VIDEO: Hazmat response at 35th SW apartments after woman found dead, police officers sent to hospital

(WSB photos)

9:55 AM: If you’re wondering about the SFD/SPD response in the 8800 block of 35th SW, Seattle Fire says they’re “investigating a possible chemical substance in apartment building” and advising people to stay away from the area. Updates to come.

10:06 AM: Our crew reports 35th is blocked between Henderson and Trenton; this is happening in an apartment building nearer to Henderson than Trenton. SFD confirms one person was found dead in the building.

10:24 AM: The Medical Examiner has arrived at the scene but before they can handle the death, SFD crews are still working on the unspecified hazardous-materials situation. While 35th remains blocked, police are allowing buses through.

10:42 AM: SFD is still dealing with the scene, with hazmat gear and washdown stations. SFD’s public information officer Kristin Tinsley is there so we should get some updates soon. And the helicopter, if you’re wondering, is a TV station.

11:01 AM: Just briefed, by Tinsley and SPD PIO Det. Mark Jamieson. (video added)

This started – as a commenter noted – as a “welfare check,” a call for police to check on someone who hadn’t been heard from in a while. Officers who found the dead person had clearly been exposed to something – hazmat crews are in the unit still trying to figure out what. The two officers have been taken to a hospital to be checked out. Nearby residents aren’t believed to be in danger but for now they’ve been asked to keep their doors/windows closed as a precaution.

11:22 AM: More information. The substances were primarily ammonia and chlorine bleach. The person found dead was a woman.

The response is mostly wrapping up now. That’s the other TV helicopter over the area now, by the way.

12:02 PM: SDOT says all lanes of 35th SW have reopened.

37 Replies to "VIDEO: Hazmat response at 35th SW apartments after woman found dead, police officers sent to hospital"

  • n7oep May 10, 2019 (10:00 am)

    SPD officer went to “Check the welfare” of a resident and came out vomiting. Hope he will be OK, and no one else is injured. 

  • Bmc May 10, 2019 (10:10 am)

    Huge response! Entire length of block from Trenton to Barton lines with emergency vehicles.

  • Ryan May 10, 2019 (10:28 am)

    Response on 35th…

  • HS May 10, 2019 (10:34 am)

    How kind of someone to call in a welfare check on an individual. Thank you for that. My biggest fear is not being found if I pass away by myself. 

    • WSB May 10, 2019 (10:50 am)

      We hear calls like that a lot. All sorts of reasons. Someone didn’t show up for work, or mail piled up, or rent wasn’t paid, or … Anyway, continuing to update. SFD’s PIO was there but she’s holding off on her briefing because apparently SPD is sending one too.

  • D-Mom May 10, 2019 (10:42 am)

    Avoid the area. Both directions of traffic diverted onto Henderson and 34th, which are narrow roads, meaning people are waiting a long time to get through. Go further east and use Barton or the busier streets. 

    • 34th mom May 10, 2019 (11:03 am)

      Yes and there are 17 children under the age of 12 on 34th between Henderson and Barton where everyone is driving so please SLOW DOWN. 

      • momosmom May 10, 2019 (11:19 am)

        Maybe times like today where there is an emergency and some one lost their life and there is more traffic than usual on your street it would be best to have the 17 kids stay in their yards to play, I know I am doing just that.

        • WS Parent May 10, 2019 (7:28 pm)

          Locking up children in your yard in not a productive way to handle speeding drivers and not possible for school aged children. My child had a field trip today which they walked to a local park through the neighborhood. It’s really not too much to ask for people to slow down so another life isn’t lost. 

        • Nonya May 11, 2019 (11:48 am)

          Judging and telling people what to do is really not helping anything, is it? These kids may have already been out and about and not known there was something going on in that area. I really feel that the judging and trolling needs to stop. It is not okay, just because you are talking to someone online and not in person doesn’t mean you should feel the need to be anything less than nice and supportive. 

  • Sophia May 10, 2019 (10:45 am)

    Thanks for this!! I saw the many flashing lights and bypassed. Now I’m hearing lots of helicopters.

    • WSB May 10, 2019 (10:46 am)

      One helicopter. TV. Not much to see from the sky, really, aside from “wow, that’s a lot of SFD vehicles.”

  • West Seattle neighbor May 10, 2019 (10:46 am)

    Helicopter hovering above the area now…

  • chan7878 May 10, 2019 (10:58 am)

    I live on 34th between trenton and henderson road backed up people yelling and swearing! please people i know its frustrating but at least the sun is out. Hope everyone else is going to be ok….thanks for quick update we heard tons of sirens and then saw post. 

  • Pilsner May 10, 2019 (11:29 am)

    I know this wasnt the case here, as the occifers had no idea what they were getting into. But if you see someone incapacitated, and you suspect it’s the result of a toxic enviroment, DO NOT try to retrieve them.Again not what happened here, but I just wanted to put that out there.

  • JTK May 10, 2019 (11:33 am)

    It’s awesome that the helicopter is here spreading around a toxin if it is airborne!  They said to keep windows and doors shut as a precaution and you have a flying nosey tv helicopter flying toxins around.  Super smart. I live near Trenton and 30th and you would think 20 bombs went off for the amount of helicopters and police and fire that are here.  Please update as as soon as you can as to the substance and if doors and windows should be “shut” for sure.   People literally have no respect for the people that live in that building or the surrounding area.   The helicopters are unnecessary esp for this long.  

    • TSR May 10, 2019 (12:22 pm)

      It’s amazing that you can feel the wind coming off the rotors, blowing into the apartment, blowing whatever is in the apartment out of it, and spreading it around the neighborhood.

      • Suds May 10, 2019 (5:55 pm)

        You’re being sarcastic, right? I sure hope so, because it’s physically impossible for the rotor wash to create the level of disturbance down to ground level from the altitude that they’re at (and required to remain at) to do any kind of distribution of vapors that you’re referring to. This level of paranoia isn’t healthy. 

        • JTK May 10, 2019 (8:11 pm)

          WOW,   You just called me CRAZY, ……. what if I am only actually holding on by a thread, and the words you just said, sent me over the edge to suicide.  Watch your mouth and treat people with respect.  I was there and the helicopters were flying VERY low.  No one knew exactly what this stuff was, AND it was windy at the time, from actual Mother Nature…..I was just being CAUTIOUS because of children and pets in the area.  Also, if you looked up what those two chemicals make…. it’s NOT good…. I hope you feel good about putting others down….. maybe think twice and be kind to people…. everyone you meet is fighting a battle…. and yes, I am cautious, I’m NOT crazy… but thanks.And thanks to WSB for letting this comment from SUDS go through….. because it made me feel like crap, even though i did nothing wrong…. everyone has their opinion and “worries”  Thanks for making my evening, JERK.

          • SUDS May 13, 2019 (3:19 pm)

            Uh, I don’t believe I said that at all.

  • cburns May 10, 2019 (11:35 am)

    I just came to post something about getting whiffs of ammonia through my
    open office window near 37th & Rose Street — and see the recent
    update about the source of the hazmat issue. I do hope all is going okay for those  closer to the incident, must be quite strong.

  • 35this35mph May 10, 2019 (11:47 am)

    Bleach + ammonia= deadly poison. Sorry for the woman who died. Hope the responding officers are unscathed.  

  • Mrsjonesb May 10, 2019 (1:45 pm)

    This is really really scary and from personal experience, could happen to almost anyone. First off, I’m sorry that this person died from this, as well as the officers that unsuspectedly walked into the situation to help the person, and could’ve died quite easily from the fumes as well. My thoughts are with everyone involved! Second, unless you had a strong education in chemistry, it can happen easily with normal cleaning products + anything containing ammonia..etc. (I don’t know if I just slept through the class or it just didn’t stick with me in my chemistry education in Montana…which hasn’t had a very high rating in the nation..etc) About 15 years ago, I lived in an apartment by Beach Drive. I was cleaning my cat’s box really well, with my husband sitting nearby. I poured bleach into it, and it started to smoke. I thought out loud, “how strange! That’s weird! Why’s it smoking?!” And if my husband hadn’t heard my exclaim that, and hadn’t came rushing over to grab the box from my hands, and hold it out the window, we both would’ve been in this exact situation.!! (I’m just guessing right now that it may have been that she didn’t know this could happen when combining the 2 chemicals!) Once again, my thoughts are with all involved!

  • ADJ May 10, 2019 (3:38 pm)

    I was just checking the camera in front of my house on 36th and Henderson and noticed a ridiculous amount of traffic going by. Now I know why. Are they still on 35th?

  • Yma May 10, 2019 (4:39 pm)

    Use cleaning products according to instructions and NEVER mix. My Dad saved the caregiver of my kid sister after a deadly mix of cleaning products ( inside & outside of the toilet). When it happens , it’s usually in the bathroom- small, confined space + the mix of stuff that’s used to clean.

  • Tricia May 10, 2019 (5:52 pm)

    Oh no.  “When bleach and ammonia are mixed you get a toxic combination. Mixing bleach and ammonia will create a chlorine gas that is incredibly dangerous, particularly in tight spaces like bathrooms.”

  • Debbie May 10, 2019 (6:13 pm)

    Outcome? How.long was apartment resident deceased?

    • WSB May 10, 2019 (9:00 pm)

      Don’t know, sorry. Would be up to Medical Examiner to determine that, and it’s not the sort of detail routinely released.

  • Jethro Marx May 11, 2019 (12:37 am)

    Let’s maybe wait for a coroner’s report before we decide the deceased was a victim of toxic gas, what? Chemistry is funny, in that it can kill you, but only under very specific conditions; we do not typically fall down dead after an incidental exposure to such gases.

    • Gyngersnap May 11, 2019 (10:21 am)

      I hope there is a release of some kind of information about this woman’s death. It seems like nobody cared about her. The “welfare check” was probably requested by whomever she was supposed to pay her rent to. This is all speculation, and it has affected some people, including myself, deeply. Please, no mean or sarcastic replies. Thank you.

      • Neighbor May 11, 2019 (10:30 pm)

        I live down the street. I fear this is a sweet woman I befriended just by seeing each other walking in the neighborhood. I will carry some guilt as I haven’t seen her in a few weeks. I don’t know if they will release a name, but if they do, I will know for certain. Rest In Peace neighbor. 

  • Kris May 11, 2019 (11:41 pm)

    Why does ammonia even need to exist?  It should be banned.

  • Gyngersnap May 12, 2019 (3:38 pm)

    I guess this is unofficial, but from talking to neighbors at the Bird, her name was Michelle and her death was a “chemical suicide.” Since it never made the paper or the news (that I know of), I am going to keep talking to people and posting whatever I find out.  Nobody’s death should be a “non-event.”

    • WSB May 13, 2019 (3:09 pm)

      This was anything but a “non-event” – for one, WSB is “the news” for 100,000 people, and we covered it. Citywide media did too (with both TV helicopters showing up at different times). The Medical Examiner has not yet released any name but I just checked with SPD and they confirm no foul play suspected, pending ME confirmation a likely case of death by suicide.

      ** If you or anyone you know is contemplating self-harm, the Crisis Connections 24-hour hotline is 866-4-CRISIS.

      • Gyngersnap May 14, 2019 (9:40 am)

        Sorry, was not criticizing WSB. Thank you for your coverage. I did not personally see or hear any coverage anywhere else and I looked for it. I don’t know how to get info from the medical examiner or the police, for that matter, so I was hoping to get a final ruling or whatever it is called. Thank you.

  • ScubaFrog May 12, 2019 (8:11 pm)

    I think ammonia and bleach are a deadly combination.  Regardless of how she died,  it’s very sad.  my condolences to her loved ones and friends.

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