing to check hourly and as of a few minutes ago the Fire Department had yet to announce the cause, so at this rate I don’t expect to find out before morning. We will update here, and possibly in a separate story too, once we find out – Tracy

  • Wbn July 16, 2010 (11:05 am)

    We were in the alley right before the fire started and no one was playing with fireworks.

    • WSB July 16, 2010 (11:12 am)

      As now reported in the story, it was accidental – blamed on wiring. So if there were fireworks it had nothing to do with this fire, per SFD – TR

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