Update: Fire outside J.F. Henry tackled by heroic neighbor

(Updated 8:07 pm Saturday with more information from fire investigators)
ORIGINAL 12:16 AM REPORT: A big Seattle Fire response is at 4445 California SW, which maps indicate is home to JF Henry and Company. Scanner traffic says there’s a fire on the exterior of the building but it does not appear to have spread inside. We’re on our way – more to come.

(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
12:26 AM: The fire is reported “tapped,” with light smoke inside but no sign of interior flames. Some of the fire units have been dismissed from the scene, but several remain, and investigators are on the way.

(Photo courtesy Brad)
No report of any injuries.

12:44 AM: Business owner Tom Henry is at the scene, talking with firefighters. Hard to tell for sure in the dark, but the damage does not appear major – some charring on the back of the building. Firefighters think the “light smoke” they originally detected inside had probably drifted in from the exterior. No word on a cause yet, though.

(Photo by WSB contributor Katie Meyer, damage on southwest [rear] corner of the building)
12:54 AM: WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand has just spoken with Tom Henry, who confirms the interior of the store is OK and he will be open for business as usual today (Saturday). He says he feels “lucky” that the fire was spotted so soon – he isn’t sure yet who called it in, but there were still people at nearby businesses Pagliacci Pizza and Spring Hill. Besides charring on the building, his recycling container was burned.

(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
He says he found out about it because when firefighters busted through the back door to check for fire “extension,” that set off the burglar alarm, which triggered an instant notification to him.

1:43 AM UPDATE: We just got a call from Tom Henry, after he learned the identity of the hero who caught the fire so fast – Spring Hill chef/co-owner Mark Fuller. Tom says Mark used two extinguishers on the fire before SFD arrived; he wanted to say a public thanks to Mark for being such a good neighbor.

8:07 PM UPDATE: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore says investigators have determined that the fire started in the recycling bin, but have not determined yet what sparked it. Damage is estimated at $10,000.

13 Replies to "Update: Fire outside J.F. Henry tackled by heroic neighbor"

  • Cashmere September 17, 2011 (12:17 am)

    Omg! The sirens were nonstop!

  • Mapie September 17, 2011 (12:18 am)

    The sirens have been going off for over 10 minutes. Lots of response, hope all is not too bad. I bet everyone for a mile around was awakened.

    • WSB September 17, 2011 (12:21 am)

      I have a story in queue for this weekend with the Fire Department explaining what is typically sent in a “full response,” which this is, any time there is a fire in a home or commercial/industrial building … Timely. Anyway, our crew will be there momentarily.

  • elisabeth September 17, 2011 (12:53 am)

    Wow, thanks for this info! I live 2 blocks away and was wondering what was going on. I can always count on the WSB! Hmmm, back of building… bet it was arson.

  • Diane September 17, 2011 (2:21 am)

    yay Mark

  • Kap September 17, 2011 (5:29 am)

    Patrick cool pic of fire crew pondering cause.

  • Aman September 17, 2011 (5:34 am)

    Kudos to Spring Hill Restaurant chef/co-owner Mark Fuller for fighting & reporting the fire. Well Done!

  • Noelle September 17, 2011 (8:13 am)

    Tom Henry is a great guy and I love his store. Glad the damage was minimal. A+ to Mark Fuller for his quick action.

  • RJB September 17, 2011 (10:04 am)

    Great neighbors helping each other out in West Seattle!! Glad no one was hurt and not much property damage.

  • Zach September 17, 2011 (6:42 pm)

    I live a block away and heard all the sirens, I am very happy to see that it wasnt bad and there is no major damage.

  • Vanessa September 17, 2011 (9:19 pm)

    Yet again another recycling bin torched. They don’t just spontaneously catch on fire. When ours was set on fire in the late spring, it ended up catching 4 big bins,which are extremely flammable and then the shed, which could have caught our houses on fire. My growling cat was the hero who alerted me to the fire outside. I went screaming outside, grabbed the garden hose and had the fire out before the firemen got here. It took MANY phone calls to get the right listening ears to realize this was not just some random act of violence, it’s called arson. I hope the right listening eyes are putting pins in thier maps with all these fires going on here.

  • Rachael September 17, 2011 (11:31 pm)

    Good thing the hydrants felt like working…

  • bridge to somewhere September 19, 2011 (1:39 pm)

    that last photo is really good.

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