UPDATE: House-fire callout on Puget Ridge

9:56 PM: Seattle Fire now has a house-fire callout in the 5400 block of 18th SW. Updates to come.

9:59 PM: The incident log shows most of the originally dispatched units have been dismissed. We’re still heading over to see what we can find out.

(Added: WSB photo)

10:30 PM: This is the second time in a little over three weeks that SFD has been called to 5431 18th SW – here’s our coverage of the July 19th call. As described last time, the house is in rundown condition, and an alleged squatter is living there. The damage/cause in this incident is still being evaluated – the SFD investigator is on scene, as are police, but we do know the fire’s out and no oe was hurt.

ADDED MONDAY: SFD says the cause was ruled “accidental” and since the house is vacant, there’s no dollar amount estimate for the damage done.

10 Replies to "UPDATE: House-fire callout on Puget Ridge"

  • Sarah A August 11, 2018 (10:00 pm)

    Again, a massive response, at least 5 trucks, 2 ambulances and police and fire marshals (not Bill tho )i don’t know whats up with this side of the block but this is a regular occurrence!!! 

  • N7OEP August 11, 2018 (11:25 pm)

    I heard on SFD radio that the squatter was still camping out in this residence. It was a neighbor that called in reporting flames visible inside the residence. 

  • ST August 12, 2018 (12:19 am)

    This activity is limited to this house and not the whole side of the block.  As a concerned neighbor, who lives a few doors down, I can say that all of the homeowners around this property are ready for this home to be dealt with. We are hoping that people continue to call in if they see anything suspicious here. We’ve been told by the police that there isn’t much they can do unless they are called to respond to drug/suspicious activity or fires here. We do know that an eviction notice has been served to the squatters, but everyone’s hands seem to be tied. It is scary and frustrating for all of us living nearby. 

  • flimflam August 12, 2018 (9:13 am)

    squatters are given eviction notices? is that for real? how can anyone’s “hands be tied”? if the house is broken into and someone has decided they’ll squat there, kick them out, arrest them, board up the house, repeat.its insane that known problem houses, especially vacant homes that have been broken into, are allowed to linger on like this. i feel for the neighbors…

    • WSB August 12, 2018 (10:30 am)

      Among other points here, without having access to specifics:
      -Police need permission from a property owner to “trespass” someone. As in, verification that the person is on the property illegally. We’ve written about this multiple times before. The city is strewn with vacant/abandoned properties and in some cases they are able to get that authorization without having to do it on a case-by-case basis, but the situation is ultimately the property owner’s responsibility. Some relevant links:

      -In some cases, the “squatter” may be a former resident or even member of an owner or past owner’s family. You might recall the situation earlier this summer at 42nd/Findlay, where the son of the former owner had been the subject of eviction proceedings after his mother died.

      County records for this house show a sale four months ago.

  • Rick August 12, 2018 (12:07 pm)

    “Sanctuary City” in many,many ways.

  • John August 12, 2018 (12:30 pm)

    City records show complaints about his house as recently as July with a visit  by code enforcement scheduled  for August 2.   I wonder if that inspection was completed and its outcome.I wonder if the empty status of houses is related to the difficulties and six moth waits caused by the City’s debacle switch of software reported in the Seattle Times today?

    • flimflam August 12, 2018 (2:47 pm)

      i’m just stunned that it would be that hard to get someone out of the house that doesn’t belong there. squatters rights?

      • K August 13, 2018 (12:54 pm)

        This is the son of the previous owner. He has mental health issues and a drug addiction. The police were there today and told us that the house is going to be torn down. 

        • WSB August 13, 2018 (4:49 pm)

          There’s no permit application in the system – I just checked – so if that’s so, it isn’t going to be any time soon (though once something IS applied for, demolition permits can have a faster turnaround than other types, in our anecdotal observation). SFD meantime has ruled the fire “accidental”; I am updating above.

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