UPDATE: Big barge fire on the Duwamish River

(Added – photo sent by Erin)

8:30 PM: If you’re seeing smoke to the east – Seattle Fire has a big response arriving at what so far is described as a “fully involved” barge fire on the east side of the Duwamish River. Crews are responding to S. Myrtle in Georgetown (here’s a vicinity map).

(Added – photo sent by Hannah)

8:41 PM: Per scanner, the barge is approximately 150′ by 75′ and contains primarily “crushed cars”; SFD says there have been some “minor explosions.”

8:50 PM: Thanks for the video (above, just texted to us) and photos. (added) Here’s one from Seattle Fire front lines:

9:01 PM: SFD continues battling the fire. They’ve called for a foam truck from Boeing Field, too. (added) Here’s a photo from Kay, from the 1st Ave. S. Bridge:

And this view showing the fireboats on scene:

9:18 PM: The fire’s “knocked down,” per SFD radio, and the barge has developed a “slight list.” Thanks again to everyone who has sent video and photos – this next photo is from Angelique in Kitsap County, showing how far and wide the smoke was visible:

9:28 PM: Thanks to John Bennett for this video showing a fireboat in action at the scene:

And the fireboat from another angle, in a photo from Eli:

9:44 PM: Radio activity has slowed. We’re continuing to monitor. Still no reports of any injuries.

40 Replies to "UPDATE: Big barge fire on the Duwamish River"

  • Sean June 26, 2018 (8:33 pm)

    We felt the explosion in our house on the west side of 509.

  • Ron Baker June 26, 2018 (8:35 pm)

    From Arbor Heights 

  • Jd June 26, 2018 (8:35 pm)

    Very visible huge plumes of black smoke visible from our Southworth home accross the sound from Lincoln Park…figured the blog would have the news on it!

  • Marcia June 26, 2018 (8:38 pm)

    We are currently watching the fire just east of the 1st Ave South Bridge. Photo attached.  

    • WSB June 26, 2018 (8:44 pm)

      Our add-image-to-comment function isn’t working right now, unfortunately. Photos appreciated via e-mail – westseattleblog@gmail.com – or text – 206-293-6302.

  • Stephen Estevez June 26, 2018 (8:40 pm)

    Visible from I5 as well. 

  • Heather June 26, 2018 (8:44 pm)

    View from WS bridge

    • WSB June 26, 2018 (8:50 pm)

      Sorry, our image upload function for comments isn’t fixed yet. Photos appreciated to westseattleblog@gmail.com so I can add them above – thank you.

      • Stephen June 26, 2018 (9:06 pm)

        Photos sent

  • datamuse June 26, 2018 (8:50 pm)

    We can see this from our deck in Highland Park. That’s an impressive amount of smoke.

  • Marcee June 26, 2018 (8:50 pm)

    Watching from High Point. Will send picture. 

  • RickB June 26, 2018 (8:51 pm)

    Smoke was visible looking straight north on 1st Ave S coming back from Des Moines to Burien… I said, “Check the blog,” and there was the story! Great work as always!

  • Courtney June 26, 2018 (8:52 pm)

    You can see it from burien too! 

  • dsa June 26, 2018 (8:54 pm)

    Believe it or not when there were auto wrecking yards down where the Seattle refuse transfer station is now, approx 1st and Kenyon, smoke was a common sight.  This was a long time ago, I suppose I’m an old timer :) but what they would do is toss a couple of tires in the cars they wanted to strip out and some gas and let her rip.  It looked just like the photos above.

    • MikD June 26, 2018 (9:28 pm)

      I recall those wrecking yards. I think one specialized in VW’s.

      • dsa June 27, 2018 (12:18 am)

        Further north, they used to burn at the city dump too in the same place which was a land fill before the auto wreckers moved in.

  • J June 26, 2018 (8:55 pm)

    Visible from south beacon hill

  • Beth June 26, 2018 (9:04 pm)

    I saw it from Aurora and NW 85th on my way home from work. 

  • MJ June 26, 2018 (9:10 pm)

    Just wanted to say we’re lucky to have to WSB. Anytime anything is going on this is the first place I come and it’s always being covered. Seriously awesome resource for our community. Thank you!!! 

  • Seriously June 26, 2018 (9:17 pm)

    Foam – thought was banned. There goes the river and everything else. Thanks

    • WSB June 26, 2018 (9:32 pm)

      We looked this up in relation to a recent car fire. SFD uses a nontoxic foam; not sure about the county truck in question nor do I know for sure whether it was actually applied, just that it was on the way.

    • ada June 26, 2018 (9:44 pm)

       I read elsewhere that because it was cars on fire, and many of them now contain magnesium, that that was why they put the call out for foam from the airport.

  • D June 26, 2018 (9:35 pm)

    Can see the smoke from Lincoln Park. 

  • Kate June 26, 2018 (10:09 pm)

    Air quality report? I was in Portland when that huge junkyard fire happened several months ago and everybody in the area had to stay indoors. 

  • Rose E. June 26, 2018 (10:12 pm)

    Smoke drifting through SeaTac neighborhoods by the runway. I hope they get this fire contained soon! 

  • Andrew June 26, 2018 (10:14 pm)

    The fire may be knocked down, but sickening acrid smoke is now settling and blowing upstream along the Duwamish.  South Park is enveloped in a thick, dirty cloud of headache-inducing smog that smells of burning plastic.  

  • Patrick June 26, 2018 (10:46 pm)

    I was watching King 5 and as a correction: There has been 1 firefighter hurt in the effort to put out the fire and is now in stable condition at the hospital; the name of the hospital has not yet been released.

    • WSB June 26, 2018 (11:39 pm)

      Thanks, not a correction but an update – I’ll check with SFD, which hasn’t tweeted anything new in hours.

  • Therealbigpoppa June 26, 2018 (11:19 pm)

    This smoke is very toxic there should have been a public announcement in the affected areas also the king county helicopters should fly in the seatac area to get air flowing in the area as absurd as this sounds the toxic air is trapped in the Tukwulia valley area the air is so toxic birds were falling out of sky in mid flight to the roadplease find out the owners of this barge and car load they are put our community and wild life in immediate danger 

    • Patricia Davis June 27, 2018 (2:09 pm)

      Very intelligent of you to mention that:  we try to clean up the Duwamish and then have some (who caused this fire?) _________ create air toxins and set into motion polluting the habitat and environment:  air, water, land…….Does anyone know what caused this? And how it can be voided in the future?  Recall there was a very large, toxic fire at Alaska Marine Lines on the Duwamish as well a year or so back.  Patricia Davis, Admiral 

  • SeaTac June 26, 2018 (11:39 pm)

    Was wondering what that smell was. (McMicken Heights)Breathing the smoke from burning plastic, rubber, paint, etc. from hundreds of cars can’t be good for you.

    • Patricia Davis June 27, 2018 (2:13 pm)

      “can’t be good for you” ?    How about neurotoxins and such intense carcinogenics that  – with certainly – someone will be sick or die early from this exposure to toxins.  A baby that in a house in South Park.  Children, elderly, people who already have health challenges. The reason this happened needs to be determined and ensured does not happen again. Yes, due to the topography that Duwamish corridor moves air pollution (including from the Port of Seattle locations) right down into the river, land and air.  Poison.  Simply poison. Patricia Davis, Admiral

  • waikikigirl June 27, 2018 (4:48 am)

    @DSA, Ah the good old days when you could send toxicity into the air with ease! (NOT) UGH this must have smelled terrible to the neighboring houses :<(

    • dsa June 27, 2018 (10:28 am)

      Not so much plastic back then and this fire was mucho multiple cars.

  • anonyme June 27, 2018 (6:54 am)

    Now I know what the stink was last night.  Had to close the windows, thought it was the neighbor burning trash again.  The photos show massive amounts of water running off the barge.  The foam can’t possibly contain all that.  This is an environmental disaster; I hope Puget Soundkeepers are on it so that the damage isn’t minimized.

  • Helpful June 27, 2018 (8:52 am)

    How do you think they make those crappy old squished cars into bright shiny steel?

  • Rheanna June 27, 2018 (12:14 pm)

    Does anyone know if the Duwamish is open for boat traffic today?

    • WSB June 27, 2018 (12:40 pm)

      There was a “safety zone” last night but according to the Coast Guard via Twitter, it was lifted at 6 am today.

  • 935 June 27, 2018 (4:34 pm)

    And yet King County discharges over 250 million gallons of untreated water into Puget Sound including 30 million gallons of raw untreated sewage and yet nobody bats an eye.Oops I’m sorry a $360,000 fine. From governmental agency to governmental agency.Move along, nothing to see here.

  • Kathy June 28, 2018 (7:23 pm)

    I have boated by these scrap barges on the river. Sometimes, while operators are moving the metal scrap with a crane, they have sprinklers running. But the last time I went by this particular barge a few weeks ago, they were loading the scrap, but the sprinklers weren’t running. Could sparks from the moving metal scraps have started the fire?

Sorry, comment time is over.