Update: Apartment fire in 3800 block Beach Drive; firefighter hurt

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(1st, 2nd, 4th photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
3:10 PM: Big Seattle Fire response to an apartment building in the 3800 block of Beach Drive (map), and the first units say they’re seeing flames. More to come.

3:18 PM: Firefighters are reporting that one unit of the three-story 12-unit building is fully involved in flames. (added) You can see it in this photo tweeted by Vanessa:

That view is looking at the burning waterfront unit from nearby Harbor West, the condo building on pilings over the water, south of Cormorant Cove Park. So far, no word of any injuries.

3:37 PM: Radio communications indicate firefighters have searched the building and so far it appears everyone got out OK. Seattle Fire’s public-information officer is headed there, so our crew at the scene will get a full update before too long.

3:48 PM: Thanks to Tracy Dart for the view just above this line, with one of the ladder trucks summoned to the scene. Our crew says there’s no more smoke, but as you can also see in Tracy’s view, the response is so big, Beach Drive will remain closed for a while. Via the scanner, we’re hearing firefighters declaring the fire “tapped”; they’re trying to get a Metro bus so that the people who can’t get into their units will have someplace warm to wait. Our crew talked to residents who say they’re waiting to hear if and when they’ll be able to get back into the units that were not involved in the fire.

4:09 PM: The briefing at the scene was given by Fire Chief Gregory Dean (video added):

He says a firefighter was hurt and taken to a hospital – he didn’t have details on the nature of the injury. Otherwise, everyone who lived at the building is believed to have gotten out OK, including at least three dogs. Too soon to know how the fire started. Some of the units are being dismissed from the scene now that the operation is winding down.

(Added: Photo courtesy Michelle)
4:31 PM: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore is there too and tells us the firefighter’s injuries are minor. The building has 12 units; 7 people and 4 dogs were home when this started, he says, confirming all got out OK.

5:17 PM: More post-fire logistics at the scene, per scanner: They’ll be keeping a fire watch with a crew at the scene in case of flareups; the Red Cross is being called to help the unit’s residents and their dog; there’s a call out to get the road sanded so residual water from the firefight doesn’t create an ice hazard.

9:06 PM: We don’t know yet how the fire started. But we have one more view of the scene, shared by artist Joshua Boulet, who lives nearby:

That is one of two sketches he made; you can see the other on his website.

9:55 PM: An update from SFD – they still don’t know the cause, but damage totaled $180,000. Everyone was able to go back into their apartments but the people living on the beach level, where the fire was.

40 Replies to "Update: Apartment fire in 3800 block Beach Drive; firefighter hurt"

  • JayDee November 29, 2014 (3:16 pm)

    Big turnout judging by the sirens down Admiral…

  • Don Brubeck November 29, 2014 (3:19 pm)

    Seems like about half of Seattle Fire Dept just drove down Admiral Way.

  • JanS November 29, 2014 (3:23 pm)

    Don, that’s true…and just heard more going by Adm. junction. This is sad…on a day like today, cold, windy….hope everyone is OK. I know I shouldn’t speculate, but..started in fireplace? Wouldn’t be the first time today :(

  • JanS November 29, 2014 (3:24 pm)

    and now more…wow

    and more…seemed like they just kept coming..:(

  • Harold Seaburg November 29, 2014 (3:25 pm)

    Well they just dispatched E2 L4 from Station 2 in Belltown!!!

  • Donna Riddick November 29, 2014 (3:25 pm)

    I’ve counted at least 8 vehicles with sirens zooming down the west end of Admiral Way. Wow, 2 more fire trucks and an aid car just went by.

  • jen November 29, 2014 (3:27 pm)

    Four more emergency vehicles heading to Admiral ramp from West Seattle Bridge

  • Willis November 29, 2014 (3:27 pm)

    One thing i dont like lving above admiral is hearing every emergency through out the day and night. Hope everyone is ok, and i hope no one lost any pets

  • Jessica November 29, 2014 (3:29 pm)

    Everyone is okay as far as I heard from a tenant who is on scene.

  • pw45 November 29, 2014 (3:33 pm)

  • Dave November 29, 2014 (3:35 pm)

    WSB rocks—-30 minutes into this and channels 2,4,5,6,9,1,,13—NO COVERAGE YET

    • WSB November 29, 2014 (3:37 pm)

      if you mean TV, they don’t have helicopters on the weekend and I would imagine their crews are tied up with weather coverage. Thank heavens, no injuries reported and that means that while this is scary and bad news for building residents/owners, it’s not a gigantic story outside the neighborhood.

  • René November 29, 2014 (3:43 pm)

    You might want to get the word out they blocked beach drive by the fire. People will have to detour around it about a block ahead of the scene. (3800 beach?)

    • WSB November 29, 2014 (3:57 pm)

      Thanks, thought I’d mentioned it but guess that was just on social media, have added here and am adding to headline

  • K'lo November 29, 2014 (3:53 pm)

    A large response is sent to all condo/apartment call outs. Better too much than not enough!

  • Mary November 29, 2014 (3:57 pm)

    Do residents need somewhere to warm up, or has the bus come?

  • Donna Riddick November 29, 2014 (4:00 pm)

    Just saw an ambulance with sirens heading away from the scene. Sure hope no one was hurt in the fire.

    • WSB November 29, 2014 (4:04 pm)

      Not that we have heard on scene or over the scanner so far. Still awaiting full briefing once public-info officer arrives and gathers details.

      • WSB November 29, 2014 (4:12 pm)

        Update: The fire chief briefed media at the scene and said a firefighter was hurt and taken to the hospital – that must be the ambulance you saw. He didn’t have immediate details on nature of the injury, though.

  • Jan B November 29, 2014 (4:22 pm)

    More fire trucks at 4:21 on Admiral Way. Are there any updates on the apartment fire?

    • WSB November 29, 2014 (4:26 pm)

      What’s above is complete information, aside from the cause, which is under investigation. You’re seeing fire trucks checking out a reported chimney fire in the 3200 block of Alki – so far, they haven’t found any evidence of that fire.

  • DiverLaura November 29, 2014 (4:28 pm)

    My heart goes out to the folks who lost their residence… No time of year is good, but this just sucks. Having been through a fire and experienced the kindness of neighbors I can tell you that even just a non-smoke smelling t-shirt and sweats that were too big were a tremendous help. I’ll start this off by offering a couple sweaters that were on their way to the clothing recycling receptacle. Maybe Tully’s or Alki Surf Shop or another close-by business would be willing to house a box where we could drop off clean clothes?

  • Creighton November 29, 2014 (5:19 pm)

    If any displaced apartment residents need a protected place to store a few things, or even a place to sleep tonight I live about a 1/2 mile south from the fire, just off Beach Dr and can make our spare room into a bedroom that’s available if you need it until everything is sorted. TR from WSB can provide you with my email to connect us.
    PS: I don’t have a fenced yard, so dogs might be tough.

  • Janice November 29, 2014 (5:28 pm)

    I was thinking the same thing DiverLaura. Does anyone know if the tenants need anything? It looks like they lost everything to fire & smoke damage. I have blankets, clothes & food for people & pets I am more of happy to give!

  • Alki Nancy November 29, 2014 (6:35 pm)

    Thank God it wasn’t worse! I had front row center for
    lots of this afternoon . . .like to report from the first
    truck arriving to the last one leaving (about 10 minutes ago)
    took over 3 hours. I live across Beach Dr. at 4004.
    Best wishes to injured fireman! Thanks for all the above info . . . .

  • Fauntleroy fairy November 29, 2014 (6:46 pm)

    Please let us know where we can donate clothes, etc. We want to help!

  • JanS November 29, 2014 (7:04 pm)

    ^^^^^^ and this is what I love about this community. Y’all are just wonderful ! I have a fairly warm coat /jacket that I can donate…just let us know where :)

  • Trileigh November 29, 2014 (7:10 pm)

    I am so sorry for the losses for the folks who live there. But it truly warms my heart to see the generosity of West Seattleites offering help and comfort. This is yet another reason we <3 West Seattle so much.

  • Laura Vega November 29, 2014 (7:29 pm)

    My sister lives in these apartments and i am so thankful everyone & dogs are ok. I’m so sorry to the people who have lost everything. Thank you to all who are so supportive during this difficult time & offering help. God Bless you all.

  • Cecile DePanfilis November 29, 2014 (10:07 pm)

    Am also heartened that everyone got safely out of the building & that the fireman’s injury minor .
    Please post where help can be sent . I also live across the street & was impressed how quickly fire was controlled .

    • WSB November 29, 2014 (10:32 pm)

      I haven’t heard from anyone and unless someone comments here or e-mails us (editor@westseattleblog.com) we wouldn’t have any info on how to help, unfortunately. SFD confirmed what we reported from scanner traffic, that the Red Cross was called to assist – they usually help with short-term needs including shelter, but when asked for specifics about any particular case, they usually just recommend donating money to their overall fire-victim-assistance fund. If we do hear anything, we stand ready to publish a followup. – TR

  • wundrgrrrl November 29, 2014 (10:35 pm)

    I also live 1/2 block away and watched this all unfold. Glad that everyone got out safely, but the smoke damage to several units had to be significant enough that many of the residents will be seriously impacted.

    Would love to help contribute clothing, household goods, or whatever might be needed. Good job Seattle Fire Dept!

  • Shirley November 30, 2014 (3:45 pm)

    The family in the apartment above the one that was the source of the fire are also smoked out. The Dad has breathing issues and was in the hospital when the fire occurred and the Mom spent the night with me, and the adult son and daughter spent the night with my daughter. Dad is suppose to be release from the hospital today and can not go home to their smoke damaged apartment. All of their soft furniture and beds may be history. They may need additional help, will let you know.

  • Terri Nakamura November 30, 2014 (5:44 pm)

    Thanks, Diver Laura, for thinking of us. We are located in the middle of the beach near 59th and Alki Avenue SW. We have a storage area and could receive donations for the people affected. Does anyone know how many people are displaced?

    I’ll drop an email to the WSB to let them know.

    • WSB November 30, 2014 (6:32 pm)

      So far we still don’t know of any direct request for donations. The Red Cross has confirmed that they have assisted the people in the unit where the fire happened and also confirmed my recollection that the Red Cross doesn’t collect items, but instead money to fund their ongoing work – somebody’s donation in the past paid for this help, and any donations now will “pay it forward.” Will advise if we hear anything otherwise (including anything regarding the folks who commented earlier about the residents above the burned-out unit) – TR

  • Patricia and Amanda November 30, 2014 (8:00 pm)

    (The family whose apartment burned down) Thank you so much for everyone’s concern and offers of help. We are truly blessed at the response of both friends and strangers to this disaster. We are doing well and have temporary housing, and mom has a permanent place coming up, but what is really needed right now is long-term housing for my 27-year-old daughter who was staying with me at the time of the fire and also lost absolutely everything. She works in West Seattle and needs a long-term, affordable place to live on a bus line. If anybody has any ideas that would be greatly appreciated! Thank you again for the outpouring of support… It means everything at a time like this! I can be reached at raisen@chico.com

    • WSB November 30, 2014 (8:02 pm)

      Glad to hear from you. Besides your comment here, I can include that request in the followup I expect to write tomorrow – more people will see it as they come back to work after the holiday weekend – so if anything changes between now and about midmorning tomorrow, please let us know here (or by contacting me directly at editor@westseattleblog.com ) – Tracy (WSB editor)

  • Dawn December 1, 2014 (1:25 pm)

    My parent’s apartment was the apartment above the fire. Their apt is heavily smoked damaged, but luckily nothing was burned (except items on the deck). My dad was in the hospital with pneumonia and will not be able to get back into the apartment until it is cleaned as his lungs aren’t strong. They may need help with buying new furniture and beds as they will not be able to be cleaned (we believe). Right now we are just going day by day and won’t really know much until they see what can be saved. Thank you all for you thoughts and prayers and help. We are thankful for my brother who was home at the time as he was the one who got everyone out and called 911. So blessed everyone was safe. Thanks again!!

  • Dawn December 1, 2014 (1:32 pm)

    I also want to give a shout out the the firemen and neighbors around there. They really were amazing in giving updates and supporting the residents. We received a bus to keep warm, one neighbor brought hot chocolate and granola bars and yet another brought hand warmers. The firemen were great on updating everyone every 15-20 minutes. They even kept watch until 8 am to make sure there were no flare ups. Kuddos Seattle Fire!!

  • TrainingLT December 15, 2014 (11:05 am)

    I work for the Seattle Fire Department Training Division and I am looking for any media that anyone recorded on the day of the fire. This would include any pictures taken as well. My Email address is
    (insert correct symbol)

    Thank you

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