UPDATE: 2-alarm fire at 3295 SW Avalon Way damages roof and apartments, with black smoke visible for miles

6:27 PM: Big Seattle Fire response heading for 3295 SW Avalon Way. That’s a mixed-use building on the southeast corner of 35th/Avalon. SFD says the fire’s on the roof. Updates to come.

6:34 PM: Kevin Freitas shares this image:

6:39 PM: Firefighters report the fire is under control. No word yet if anyone’s hurt. The smoke’s visible for miles around – we have reports from Beacon Hill to Bainbridge. This photo is from Hollie:

Video from Tomasz:

This photo is from a texter, in case you can’t place which building it is – it’s the one with the unoccupied commercial space (formerly a dental office) at ground level.

6:47 PM: The smoke has dissipated now, according to our crew at the scene, as firefighters continue working to finish putting it out. SFD meantime called a second alarm to help. (added) Cindy Gammon recorded what it sounded like as reinforcements rushed in:

Kevin Freitas has a time-lapse of the smoke dissipating:

7:02 PM: While the fire is all but out, firefighters still have a lot to deal with – such as sprinklers. Here’s a closer view *from earlier* emailed by Finnegan Liddell:

Thanks again to everyone who has texted, emailed, and tweeted photos. Here’s an aerial (drone) view from Eddie:


An SFD public-information officer has arrived at the scene so we should have some additional information soon.

7:22 PM: SFD’s Kristin Tinsley confirms no one was hurt. The fire was confined to the roof and top (6th) floor. Fighting it was complicated by the fact the standpipe they would normally tap into was right in the fire area. No indication of the cause yet. Only “hot spots” remain. We have her briefing on video and will upload that when our crew’s back at HQ (update: here it is:)

7:35 PM: Firefighters just told dispatch that 10 units are “uninhabitable.”

(WSB photo)

8:41 PM: 10+ units are still on scene dealing with the aftermath.

(Another aerial view from Eddie)

ADDED 9:33 AM: From SFD spokesperson Tinsley via email: “Fire investigators have ruled the cause of the West Seattle 2-alarm fire ‘undetermined’ due to multiple possible ignition sources. Total estimated loss is $500,000 from fire damage to the roof and heavy water damage on roof and top floor.”

40 Replies to "UPDATE: 2-alarm fire at 3295 SW Avalon Way damages roof and apartments, with black smoke visible for miles"

  • Andrew Eigenrauch April 3, 2021 (6:33 pm)

  • Porter Roth April 3, 2021 (6:33 pm)

  • Scott April 3, 2021 (6:33 pm)

    Huge flames on the roof. 

  • Neighbor April 3, 2021 (6:34 pm)

    Still going big, hope everyone is ok 

  • Kersti Muul April 3, 2021 (6:34 pm)

    Fully engulfed and can see from delridge

    • WSB April 3, 2021 (6:49 pm)

      The roof. NOT the building. Just to be clear. Not as bad as it briefly looked.

  • Bill April 3, 2021 (6:34 pm)

    Hope everyone is ok

  • Jenny April 3, 2021 (6:34 pm)

    Huge roof fire.

  • BETSY HOFFMEISTER April 3, 2021 (6:36 pm)

    Smoke is visible from Greg Davis Park. Hope everyone is ok. 

  • e April 3, 2021 (6:37 pm)

    Saw the fire at least 5 minutes before we heard any sirens. Just saw the ladder go up now (a few people were on the roof). Looks like they made it in time.

  • Lauren April 3, 2021 (6:38 pm)

  • Concerned west seattlelite April 3, 2021 (6:55 pm)

    Was grabbing Starbucks when the fire broke. It looked MUCH worse than what I hope it turned out to be according to reporting here. Really hoping everyone is safe. I was there for the first 15-20 minutes and saw barely any evacuees. Lots of spectators though with their phones out… which felt strange. Definitely looked like a scene out of a movie, but real lives were (are?) at stakes. Again, praying no one was hurt. 

  • Playhouse April 3, 2021 (6:57 pm)

    I wonder if this was their rooftop gym or started in the firepit or BBQ they list on the terrace.

  • ~hockeywitch~ April 3, 2021 (6:59 pm)

    From 35th and Morgan

  • Carlo Beerman April 3, 2021 (7:06 pm)

    Ooh I used to live in that building. Wonder if one of the propane powered grills started that… and hope everyone’s ok.

  • Asil April 3, 2021 (7:06 pm)

    The C Line is coming up Genesee on the Left and the 50 is waiting to go…where? (On the right)this is the kind of situation west Seattle finds itself in when a major bridge repair is pushed back for more than a year, and an emergency happens during rush hour. ALL traffic has been directed through a residential neighborhood and that’s only going one way.

    • CAM April 3, 2021 (7:19 pm)

      A. It’s Saturday, no rush hour. B. I’m pretty sure we can all tolerate a little inconvenience when people’s homes are being destroyed. 

      • Regina April 3, 2021 (8:01 pm)

        Thank you CAM for reminding people of what’s really important. I live across the street and it does seem to be contained to the roof of the building but let’s not forget that there will be water damage to many people’s apartments inside that building. Most will be homeless tonight and maybe longer until the building is cleared for them to safely return. Most of the residents of the building will spend tonight and maybe longer not knowing what they’ve fully lost. 

        • Asil April 3, 2021 (8:58 pm)

          Not to shirk the danger of the situation, but the comment was in reference to the emergency responders needing to deal with this unnecessary  distraction on top of an actual emergency.

          I should have stated in my comment the obvious, that safety of the residents are top priority, but I thought it redundant with all the other comments echoing such statements.

          However, my comment is to note that this instance does bring to light a number of other unintended complications to the situation that may have potentially been avoided.

  • Christine Cranston April 3, 2021 (7:09 pm)

    I am so glad that no one is hurt. We saw it from near Hiawatha. Tons of smoke. 

  • Anonymous April 3, 2021 (7:09 pm)

    We reported to 911 first,I took this photo at 6:23 PM very concerned for the smoke that was first visible driving west up Avalon way.

    • ~Hockeywitch~ April 3, 2021 (7:21 pm)

      Glad you called it in… Could have got a lot worse had it not been caught when it did..A few nights ago, someone called in visible smoke at Grill Bird, because they blow out a lot of smoke when they shut down… Fire Dept came and checked it out, all was okay. Better to call it in and be wrong than to not and have it be something major..

  • Bill April 3, 2021 (8:09 pm)

    Anyone know which units are “uninhabitable”? Fire dispatch apparently stated 10 units were uninhabitable. Thanks. 

  • Wsearsd April 3, 2021 (8:09 pm)

    Would really like to help those people who live in the 10 uninhabitable units. We happened to be driving up Avalon before fire truck had arrived. So glad no one was injured. Thankful for SFD. 

    • WSB April 3, 2021 (8:21 pm)

      The Red Cross provides emergency help when called in, so supporting them is one way to help fire victims like these.

    • Alisha April 3, 2021 (8:46 pm)

      Yes. If anyone knows how we can help, I would like to do so too in any way I can. 

    • Kimberly Valadez April 3, 2021 (10:27 pm)

      Water damage extended down through 2nd floor units. Got the impression most residents will be displaced atleast temporarily

  • JCo April 3, 2021 (9:09 pm)

    We were at the corner when units arrive and it really looked so scary.  So glad no one was hurt and grateful for a strong response from Fire/Police/EMT. Please let WS know if there are tangible ways we can help the folks who will be displaced by this.

  • Derek April 3, 2021 (9:42 pm)

    Police didnt do anything. All SFD. 

    • WS April 3, 2021 (10:25 pm)

      What are there to support and control the scene. We’re you expecting them to do the Firefighters job.. I saw the police assist with making sure everyone was safe and out of harms way

    • Hammer in Hand April 3, 2021 (10:49 pm)

      Hmmm seems that SFD is the one with all the tools and the hoses hence the name FIRE deptwhy you all over SPD

    • Anne April 4, 2021 (7:41 am)

      I feel sorry for you. 

    • DJC April 4, 2021 (5:52 pm)

      actually Derek, the Police are a vital part of responses such as this.  This would include being First Responders, likely the first on scene before fire and medics.  They likely coordinated interior welfare checks and evacuation to ensure there were no trapped or injured persons.  They conducted traffic control, of the streets, surrounding area and building itself from pedestrians.  They also reduced potential theft and outside intrusion of the building from people who do not belong there.  This is just a very small amount of things that POLICE actually do.  Next time, don’t make such comments unless you actually know better.

  • Kimberly Valadez April 3, 2021 (10:24 pm)

    FIre Dept. Showed up en force. Did an amazing job. I counted atleast 8 trucks

  • WS April 3, 2021 (10:26 pm)

  • NAV April 3, 2021 (10:27 pm)

  • Scubafrog April 4, 2021 (12:53 pm)

    Absolutely terrifying scene.  Thanks for the Red Cross link, WSB – A great way to help displaced victims during a pandemic no less. 

  • yikes April 4, 2021 (5:13 pm)

    “It could have been a lot of things” is probably not a very comforting report for the people that live there.

  • Eddie April 4, 2021 (5:57 pm)

    “Fire investigators have ruled the cause of the West Seattle 2-alarm fire ‘undetermined’ due to multiple possible ignition sources.Sure doesn’t make me feel real confident in building safety if there are all these possible ignition sources floating around. Would hope the (very hardworking and appreciated) Fire Dept would be able to come up with a little more definitive answer, given a couple days to do their job..(BTW, I’m Eddie and have been for years, but not the drone footage Eddie in these comments.)

  • Ruth Anne April 7, 2021 (11:34 pm)

    I believe I was the first to call at 6:24 pm.  I saw a quick puff of rolling black smoke on the southeast corner of the roof as I was driving by.  A passerby told me she saw what she thought was an explosion on the southeast corner of the roof.  

Sorry, comment time is over.