West Seattle, Washington
10:32 PM: So far, nothing major *in* West Seattle. An SFD call to California/Findlay was a fire in a tree, per a texter, extinguished even before SFD’s arrival. The Lake Union fireworks are happening right now so the Alki-and-vicinity outbound wave is less than half an hour away – remember the police plan to redirect traffic until that’s clear. They had a big presence at Alki even before dusk – we were out checking on that when the East Marginal fire broke out; we counted at least a dozen SPD cars, marked and unmarked, with the Mobile Precinct at Don Armeni Boat Ramp, which was blocked off to vehicle entries.
10:57 PM: Another police sighting – Delridge Community Center Park, according to a neighbor who says it’s been “the worst year yet” for illegal fireworks there.
11:14 PM: The photo above is courtesy of Carolyn Newman, who reports, “Traffic seems to be moving a bit quicker than normal on Harbor Ave, however, still a slow go.”
MIDNIGHT: SFD has dispatched six units to the 4500 block of 42nd SW for a call described as “dumpster fire with exposure.”
12:03 AM: That’s in a parking garage, according to radio communication.
12:11 AM: The call’s been downsized. Meantime, somewhere on SW Kenyon – we didn’t catch the cross-street/block – police are checking on multiple 911 reports of five people who had been shooting guns and who then got into a white BMW. No word of any injuries.
12:14 AM: Now police are going after a black Infiniti for some reason, Fauntleroy/Avalon at last report. (Update: It was a suspect with a $100,000 warrant in a West Seattle gun/drug case.)
1:21 AM: Things have quieted down since then, at least in terms of local police/fire dispatches. We remain on call, 24/7, at 206-293-6302.
7:15 PM: The fire generating that smoke is a building in the 3600 block of E Marginal Way, not in WS. [map] Seattle Fire is going defensive on it – too dangerous to do otherwise. Per scanner, it includes ‘two metal structures, fully involved’ with propane tanks nearby.
7:27 PM: SFD has called a 2nd alarm. We just crossed the bridge and got this view:
Avoid the bridge if you can- very smoky. The fire is still spreading per scanner and you’ll want to stay far from E. Marginal too.
7:38 PM: No injuries reported, SFD says. They describe it as a “warehouse fire”; the address checks to a “private event space.”
7:43 PM: SFD is calling a third alarm. We are going back over the bridge.
7:46 PM: Third alarm canceled. Some vehicles reported to be on fire.
From the viaduct pic.twitter.com/YvTqYel7Z9
— sareana ✨ (@Sareanaaxo) July 5, 2018
(Tweeted by Sareana)
8:06 PM: SFD is reporting progress knocking down the fire but also still calling for more reinforcements. Meantime, thanks for all the photos – we’ve just returned to HQ (we were out in the Alki area checking on the holiday scene when this broke out) and are catching up while monitoring this via scanner. Also, as we noted in a comment, we apologize that our image-upload-in-comment feature is not fixed yet, so even if it looks to you like it’s uploaded, it’s not showing – photos are always welcome at email@example.com.
8:41 PM: Still fighting the fire, and reporting progress – “well under control” is how it’s been described over SFD radio.
9:02 PM: Checked the traffic cams. Smoke over the West Seattle Bridge appears to have dissipated. On the surface, E. Marginal is still blocked at Spokane:
That’s a “live” SDOT cam view.
9:18 PM: Some units are being dismissed. SFD has tweeted photos including this one:
The tweet says the fire “has been contained to one building. Firefighters will remain on scene through the night working on spot fires.”
That’s our video of today’s West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade in North Admiral, in its entirety, from an SPD motorcycle officer and Seattle Fire Engine 29 leading the way, to the very last young parader, as they headed westward from the starting point on Sunset. No way to formally count, but every year it seems bigger – here’s a couple photos showing just part of the crowd toward the start and end of the route:
It’s an informal parade – just show up and you’re in it, coordinated by neighborhood moms for almost a quarter-century – this year, Emily Williams, Nicole Lutomski, and Megan Erb.
Costumes and decorations range from simple to lavish:
A few signs, in the spirit of the day:
It’s not a parade without a banner, although this one was mid-parade:
And at the end of the route – the post-parade party at Hamilton Viewpoint Park, where sack races are a tradition:
The final race this year took a never-before twist!
Sack races post-WS 4th of July Kids' Parade end with first-ever round for parents! pic.twitter.com/f68UkAMEDG
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 4, 2018
Also at the park – food trucks (long lines!) and activity booths presented by parade sponsors – among them, WSB sponsors – including A Kid’s Place Too Dentistry:
Engine 29 was there for tours:
WestSide Baby‘s famous bus was a dropoff spot for diapers:
If you enjoyed being in and/or watching the parade – coordinators are still crowdfunding to cover the costs, and you can contribute here.
P.S. Next West Seattle parade: The WS Grand Parade on Saturday, July 21st, from California/Lander (10:30-ish start for the motorcycle squads, 11 am rest of the parade) to California/Edmunds, preceded this year by the PAWrade – more on that here!
Another 4th of July tradition: The Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s annual picnic at its headquarters, the Log House Museum on Alki. We stopped by around noontime and caught guest speaker Clay Eals, local historian and past SWSHS executive director:
He was speaking about Erma Couden, who died recently at age 103. As noted in her obituary, Ms. Couden was an advocate of “civil rights and local heritage preservation, all grounded in the pursuit of caring human connections.” She also was the wife of SWSHS founder Elliott Couden. Eals’s successor as SWSHS executive director, Jeff McCord, spoke too:
One of the things he wanted to be sure everyone knows about: The SWSHS is celebrating summer with a new event, Open Draw. On three upcoming Thursday nights (July 26th, August 23rd, and September 27th), 5-7 pm, you can draw and drink wine in the Log House Museum’s Native Plant Courtyard. Free of charge except for the wine, which will be $5/glass. The LHM is at 3003 61st SW and is regularly open Thursdays-Sundays, noon-4 pm.
Both reports are from the Schmitz Park Elementary campus vicinity:
FROM MIKE: “Somebody stole our Thule XT Pro bike rack (holds 4 bikes) off our trailer hitch, while parked in our driveway, between 9 pm July 3 and 8:30 am today July 4. Was locked to the hitch too. It’s very heavy, would need a hitch or pick up to take away. Silver/black for the half that has the hitch mount and all black for the add-on half.”
FROM SEAN: “Found this youth gear behind SP near the playfield and suspect the owner may want it back.”
He was not able to scoop it up for safekeeping so if you are looking for it, that’s where to check.
P.S. While we spotlight items like this that might have been stolen and dumped, our main Lost and Found/Non-Pets section is in the WSB Forums, which are self-post.
11:19 AM: Thanks for the tip: The Seattle City Light map shows 184 homes/businesses out in Highland Park/Puget Ridge, along 16th SW. No word on the cause yet; Brian says via e-mail, “Explosion was heard toward SSC and then power went out.”
12:03 PM: Checking the SCL site for an update, we see another 299 customers went out just west of the original outage zone, mostly along 21st SW, about half an hour ago. (updated) Added a map image for both outages.
1:19 PM: Tipster Aaron notes that SFD is/was checking out transformers near Riverview Playfield. Meantime, the newer, westernmost outage has dropped in size by about a third.
8:46 PM: As this has stretched on for so long, we tried SCL’s after-hours media pager and just got a call back. The outage was caused by a fire at the base of a pole in the greenbelt by SW Holly – the cause hasn’t been determined – but it’s been difficult for crews to access; they’re “close” to restoration, the spokesperson says.
10:17 PM: We noticed a few minutes ago that the outage was down to 191 customers. And we just got a text that power’s come back on at 21st/Holly. The map might not reflect that immediately.
10:40 PM: Looks like that was it – all but a handful are reconnected, after ~12 hours.
10:27 AM: It’s on! The West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade has begun, with hundreds of participants streaming west on Sunset from 44th and winding through neighborhoods en route to crossing California eastbound south of Hamilton Viewpoint Park.
10:55 AM: Paraders are still arriving at the park, where the post-parade party includes activity booths and sack racing (which will start shortly on the field), plus tours of Seattle Fire Engine 29 (which helped lead the parade as usual), and treats. We got the entire parade on video – 19 minutes worth of people leaving the start line, longer every year! – and will publish that, along with photos, in a second report later.
Good morning! Just a reminder that all our holiday info is on the WSB West Seattle 4th of July page. We’ll be out covering the holiday as it happens – including the 4th of July Kids’ Parade. And if you missed our report last night, note that police will be changing traffic patterns for a while late tonight to help clear the outbound-from-Alki traffic faster. Have a great holiday, and if you see news – our 24/7 hotline (text or voice) is 206-293-6302 – thank you!