UPDATE: 1 arrested after ‘intentionally set’ fire at Elan 41 apartments in West Seattle’s Jefferson Square

(Photo sent by David)

1:22 AM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is headed to the 4700 block of 42nd SW. SFD says the initial report is “light smoke in an apartment building. More to come.

1:25 AM: The address has been updated to 4100 SW Edmunds, the Elan 41 apartments at Jefferson Square. Firefighters on scene are reporting “heavy black smoke” from one side of the building.

1:28 AM: Per scanner – we’re still on the way – flames visible from the second floor.

1:33 AM: Added photo sent by David. SFD crews report fire “knocked down.” SFD reports its first search of the “fire floor and floor above” are “all clear.”

1:36 AM: SFD now reports the fire “under control.” (added) Also from radio communication – one firefighter is reported to have minor injuries.

1:41 AM: Our crew just arrived – adding photo of one of two ladder trucks on scene. This is in the section of the apartments that’s over the east side of Jefferson Square businesses.

1:56 AM: Fire now reported “tapped.” No other injuries reported so far. Our crew says the injured firefighter is a lieutenant who’s been treated by medics and will be OK. The firefighting itself is ramping down but now crews are checking into possible water problems elsewhere in the complex.

2:10 AM: SFD tells us on scene that the residents of the apartment where the fire started were not home at the time. They’re checking adjacent apartments for extension/damage. Also, the injured lieutenant will be checked out at Harborview. A pipe break is reported to be contributing to water problems elsewhere at Jefferson Square, including the parking garage and animal hospital.

2:33 AM: They’re continuing to mop up that water. Some SFD units, meantime, have been dismissed.

3:02 AM: No word yet on the fire’s cause.

10:50 AM: Via Twitter, SFD says the fire was “intentionally set” and that police are investigating. Damage is estimated at $120,000.

1:50 PM: SPD just announced that a resident of the apartment was arrested for investigation of arson after saying he started the fire.

26 Replies to "UPDATE: 1 arrested after 'intentionally set' fire at Elan 41 apartments in West Seattle's Jefferson Square"

  • JanS July 8, 2018 (1:26 am)

    hoping this turns out to be a false alarm, or  way, way small…not a good block for a fire :(

    • WSB July 8, 2018 (1:36 am)

      It was initially dispatched as automatic fire alarm, then it was discovered to be an actual fire.

    • Mercedes July 8, 2018 (2:28 am)

      Not a false alarm this time, unfortunately!

  • RightDownTheStreet July 8, 2018 (1:26 am)

    Lots of sirens and it my apartment smells like a bonfire outside.  I’m just a couple blocks away.

  • name July 8, 2018 (1:29 am)

    is this the sirens that are keeping me up?

    • JanS July 8, 2018 (1:39 am)

      yes, that would be right, probably…

  • Jennifer Hall July 8, 2018 (1:40 am)

    Thank you, WSB,I hope all residents are safe! I was out on a late night dog walk, and we heard many sirens.  I knew that I would be able to find the most recent information about what was happening right here. You do an immense public service.

  • James July 8, 2018 (1:42 am)

    Thick smoke rolled through at California Ave SW with burning plastic smell permeating outside and inside air. Woke me out of my sleep. Then I heard sirens. I hope everyone is okay. 

  • Rachel July 8, 2018 (1:48 am)

    I’m in the Mural apartments cross the street. No more smoke seen but was very heavy smoke coming out from the back of the building for a while. Saw everyone running out. Hope everyone is okay 

  • Noname July 8, 2018 (1:56 am)

    Idk, is it the sirens keeping you up???? Do you live near there???Who cares, just wish for the best luck to the people.

  • Wsgal July 8, 2018 (2:01 am)

    Thank you for the coverage! 

  • RSN July 8, 2018 (2:07 am)

    I’m a resident. As far as I know everyone made it out okay. Just a lot of tired people and scared pets. The firefighters were great!

    • Jason July 8, 2018 (2:10 am)

      Have they let residents back in yet?

      • Mercedes July 8, 2018 (2:31 am)

        We’re in!

  • Jamie Lomax July 8, 2018 (2:27 am)

    I’m a resident here. Our unit is on the other side of the building. Evacuated with our one year old. She was a trooper. A lot of smoke in the area and strong burning smell. We’re back in now. 

  • David July 8, 2018 (9:17 am)

    I’m a resident as well (on the other side of the building). Apparently it was a resident that caused the fire (no other details were given) and it also caused damage to a vacant unit above it. (No idea if it was accidental or malicious or just plain old fashioned stupidity.) Hope the firefighter that cut his hands is doing ok today, and we’re super appreciative of how fast they all got here and snuffed it out. 

  • Barb Joseph July 8, 2018 (9:37 am)

    Glad the fire was able to be contained quickly and seems no one was seriously injured. I. Heard all the sirens, and knew something big was halpening. Thanks for the coverage WSB. As always, if it’s happening in WS we can find details on your site. Your team is awesome.

  • WSB July 8, 2018 (1:54 pm)

    Have updated this twice since the fire – first SFD announced it was intentionally set; now SPD announced it has made an arrest. – TR

  • flimflam July 8, 2018 (3:22 pm)

    wow. arson in itself is pretty sick, but intentionally set the place you live on fire? i can’t understand that at all.

    • CherSeattle July 8, 2018 (4:23 pm)

      Insurance payouts are the usual reason. What makes me mad is that firefighters risked their lives to put out the fire (and at least one was injured!), not to mention the residents of this building and the business owners underneath it and the risks they could’ve faced by simply being adjacent to the burning apartment. If arson is proven, he (or she) deserves the book being thrown at them. Hard!

  • Andrew Slifka July 8, 2018 (8:54 pm)

    We are residents but are out of town on vacation. Does anyone know which units were impacted? 

    • Mercedes July 8, 2018 (11:09 pm)

      Two vacants units ( one of them is 130) the unit where the fire started its seal and the number is not visible.

  • Michael July 8, 2018 (11:00 pm)

    And now the apartments to the east have a fire alarm going off…

    • WSB July 8, 2018 (11:18 pm)

      Yup. Per scanner, that’s in The Whittaker. No fire this time, just an alarm.

  • RSN July 9, 2018 (9:38 am)

    Resident here.Unit 128 is the one where the fire started. Above it and to the side of it (130 and 228) were two vacant units. Unit 230 (up one floor and next to) had to be forcibly entered, but I don’t think any damage occurred. Not sure if the residents were home or not. Strong smell is still lingering, but the apartment management is working on that I think.

  • ScubaFrog July 9, 2018 (12:03 pm)

    How scary is that?  Arson…  I hope this person’s rejected bond, and their bail is set extremely high.As anyone knows, fires like these can cause mass loss of life.  I wonder if that was the intent?  I hope the suspect sang like a canary (it sounds like they did per the admittance of arson).I’m very glad there were no fatalities.

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