West Seattle, Washington
If you’re noticing Guardian One over Fauntleroy southwest of Morgan Junction – while it’s in the same area of the fire, it’s not because of the fire. It’s a possible burglary. We had just returned from following up at the fire scene when we heard the call about a possible burglar at a house in the 6700 block of Fauntleroy (where the road just reopened, barely a block from the homes that burned), and the helicopter is helping in the search.
(FRIDAY MORNING TOPLINE: SFD still on scene investigating)
(WSB video from our first crew on the scene in the early going)
4:48 PM: Smoke is visible from at least a mile away from a house fire in the 6700 block of 46th SW. (map) Updates to come.
— Ryan Chittum (@ryanchittum) April 30, 2015
4:50 PM: This is now a two-alarm fire – firefighters say at least two houses are on fire, both “well involved.”
(This photo and next are by Trileigh Tucker)
4:54 PM: They’re also dealing with “power lines dropping.” Stay well away from this fire, obviously.
4:59 PM: At least three houses are now reported to be on fire. This is just north of Lincoln Park. Firefighters have had some water trouble.
(Photo by Tony Bradley)
5:03 PM: It’s a “defensive” firefight now. Per scanners, everybody is reported to be out of the houses, as far as SFD knows.
5:11 PM: Sorry if you’re having trouble getting in – lots of site traffic – we’re working on it. Traffic in the area is being blocked – Fauntleroy Way, for one. Routes 116, 118, 119 are rerouted off Fauntleroy between Holly and Myrtle – catch them from California, Metro says:
5:21 PM: Still no word of any injuries. And way too early to say how this started. Seattle Fire PIO Kyle Moore is on site.
(Photo by Diana Phelps)
5:26 PM: Smoke from this has been visible from miles around. We’ve received many photos – will get them up as when we can – showing that, such as this:
— Carl Ballard (@BallardCrl) May 1, 2015
5:35 PM: We checked again with SFD spokesperson Moore – this is still a very active firefight. Our crew says one of the houses has completely burned to the ground – we haven’t had a fire like that in this area since the Arbor Heights fire more than two years ago. While they believe all the people got out, firefighters are not sure yet if any pets were lost.
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
5:41 PM: One of the three houses is “collapsing” – one is being fought defensively, one offensively, per ongoing radio discussion. It’s now been an hour since the first dispatch for this.
(Photo by Ann Pot-Staton)
5:58 PM: Lots of questions in the comments about how to help the fire victims. This is still such an intense scene, they haven’t even been able to call the Red Cross yet, says SFD’s Moore, with whom our on-scene crews are in close contact.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
He’s also said more about the earlier water-supply issue – this is a somewhat secluded area (Pelly Place is the neighborhood name) and one line had to be run all the way up to Fauntleroy.
(This WSB photo and next two, by Christopher Boffoli)
6:32 PM: The fire’s not entirely out but the scene is a little calmer. We’ve talked to a Red Cross rep at the scene and their first step in the process of trying to help the fire victims is to get a case number going and to see if the victims want help. They should know more about that in a few hours.
6:48 PM: Continuing to add photos.
Also, we have just confirmed that other jurisdictions to the south have sent fire units as mutual aid, underscoring how big this is – will add a photo of that shortly. (Added: County, Tukwila units – Renton, North Highline, SeaTac also seen, according to our crew):
7:44 PM: Thanks to Aaron for explaining the mutual aid in this comment. Also seen at the scene, newly confirmed Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins:
No answers made public yet regarding how it started and how people can help.
9:27 PM: We are back at the fire scene. Fauntleroy has just reopened.
Willow west of Fauntleroy will remain closed.
11:01 PM: Still awaiting word on the fire’s cause.
8:14 AM FRIDAY: We went back to the scene again to see what’s happening. Fire investigators are still there:
For comparison’s sake – this photo is from the same angle as the video at the top of report, recorded when our crew arrived just ahead of firefighters. Also still awaiting, as discussed in comments, word of how to help the fire victims.
11:44 AM FRIDAY: Here’s a crowdfunding account set up for one of the families.
12:25 PM FRIDAY: And here is another. Please e-mail us at email@example.com with word of anything else – we are launching another story shortly atop the main page and will be including an ongoing list.
(WSB photo: Working on concrete on east side of 47th/Admiral)
After less than two months of work, you’ll soon see a pause in the project that’s adding a traffic signal and crosswalks to the 47th/Admiral intersection, according to SDOT.
(WSB photo: North side of 47th/Admiral/Waite)
We went over for photos today after getting this update from project spokesperson Rachel McCaffrey:
This week crews are wrapping up work on the south side of 47th Avenue SW and SW Admiral Way, pouring new curb ramps and sidewalks and incorporating a leaf stamp into the concrete. Crews will also work to wrap up remaining work and cleanup on the north side of the intersection. Corners may be closed to pedestrians and bicyclists during work. People walking and biking will need to follow marked detours or find an alternate route. Access to Alki Mail & Dispatch will be maintained at all times.
As we’ve mentioned, there will be a pause in construction while we wait for the delivery of signal equipment. After crews complete the concrete pours at the corners, we will stop work in the area until this equipment is delivered. The existing overhead pedestrian signal will remain intact and the sidewalks will be open during this pause in construction. Construction cones will remain in place to cover the signal pole foundations on each corner. Once the materials arrive, work will resume and continue for approximately three more weeks while the signal is installed and configured. We will continue to keep you informed as more information is available related to delivery of the signal equipment.
The project webpage is here.
CenturyLink is sponsoring WSB right now to get out the word that its 1 Gig service has arrived in some areas of West Seattle. You’re invited to a special event to find out more about it this Sunday at Cupcake Royale in The Junction:
On Sunday, May 3, CenturyLink is teaming up with Cupcake Royale to celebrate West Seattle becoming a CenturyLink Fiber Lit Community. CenturyLink invites West Seattle residents to celebrate in the sweetest way possible: by enjoying one of Seattle’s best cupcakes for free (cupcakes available while supplies last). To add a cherry on top, you can also enter to win Taylor Swift concert tickets from KISS 106.1!
CenturyLink is excited to meet you and share more about bringing next-generation Internet speeds up to 1 Gig to West Seattle. The CenturyLink team will be at the West Seattle Cupcake Royale location (4556 California Avenue SW) starting at 11 a.m. on May 3. You can sign up to be notified when your address qualifies for speeds up to 1 Gig by visiting centurylink.com/fiber.
One cupcake per person, and unlimited info about CenturyLink service – just drop in any time between 11 am and 3 pm Sunday.
In today’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup:
RETURN OF THE ‘CITY LIGHT’ SCAM: Overnight, we published Barb‘s report of “the grandparent scam” targeting a relative. Now, we have word the “City Light scam” is out there again. Dave Montoure at West 5 in The Junction e-mailed to say, “They’re at it again. Just called West 5 and said they were sending out a truck to cut power because of unpaid bills. … If your readers would like to call and say hello, they left the number 866-978-6981.” We’ve reported on this scam before – and City Light even has its own scam-alert page now.
WESTWOOD ARREST EXPLAINED: SPD Blotter has published the saga of an arrest that got some attention early Wednesday evening. At the time, a few people texted us about police activity at Roxhill Park; we went over, circled the park, saw nothing, figured it was one of those short-lived calls. Turns out it had started over at the Westwood Village McDonald’s; officers spotted a stolen car, boxed it in, then wound up chasing – on foot – the occupant, who shed his shirt and shoes along the way. As SPD’s Jonah Spangenthal-Lee tells the story, they caught him and recovered not only the car but also the gun which, as a convicted felon, the suspect shouldn’t have had.
CAR PROWLS: Today’s reports start with this from Misha:
We live near Ercolini Park. We had a club on our car, but they jimmied the passenger door and rifled through the glove compartment. Nothing appears to have been taken — we still have our CDs and car seats–and we did file a police report online.
From Susan, in the same area:
Someone went through our car last night. Stole some prescription sunglasses and went through all the junk in the glove box.
And in Sunrise Heights, a car-prowl attempt is part of what an apartment resident near 35th/Holden warned neighbors about in this note subsequently shared with us too:
I witnessed an older model Red Chevy Blazer with two occupants (male driver and female passenger) circling around the Chevron and also witnessed the male driver trying to break into a car parked on the north side of the Chevron.
After a failed attempt by the male driver to gain access to the car, the Blazer backed up and drove very slowly NB through the alley ( headlights off ) I suspect casing the area, this alley has many garages and fences that face the alley along with access to homes’ backyards.
They proceeded through the alley, stopping approx. 100 feet from Webster at which time … it appeared that the driver got out and was looking around. I called 911 and gave the best possible description of said vehicle and was told an area check would be conducted and then came back inside my apt.
Keep an eye out for this vehicle if you see it and one VERY distinctive note about this vehicle…..It has a VERY LOUD engine ( low rumble/idle ).
Pathfinder K-8 is the first West Seattle school to visit Fauntleroy Creek this season to release student-raised salmon. We were there as volunteer creek stewards hosted them this morning, first with a gathering at the park entrance, then on to the creek:
In the next photo, that’s Dennis Hinton, leading the event along with Pete Draughon.
Creek steward Judy Pickens was there too – she’s put together this year’s schedule of releases with 15+ schools (most, but not all, from West Seattle) visiting over the next four weeks:
Here by the way is what the fish that survive will look like when they head out in a year or so as smolt (like this one):
We of course were not alone in photographing the event – this young lady had a GoPro:
This season marks 25 years since the first salmon release on Fauntleroy Creek, Judy says. She estimates that they’ve hosted at least 10,000 students for salmon releases in that quarter-century. Last season, more than 2,500 coho fry were set free in the creek; volunteers then watch in the fall for returning spawners – 19 came back last year.
(Chickens on Alki Avenue! Photo by Lynn Hall)
It’s a big Thursday – here are some of the reasons why:
DINING OUT FOR LIFE: 5 West Seattle restaurants are participating in this year’s edition of the one-day/one-night benefit for Lifelong – some for lunch, some for dinner, some for lunch/dinner. Details and list are in our preview.
HIGH-SCHOOL SPORTS: 3:30 pm at Walt Hundley (34th/Myrtle), West Seattle High School boys-varsity soccer hosts Nathan Hale; 3:30 pm at Southwest Athletic Complex, WSHS varsity softball hosts Seattle Prep. (Sealth teams are on the road today.)
DIRTY MOVIE: “Symphony of the Soil” screens at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) at 5 pm, followed by a networking mixer and panel discussion, co-sponsored by the Landscape Horticultural program – details in our calendar listing. (6000 16th SW)
MULTICULTURAL NIGHT @ CHIEF SEALTH: 6-8 pm in the Galleria, you’re invited to come see Chief Sealth International High School students celebrate the many cultures to which they trace their origins, with food, entertainment, and more. (2600 SW Thistle)
ALL ABOUT OTTERS: The Whale Trail‘s “Orca Talk” this month is actually an “Otter Talk” – learn from Leo Shaw about river otters (the ones you see around here) and sea otters (the ones you don’t). At C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7 pm, tickets available online here. (5612 California SW)
FASHION SHOW BENEFITING NW HOPE AND HEALING: 7 pm at Showbox SODO, it’s the annual “Style” fashion-show fundraiser for West Seattleite-led Northwest Hope and Healing‘s work helping breast-cancer patients. We’re told you can still buy tickets at the door; event details here. (1700 1st Ave. S.)
YOU KNOW THERE’S MORE … there’s ALWAYS more on the calendar, for today/tonight and beyond.
The next candidates’ forum for City Council District 1 will be the first one in South Park. Just announced on the SP community mailing list, a 7 pm forum on Wednesday, May 27th, at the South Park Neighborhood Center (8201 10th Ave. S.). Organizers promise an “exciting and interactive event” with unique features including Spanish-language interpretation, voter registration, on-site child care, pizza, and a visit from a fire engine. It’s being organized by a committee of South Park community volunteers. This will be a week and a half after the filing deadline, so the final slate of candidates for the August 4th primary will be set.
P.S. Anyone else have a forum coming up in West Seattle/South Park? This is the only one we’ve heard of, but if others are set/planned, we want to get them into the calendar ASAP! firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks.
P.P.S. WSB coverage links from the three forums held so far, all in West Seattle (all of which we recorded on video):
–April 8th, presented by the 34th District Democrats @ The Hall at Fauntleroy
–March 14th, presented by VIEWS @ Senior Center of West Seattle
–February 5th, presented by WSB @ Highland Park Improvement Club
With less than a month and a half to go in this school year, it’s time to look ahead to 2015-2016 – and as part of that, Chief Sealth International High School is seeking volunteers to help with a new class as part of the Technology Education And Literacy in Schools program. CSIHS principal Aida Fraser-Hammer explains:
Starting in the fall, Chief Sealth International High School will be participating in the Technology Education And Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program as we pilot a semester-long programming class officially titled Introduction to Computer Science. We are in search of volunteer software engineers/programmers willing to team-teach programming in the classroom 2 days per week for the next school year. No teaching experience is necessary; all training and additional supports will be provided by the TEALS program as we begin planning for team-teaching the course in September.
TEALS has already partnered with the other SPS high schools and the program has been
extremely successful in getting students hooked into computer programming and interested in pursuing higher education in the field of computer science. The implementation of this new class at CSIHS will mean that all SPS comprehensive high schools will now have a strong partnership with TEALS, and Sealth’s students will also be exposed to a challenging class to ignite the quest for further educational pursuits in computer science. Below are a few other miscellaneous facts which may help potential software engineers consider volunteering their time to teach introductory programming to students at Sealth:
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:37 AM: No trouble spots in the area so far this morning. One alert for tonight: Seattle Public Utilities plans to clean storm drains on the bridge overnight, so between 10 pm tonight and 6 am tomorrow (Friday), the 1st Avenue South offramp and onramp on the westbound side will both be closed.
8:33 AM: Still quiet so we’re getting back to Traffic Throwback Thursday. From the Seattle Municipal Archives, November 1962, described only as being related to “Spokane Street widening”:
Click the image to open a page with a much-larger view, if you want a closer look at the row of businesses in the photo.
This isn’t a new type of scam but every so often it hits someone who falls for it. Barb says her mom knew it didn’t sound right and she just e-mailed us to share her story, to make sure you and your elders are aware of it:
Some guy who claimed to be a grandson just called my mom claiming he was in a car wreck, got a broken nose, had stitches in his leg, and was arrested on DUI charges in Vegas. He told her not to tell anyone, but he needed money to get out of jail.
My mom asked why he was in Las Vegas; he said he had been at a wedding. Thank God, my mom said this doesn’t sound like you, and asked, what is your mother’s name? The guy said his nose was broken in 2 places and that’s why he sounded different. The guy wanted her to call his lawyer (whose name is supposedly Harvey Gardner) and have $9800 to be sent to bail him out.
She said she didn’t have that kind of money. He told her to go to the bank and get it. He told her to “call the lawyer” in Las Vegas so he could get out of jail and gave her the phone number (514-015-5782) and maybe she could pay by credit card. When she asked again what his mother’s name was, he said, “I love you, grandma,” and said he had to get off the phone.
My mom called me, very upset, and wanted to know what she should do. Luckily I was able to reach my nephew (who the guy pretended to be). He was in Spokane, not Las Vegas, and he was not in any car accident. I’m grateful and proud my mom questioned the guy. I’m fairly sure they used information from Facebook targeting an elderly woman, hoping for an easy mark.
I called the Seattle Police but they said that since she didn’t give them any money, there was actually no crime.
This was a very scary call to receive. I want to spread word to stop these scammers. I just hope to prevent people from sending these types of people any money. I’m glad I had talked to my mom about various scams people use to get money and (had told her to) never give out any credit card information to anyone who calls her.
This scam is so common that even the FBI’s website has a warning about it, saying reports date back up to seven years; one version goes back even further, according to Snopes.com. (And here’s a story from the East Coast about a scammer who got caught.)