VIDEO: Mobile crane hits wire, catches fire in 4700 block SW Andover; no one hurt

(Added above: Photo courtesy Bryan & Janet Jones; below, WSB video by Patrick Sand)

FIRST REPORT, 8:27 AM: Seattle Fire is upgrading a “car fire” call in the 4700 block of SW Andover to a “full response” so lots of units are heading that way and we’re told the smoke is visible for some ways around. (added) First units on scene are describing it as a “well-involved crane” with “power lines below the crane” – dangerous situation – avoid the area.

8:33 AM: Thanks to Kimberly for the photo:

Our crew just arrived and says it’s in the alley between 47th and 48th. From the scanner, the fire is “confined to (the mobile crane) and fence.” Firefighters are working to keep it from spreading.

8:38 AM: We’ve added a short Instagram video clip from our crew atop this story. Firefighters say the fire’s under control.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
No injuries reported. The smoke was visible from as far away as downtown – here’s one of the views tweeted to us:

8:46 AM: Update from our crew at the scene: The mobile crane was lifting roof trusses for a construction project nearby. Those items are largely undamaged.

(WSB photos from here down are by Christopher Boffoli unless otherwise credited)
The fire response is scaling down. No report of flames spreading to nearby homes – firefighters got it handled in time.

8:54 AM: SFD tells us they believe the fire started when the crane touched a wire, which would explain commenters’ reports of a brief power outage at about the same time.

9:00 AM: Thanks to John for the video we’ve just added above this line. We still have crews at the scene but also just have heard via scanner that Seattle City Light has advised SFD to keep a 30-foot safety perimeter around the burned crane.

The project with which it was associated, according to our crew, is at 4007 47th SW, which is showing in city permit files as an addition to a single-family house.

9:23 AM: Thanks to everyone who sent photos, and to those with additional scene info in comments. Adding to the story, as well as adding photos shot by WSB’s Patrick Sand and Christopher Boffoli. The scene, meantime, has stabilized to some degree; we will be checking back later.

9:39 AM: Also via scanner – the power lines “are still energized” and they’re awaiting City Light’s arrival to cut the power as well as a salvage crew to remove the crane.

10:07 AM: Not sure how this will affect people in the area but now they’re saying SCL won’t be able to shut down the power until noon or so. At least one SFD engine is remaining on scene TFN.

5:05 PM: It’s been pointed out to us that power’s been out since just after noon, for more than two dozen customers (homes) in the surrounding area. The City Light website projects restoration soon.

10:30 PM: The power outage is over. But a quick drive through the area shows the fire-damaged crane is still there.

40 Replies to "VIDEO: Mobile crane hits wire, catches fire in 4700 block SW Andover; no one hurt"

  • sam-c June 25, 2015 (8:28 am)

    Oh dear, that does not look good. Hopefully they put it out quickly.

  • Georgia June 25, 2015 (8:29 am)

    We’re in the Junction and our electricity shut off briefly right before we saw the smoke…

  • Amanda June 25, 2015 (8:33 am)

    Power flickered off at 45th and Alaska, but is back now

  • WestWendy June 25, 2015 (8:34 am)

    Was wondering what was happening- can see and smell it from my house about 1 block away. HUGE emergency response. Thanks WSB!

  • Helen June 25, 2015 (8:34 am)

    Heard many fire trucks go past our house in the junction. Hope no one got hurt.

  • Admiralgirl June 25, 2015 (8:35 am)

    Is this why we lost power about 10 minutes ago?

  • paul June 25, 2015 (8:35 am)

    Smoke header can be seen from Boeing Field

  • Abo June 25, 2015 (8:40 am)

    That looks like a crane or a lift.

  • sueinws June 25, 2015 (8:42 am)

    thankful you’re there – as always – I can see this from my office building downtown – and it’s nearish my neighborhood – so glad to know no homes are involved (mine or anyone elses). thank you SFD!!

  • patt June 25, 2015 (8:43 am)

    Hope everyone is OK.
    Wonder if this has any connection with the power going out for a minute at 8:23am on California just South of the Junction

    • WSB June 25, 2015 (8:43 am)

      Patt (and others who mentioned the power), probably – power lines are a concern in the area.

      • WSB June 25, 2015 (8:50 am)

        Update – yes, the brief outage would have been related – SFD now tells us they believe the fire started when the crane touched a power line. They are still trying to find its driver.

  • HelperMonkey June 25, 2015 (8:53 am)

    I assumed that the distressed guy in the video above was probably the operator. Hope the operator and everyone else is ok!

  • John June 25, 2015 (8:56 am)

    Driver wasn’t hurt, shaken up a little and worried about losing his job.

    • WSB June 25, 2015 (9:11 am)

      After seeing the clip, I asked our photographer if that was the driver; he said as of long after he shot that, they were still looking for the driver – at least that’s what fire officials told him. That’s been a while now. Certainly there would have been other people associated with the project, so we can’t assume. Anyway, still no injuries reported so far, which, given the circumstances, is indeed pretty amazing. But SCL has asked for a safety perimeter of at least 30 feet, so PLEASE stay away. – TR

  • Bill June 25, 2015 (8:57 am)

    Saw the driver talking to some cops

  • NicePerson June 25, 2015 (9:02 am)

    GAWKER CENTRAL – This is in my hood, and with the gawkers made it difficult to get out of the hood to go to work. I was particularly appalled at the 30ish man in the white cooper with the young girl/child — who drove crazy, blocking the street so he could gawk, and then jumping out of the car and taking his young 3ish little girl to go watch the fire…. Dude you have a serious problem.

  • Born on Alki 59 June 25, 2015 (9:04 am)

    I assume the crane operator is the guy beating his head on the utility pole in the video? Lucky he’s ok. Those are 26kv wires in this neighborhood.

  • Evolution-Revolution June 25, 2015 (9:07 am)

    I hope no one got injured

  • Eddie June 25, 2015 (9:12 am)

    Crane operator pretty upset. Scared the daylights out of him. “Oh man I’m done. I’m F****d”

  • WSince86 June 25, 2015 (9:15 am)

    Yes that was the driver beating his head on the utility pole. Talked to him for a minute. He seemed VERY concerned about his job!!! Otherwise, seemed OK.

  • trickycoolj June 25, 2015 (9:22 am)

    Kudos for SFD keeping this well contained in such tinder dry conditions. Any mention of a large fire during a burn ban this early in the summer is very scary.

  • wondering June 25, 2015 (9:31 am)

    So this was a construction project for a new house? Hope everyone is ok, including the crane operator. Looks like he made a mistake/had an accident. We’re all human. Hopefully insurance can resolve this. Peace.

    • WSB June 25, 2015 (9:38 am)

      Wondering, I already added that to the story – addition to an existing house, according to permit files.

  • Born on Alki 59 June 25, 2015 (9:33 am)

    He should buy lottery tickets with his last paycheck. He’s extremely lucky to have survived this.

  • Robert June 25, 2015 (10:15 am)

    You can still see the smoke lingering above West Seattle from downtown. Air must not be circulating much.

  • cj June 25, 2015 (10:31 am)

    Glad they got this under control, but in the image showing the roof part look how low those wires are.

  • Born on Alki 59 June 25, 2015 (10:51 am)

    CJ, those low wires are secondary lines. Phone, cable etc. The lines up top are SCL 26kv. A Minimum 10′ clearance required or this happens.

  • Gina June 25, 2015 (11:21 am)

    Question for anyone that lives in the neighborhood.

    Is the house building project where Dorothea’s/the vacation/short stay/weekend rental was? Tiny lot. About six houses down from Dakota?

    Just idle curiosity. Used to live next door.

  • Azimuth June 25, 2015 (12:22 pm)

    Looks like the typical mess of overhead utility lines in Seattle. Surprised events related to utilities aren’t more common. Glad the guys are OK, medically at least.

  • Sendlove June 25, 2015 (12:45 pm)

    If you must comment please consider sending words of encouragement and support. This was an accident that could have happened to any family doing any work on their beloved home. This family in particular is absolutely wonderful–a giving, genuine and kind family that just experienced a terrifying explosion. They are full of compassion. What they and the crew need right now is loving support and empathy.

  • Catherine June 25, 2015 (1:54 pm)

    The family definitely has my love and support. I’m glad that the gentleman was not injured and I hope his job is not in jeopardy. Blessings to all involved and affected.

  • Jules June 25, 2015 (2:05 pm)

    So glad that everyone is alright and that the fire was able to be contained before it spread to any homes. Sending love to the family and everyone involved!

  • WSince86 June 25, 2015 (2:16 pm)

    Gina – know of the house your wondering about. This is not it. This is two or three south of Andover.
    And of course, we are all sending love to our neighbors!!

  • Grant June 25, 2015 (2:47 pm)

    Minimum clearance is actually 20′ and yes, his job is in jeopardy. There’s a possibility he will lose his certification over this. He is okay though.

  • Btsea June 25, 2015 (3:22 pm)

    I’m so glad that no one was hurt and that we have awesome fire responders. That said, the operator SHOULD lose his job – through his carelessness somebody could have been killed or their house burned down. This was negligence and improper safe work procedures, not an “accident”.

  • Jeff June 25, 2015 (4:34 pm)

    True, cranes have special clearance requirements. I’m sure it feels like a bad day right now, but considering that he’s OK instead of dead,I’d actually call it an extremely lucky very good day.

  • Grant June 25, 2015 (6:25 pm)

    I agree with you Jeff. It certainly could have been much worse.

  • sc June 26, 2015 (6:15 pm)

    Have been gone camping for a few days and wondered why the microwave clock was flashing-
    Thanks WSB

  • robert June 30, 2015 (8:45 pm)

    I am visiting from Ohio. I saw the smoke from the 76 station on California and Andover. I drove by before any fire dept showed up, and saw the awesome people of West Seattle consoling the operator of the truck while he sat in the grass and watched the truck burn. I didn’t realize it was a crane truck (cause of the flames and smoke) I thought it was just a Semi.

Sorry, comment time is over.