1:28 PM: Here’s what’s happening so far today in the aftermath of the 3-alarm fire that displaced almost 50 people at the Lam Bow Apartments at 6955 Delridge Way SW (our Tuesday afternoon-through-evening coverage is here):
*Seattle Fire remains on “fire watch” at the site, in case of hotspots. We stopped by the scene this morning and that’s when the photos in this update were taken.
*No cause announced yet, but SFD spokesperson Lt. Harold Webb tells WSB the information should be available before day’s end.
For everyone asking how to help the 47 people who are unable to return to their apartments:
*The Red Cross will have a shelter again tonight for residents who need it, at the Delridge Community Center. But a spokesperson tells us, “In terms of tangible needs, we have not heard any reports of unmet needs in the shelter.”
*They and the Seattle Housing Authority, which owns the Lam Bow, have not heard yet of organized donation drives, nor of a specific request for specific items.
*A commenter says Sanislo Elementary is organizing a food drive for two families. We’re awaiting details on that. (Today was a 2-hour-early dismissal day for Seattle Public Schools, so don’t go to the school now.) 6:24 PM UPDATE: They’re collecting items during tomorrow night’s Multicultural Potluck, as explained here.
*This afternoon at City Hall, the mayor, police chief, and SHA director will “formally recognize the heroic efforts of Seattle Police Department and Seattle Housing Authority personnel in responding to yesterday’s apartment fire.” We will be covering that separately.
More updates as we get information. For everyone who wants to help, please keep in mind that those who lost their homes and belongings will be affected for a long time, and it might take a while for “how best to help” to emerge, so be patient and keep that good energy going until we hear where best to apply it.
2:18 PM: We’re at City Hall for the aforementioned recognition event and have talked to the Seattle Housing Authority rep, Kerry Coughlin, who’s here. She said the Fire Department has just turned the damaged building – one of two that comprise the Lam Bow – to them, and they’re boarding it up; a long list of inspections and assessments is ahead. They’re also continuing to work, she confirms, on organizing a list of needs and who can coordinate donations.
3:02 PM: SHA director Andrew Lofton elaborated on that during Q&A after the ceremony. He said that they are working to identify a fiscal agent for donations, among other things, and hope to have some news on that “within 48 hours.”
6:25 PM: There’s lots of coordination going on between people who are trying to organize ways to help and we’re expecting to have a clearer picture tomorrow (Thursday).