West Seattle 4th of July 2018 late-night notes

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.

59 Replies to "West Seattle 4th of July 2018 late-night notes"

  • NSAlki July 4, 2018 (11:00 pm)

    Would really appreciate it if people could limit illegal fireworks on the beach to decorative stuff. M80s are hard on veterans, pets and little children. Alki is a place where people come to blow up loud fireworks and scoot without cleaning up. The beach park will be a mess in the am with trash from fireworks getting picked up by the waves. So tired of it.

  • Trailer Park Fourth July 4, 2018 (11:03 pm)

    Genesee Hill/Junction area sounds like the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan (as it does every year).  For all the people lamenting our ‘hood growing too much, a great way to keep people from moving to West Seattle would be to give tours at 10:30 p.m. each July 4th.  Something about the 4th brings out the trashiness in otherwise staid, old growth West Seattleites.

    • WSB July 4, 2018 (11:09 pm)

      I’m afraid that’s the case just about everywhere, not only WS. As for neighborhoods – here uphill from Lincoln Park, we’ve been hearing fireworks since 8:30 am. Not sure what the appeal is in the daylight.

    • AJP July 5, 2018 (9:10 am)

      It’s everywhere all over the region. We aren’t special. 

    • KT July 5, 2018 (10:32 am)

      Fifteen years watching this problem grow in the neighborhood and go unaddressed.  Tonight was the worst ever.  And I realized the problem is not people having some fun with fireworks, it is the type of firework that is becoming all the more common.  I see words from commenters like “ordnance” and “artillery” .  I am not sure that is hyperbole.  I am also no longer sure that  …”The Seattle Police Department’s hands are tied.  They aren’t allowed to do anything to help tax paying citizens…”.  I say they share equal, or more, blame for this situation.

  • Kim July 4, 2018 (11:13 pm)

    Trailer—you’ve said it! What stupid, trashy behavior. Add the screamers at the Airbnb nextdoor, and this is debilitating and inescapable noise pollution that will not let up. 

    • Bill Ray July 5, 2018 (6:16 pm)

      When I lived at the beach in CA and had trouble with the air bnb place next door, this was always a fun video for 7am…and oops… always forgot to turn off when we stepped out for breakfast… It will certainly start a conversation about respect!https://youtu.be/OCJq4re2d-0

  • Mike July 4, 2018 (11:14 pm)

    Worse than ever this year in our area, just off Admiral Way above Harbor Ave.  Lots of heavy ordnance, not “fireworks”.  

  • BJG July 4, 2018 (11:21 pm)

    As ever, our poor lab must live through another 4th crazy war zone west of the Junction. The poor girl hasn’t stopped quivering and pacing for the last eight hours, eyes big as saucers. Benadryls and Thundershirt are useless. Thanks neighbors for your selfishness.  Looks like we’ll be up all night.

  • Anonymous July 4, 2018 (11:38 pm)

    I’m not one to be a party pooper but fireworks are illegal for a reason. Not sure why people feel the need to blow things up. I’m also not sure why we have a law  making them illegal it is only enforced when they light something on fire or get hurt. I’m over the noise now, please let me sleep. 

  • Fox July 5, 2018 (12:05 am)

    We just came back to W Seattle around 11:30pm and the Harbor Ave and Admiral Way exits were closed. Police car with flashing lights blocking each one. Is that normal? 

    • WSB July 5, 2018 (12:17 am)

      Probably related to the traffic-pattern change (see link in story above). When police gave us the info yesterday, closing exits wasn’t mentioned, but the plan certainly could have evolved.

    • WiseWoman July 5, 2018 (8:20 am)

      Yes road closures are normal to outbound the heavy traffic leaving the area. If you live on Harbor and Alki, police will let you thru with ID showing your address.

  • K. Davis July 5, 2018 (12:21 am)

    Fireworks are fun.  Not that hard to figure out.  

    • WS Mom July 5, 2018 (1:34 am)

      Package stealers would probably say what they do is fun too.  Heck,  Ted Bundy probably got a huge kick of fun out of what he did.  Mass shooters?  Need I go on?FUN doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.  When what you consider “fun” actually negatively impacts and torments the lives of others, that is when you are just plain cruel.

      • Candy July 5, 2018 (11:58 am)

        Go off WSmom

      • K. Davis July 5, 2018 (1:21 pm)

        Really?  You jump from fireworks to Ted Bundy?  Try a little perspective.  Unclench.  Repeat.  It will all be alright.  

        • Nolan July 5, 2018 (3:29 pm)

          It’s telling that you didn’t actually refute the critique. There are plenty of ways to have fun without bothering and/or harming others, and I will happily demand — not request — that these people drop the noisemaking and PTSD triggering and find one of those instead.

    • AJP July 5, 2018 (9:17 am)

      I wouldn’t go quite so far as to equate fireworks with serial killers…but yes, one person’s “fun” is at least annoying,  and can be terrifying and torturous for others.  At the risk of sounding like an old man on a front porch, ahem, when I was a kid, these loud mortars and high-end fireworks weren’t so widely available. I don’t know where people get them, but they’re obviously easily accessible and cheap nowadays. 

      • Trail geek July 5, 2018 (10:34 am)

        Come on guys the 4th is the one day out of the year where people really let loose and have some fun shooting off fireworks. If you have a problem with that maybe try thinking up some ideas that arnt just “these kids lighting off these damn fireworks is nothing like I had in my day”. Maybe we should have designated fireworks areas where averyone knows that’s where the fireworks will be. Just saying fireworks are bad really adds nothing to the conversation.

        • CAM July 5, 2018 (2:28 pm)

          Technically there are designated fireworks areas. They would be in the cities/communities where it is legal. If someone needs to blow off fireworks to truly enjoy the day then they can travel to one of those places. 

  • Tamsen Spengler July 5, 2018 (12:37 am)

    Morgan area is still loud with huge bombs. Our poor rescue dog is terrified to go outside and he needs to. Guess I’ll wait it out a bit longer and try again. Enough with the big blasts now please!!

  • Raised in WS July 5, 2018 (1:54 am)

    Let people have their fun for one night. I agree that people should be considerate and clean up after themselves but one night is not that big of a deal.

    • Cass July 5, 2018 (9:46 am)

      I was a lot more understanding when it was a couple hours one night, instead of a few hours a night for a week + 11 hours on the 4th + every home game through football season…

      • AJP July 5, 2018 (12:35 pm)

        And the week of New Year’s.

  • Jon Wright July 5, 2018 (2:18 am)

    A pair of folks were setting off fireworks in the middle of the road near my house. A marked police vehicle drove by them mid-firework without so much as even slowing down.

  • Kevin Murphy July 5, 2018 (2:52 am)

    My coworker had to call the dumpster fire in, it was right across from the QFC we work at. Not sure what the deal was, but the fire department got here super quick.Meanwhile, my wife’s texting me from a couple blocks away that there’s some big fight near our apartment complex. Crazy people are acting like the 4th of July is the eighteenth Purge sequel. 

  • Brian Hughes July 5, 2018 (6:21 am)

    We always loved blowing off fireworks when we were young, but they weren’t anything like the artilary available today.  Our dog hates it. But I think it could all be tolerable if people would just stop at a decent hour and limit it to a single day (the 4th). Of course they won’t. Until the police make it a priority, it won’t change.

  • West Seattle Hipster July 5, 2018 (6:22 am)

    Lighting off aerial explosives in densely populated areas at any time of day is pure stupidity.  Lighting them off at 2:00am is sociopathic. Fireworks are “fun” if sane and sober professionals are the people doing it in a safe area.

  • NSAlki July 5, 2018 (6:39 am)

    Does anyone have suggestions on what we can do as a community? Calling the police is useless as they won’t enforce fireworks laws until something bad happens. Do we have to wait until there is a multi structure fire and lives are lost? What is the point of having a law banning illegal personal fireworks shows if it was never going to be enforced? Is there nothing, we as a community can do? What does Lisa Herbold have to say?

    • WSB July 5, 2018 (7:08 am)

      Lisa Herbold had a lot to say in her most-recent weekly update:

    • KM July 5, 2018 (7:13 am)

      I’ve heard of other cities/jurisdictions in the area say that’s it’s an emergency and to call it in, in Seattle we are told not to. We are also often told to go online to report certain crimes, and we know people who have waited an hour or longer for the police to arrive in situations that could be harmful or risky  (hit by drunk drivers, home invasions), or not show up at all.I’ve given up getting mad about the 4th, because there’s nothing I can do to stop it. We’ve got an everyday problem when it comes to policing in Seattle, top to bottom. Plenty of people are responsible for getting SPD to this point, but nobody has a plan on how to fix it. It’s beyond negligent.

    • James July 5, 2018 (7:48 am)

      The Seattle Police Department’s hands are tied.  They aren’t allowed to do anything to help tax paying citizens.  Look to our wonderful city council who control this city.  As we’ve seen, just because something is illegal doesn’t mean you can’t still do it without any consequences.  

      • CAM July 5, 2018 (9:38 am)

        Umm…James, if you follow the link it would demonstrate the exact opposite of what you are saying. It’s a nice theory that the police can’t stop crime because of the city council but I’ve yet to see any evidence of that theory that isn’t completely subjective of just plain not reality based. 

  • Kalo July 5, 2018 (6:58 am)

    Kudos! to SPD for making quick work of moving traffic! Harbor Ave was clear by 11:30pm. Past 4th of July’s, traffic backed up until 1 in the morning.

  • anonyme July 5, 2018 (7:51 am)

    I was pleasantly surprised to read Herbold’s comments and actions regarding fireworks.  This confirms what most of us already know – that fireworks are an issue for many constituents, and it is a problem that just keeps getting worse with neglect.   What is even more telling is Durkan’s complete lack of response.  What ever happened to a mayor’s obligation to protect the health and safety of citizens?  Why are criminals protected and coddled, and taxpayers get NOTHING…except more taxes????  Police and fire are working overtime on the 4th, paid for with our tax dollars.  And yet they are not handing out citations, not arresting people, not confiscating fireworks.  They are ignoring crimes occurring right in front of their eyes, AND WE PAY FOR IT.

    WS Hipster, thanks for using the “s” word; it’s been on my mind the last few days, and accurately describes the actions of those who eagerly engage in activities that are highly dangerous and otherwise detrimental to others, while minimizing the physical and psychological damage they cause.

    • Andromeda July 5, 2018 (9:32 am)

      I also appreciated Councilmember Herbold’s words and attempt to look into this out-of-control situation. I imagine most people don’t even bother making a formal complaint – they just grit their teeth or try to be out of town. A lack of enforcement not only affects the quality of life of everyone who isn’t in to the “artillery barrage” scene, it also undermines the rule of law generally. As in other issues facing our community , it wouldn’t be difficult to fix this if the political will to do something existed – some dedicated patrols going to parks where people light these off and responding to calls with identified addresses. Citations need to be handed out. Word will spread quickly that the law is actually enforced in the city.

  • Sarchka July 5, 2018 (9:15 am)

    I get people wanting to have some fun on the 4th but when you’re setting off M80s (or worse) after midnight — you should be policed.    It’s a safety and QOL issue and the police / powers that be have clearly let it slip totally out of control. 

  • West Sea Neighbor July 5, 2018 (9:26 am)

    I wonder how the new $1000 fireworks fine on the east side panned out. Perhaps Seattle should consider something like that?

  • WS Bill July 5, 2018 (9:28 am)

    I think I know how to solve the fireworks problem, let’s tax Amazon and Starbucks and make them pay for enforcement and clean-up.

  • alkiobserver July 5, 2018 (9:54 am)

    I personally enjoy the fireworks and don’t begrudge those that choose to set them off. My dog is far more affected by thunder or fire engines than fireworks. I wish the laws that are supposed to keep people from turning our sidewalks and parks into campgrounds with open toilets were enforced, but that is life in the big city these days. It is noisy and crowded.  Live and let live. I sat out on my deck with a cocktail and relished the sights and sounds of another fine Fourth of July. God bless America.

  • James July 5, 2018 (10:02 am)

    This morning on my run I encountered a very terrified Miniature Schnauzer running down SW Holly St. I did my best to calm him down but he ran into the cul-de-sac on 47th Ave SW. I hope one of the homeowners was able to cajole the little guy, I know I would be an emotional wreck if my pets escaped during the 4th.Please, please drive with compassion this morning. There may be other animals who are looking for the safety and security of their families.If you have leftover fireworks, please don’t light them. The booming sound you love to hear has caused untold trauma for a lot of our pets.

  • KT July 5, 2018 (10:23 am)

    Hmm, I see a pattern.  Seattle city leaders and the Seattle Police Department ignore and  fail to address some a particular form of social disorder.  And the problem grows and grows until it is out of control and can realistically no longer be managed.  

  • artlore July 5, 2018 (10:48 am)

    Within the City of Seattle, fireworks are banned with a $5,000 fine possible — is that EVER enforced? There seems to be no incentive to NOT play with fireworks. WE called the non-emergency line twice about he group at Solstice Park (as did other neighbors I’m sure) The police finally made a brief showing at midnight and the group walked down to the tennis courts, then came back for a finale at 1 am.If you can get a fine of $1,025 for tossing a cigarette out of your car, why can’t this be enforced?

  • LINDA4747 July 5, 2018 (10:54 am)

    Can we just go back to 1976 when celebrating the 4th was ok and everyone was chill. Ugh

    • Just me July 5, 2018 (12:08 pm)

      Amen Sister! When fireworks were legal people bought them locally and there were only “safe and sane” products available. Now they are banned people head out to the reservations and buy crazy things. It is worse with the ban. I wax nostalgic for the old days, we just would just light off small things and everybody had fun.

    • Alki resident July 5, 2018 (2:17 pm)

      YES , thank you

  • DRS July 5, 2018 (11:42 am)

    I agree. In 1976 we went to a sanctioned fireworks show and had sparklers and maybe a few firecrackers. We didn’t blow up the neighborhood for 3+ days. 

    • Marianne July 5, 2018 (11:51 am)

      So true, those were the days…

  • Greystreet July 5, 2018 (11:51 am)

    @^&#%!*^#(@%$*%@#*&!^#(!^$( pardon all of my expletives…To those of you who are of the crowd “oh it’s only one day, let people have their fun” – WRONG, this starts on July 1st, or earlier and continues into next week.  Some of us have to get up for work, some of us have animals that are downright terrified of the noise and SOME OF US may have PTSD to artillery shells and loud booms that can trigger debilitating flashbacks…If everyone is so ” ‘Merica”, how about giving the respect to the veterans who fought to protect you by NOT placing them into crisis over having some fun with stupid loud noises.  That’s another thing, fireworks are one thing-they’re pretty to look at, but since when did fireworks also mean 1/2 sticks or whole sticks of dynamite, I don’t understand the draw to just a blank loud noise? As a healthcare provider it’s against my ethics to wish harm on others but this holiday, every year has me questioning how much I would care about someone’s careless, self-inflicted injury from a recreational explosive.  I apologize for the rant but at the same time I don’t, I shouldn’t have to worry about my house burning down, my dog making a mess or me getting no sleep and being responsible for people’s lives the next day because of “one day of fun”…leave it up the professionals and go look at them like the rest of the world, give the kids some sparklers for pop-its for fun. The “one day of fun” people are only rationalizing they’re otherwise illegal behavior and it gives them a stiffening down below to know they’re getting away with breaking the law >:|…rant over.

    • Jethro Marx July 5, 2018 (2:11 pm)

      No one set off dynamite in West Seattle last night; that’s ridiculous. You will not mistake the spectacle of true munitions for consumer fireworks, the manufacture and sale of which is heavily regulated. About 5% of West Seattlites probably conspired to break the law in personal firework displays; another 5% are quite upset about it, and the rest of us don’t really care about it. Welcome to democracy.   If you think others should change their behavior for your sake, it’s fairly arbitrary to place your happiness above theirs. People with nervous pets generally turn out to be the source of that, and also often have a bad habit of treating their pets like family members; they’re not, they’re merely animals, which we might eat if they were a different species.

      • Concerned July 5, 2018 (7:07 pm)

        Actually, if you’re lighting off fireworks in Seattle, it’s not 5% breaking the law, it’s 100% breaking the law

        • grocerylist July 6, 2018 (7:44 am)

          But if it’s not enforced, is it really against the law?

    • AJ July 5, 2018 (2:45 pm)

      Couldn’t have said it better, Greystreet. I’m so sick of the “it’s just one day, chill out” downplaying. It started around June 23rd in my neighborhood, and will probably go on through at least Sunday. My dog has required multiple measures (CBD tincture, windows closed, TV sound up, AC and fans on, weighted anxiety blanket) to keep him relatively calm, but last night nothing worked. He spent the evening cowering in the bathroom and absolutely refused to go outside to relieve himself before bedtime. Every year, neighbors post to WSB, Facebook, and Nextdoor begging our fireworks-lighting “neighbors” to consider veterans, refugees, and pets, and each year, the fireworks get worse, not better.  

  • Erithan July 5, 2018 (11:58 am)

    People going “omg quit being uptight” need to look at this a little closer. I can’t speak for everyone but I’d bet a lot of other commenters like myself are talking more about the bombs labeld as “fireworks”.its one thing to have a little sparkly colorful fountain fireworks(what I grew up with, only noisy ones were whistlers) like a pagoda or groundhogs/flowers, quite another thing when your lighting and or tossing bomb fireworks all over….On a side note:  sounds like the fire is was in my garage….explains the smell of burning paper last night…*sigh* Alaska House?

  • Erithan July 5, 2018 (12:03 pm)

    Was there any more info on the garage fire? Mostly wondering since if it was Alaska house no alarms went off nothing, and cars are by the bins which is scary.   

    • Erithan July 5, 2018 (12:19 pm)

      Just looked one recycle bin is mysteriously missing, and black mark on the wall where it was.

  • Gina July 5, 2018 (1:41 pm)

    July 4, 1976 it poured rain over most of western Washington. Couldn’t get my whistling Petes to light. So it is entirely true to say that it was much more quiet in 1976.

  • Wes C. Addle July 5, 2018 (3:19 pm)

    Also, does anyone think that the majority of the Fireworks abusers are looking at the WSB, NextDoor, or Facebook Community groups to tally the opinions of everyone before they go out to celebrate?I think Internet ranting in general is being ignored due to the constant complaining that we see across all parts of life.  Why would anyone take an anonymous internet person seriously? I certainly don’t, nor do I know anyone that does.

Sorry, comment time is over.