UPDATE: Fire at Westwood house awaiting demolition

6:13 PM: Seattle Fire is arriving at what’s described as a residential fire in the basement of a house in the 9200 block of 25th SW [vicinity map]. Updates to come.

(Added: WSB photo)

6:18 PM: Firefighters are searching the other areas of the building after knocking down the basement fire.

6:20 PM: They’ve now told dispatch the fire is “tapped” (out). No injuries reported.

6:21 PM: City records show this house is slated for demolition – the permit was issued last November – with townhouses to replace it.

26 Replies to "UPDATE: Fire at Westwood house awaiting demolition"

  • S. Woodard April 4, 2022 (6:20 pm)

    MASSIVE response – multiple units – for a basement fire. Is it under control? 

    • WSB April 4, 2022 (6:45 pm)

      Always a large response for a residential fire. As noted above, it was extinguished fairly quickly.

  • Maureen Emerson April 4, 2022 (6:48 pm)

    Let it BURN! I am next door and SO fed up with the squatters, transients, and squalor! We’ve been here for 35 years. It’s a travesty to see what this once, family-oriented block has become. SHAME on you…Seattle City Council. Shame on you!!!

    • Brian April 4, 2022 (7:26 pm)

      Seems strange to want a house next door to you to burn down? Like speaking strictly from a self-preservation standpoint I would think you wouldn’t want that to happen. 

      • Maureen Emerson April 4, 2022 (9:11 pm)

        The new owners are going to demolish to build townhouses next door to where I’ve been since 1987. Burning stops the transients from peeling off the plywood from the already unsightly windows, cooking meth inside and stealing from all those living nearby…

    • Burger April 4, 2022 (7:30 pm)

      It’s disingenuous to pin all the problems our city is facing on the City Council.  That ignores greater societal issues that have nothing to do with politics. I wonder, who have you voted for in each election over the past 35 years? Or even the last 15? 

      • momosmom April 4, 2022 (7:58 pm)

        Just sayin’…It’s easy for you to say…you’re not the ones that have had to live next to this house.  And I’m assuming her comment was made in the heat of the moment. no pun attended.

    • Thank you Maureen April 4, 2022 (8:54 pm)

      I agree with Maureen.  What Maureen was really saying was how tired she is of living next to that house and by the way the brick house next to it caught on fire the week before.  Squatters etc. were living in it too.  Officials don’t say it but my guess is someone was inside cooking something or trying to keep warm.   Many of you know Seattle as it is now and for some reason find what the city is like okay.  I am a lifetime resident, born and raised and that’s going back a few years.  Seattle USED to be a wonderful place to live-no piles of homeless garbage, tents, car campers parked next to playgrounds.  Crime, well compared to now almost nonexistent.  And, believe me politics does play a very active role in break down of this city.  I wonder sometimes if it isn’t all by design.  Sound crazy, maybe not.  Destabilize, breakdown, make it over.  I don’t usually like to say anything on WSB because it brings out all of the critics with nasty things to say which is easy when you don’t have to look someone in the face.  I don’t live far from Maureen so I do know wherefore she speaks.

      • Maureen Emerson April 4, 2022 (9:07 pm)

        Exactly right. Thank you…and YES. I vote. I march AND I have fed the homeless and marginalized in the streets of Seattle for YEARS!! Walk in my shoes…before the rest of you judge. ADDICTION is the issue. It NEEDS to be addressed!!! County detox is defunded…where IS the REAL help for these people????

      • Sigh April 5, 2022 (6:26 am)

        Statistically, crime is lower now than it has been in recent years, and far lower than it was in past decades.  The Seattle of yore that you remember is seen through rose-colored glasses.  It’s safer now than it ever has been.  Yes, compared to other cities crime in Seattle has always been practically non-existent, but comparing Seattle to Seattle you’re living in the low-crime era now.  The difference between now and back then is that housing prices have forced more people onto the streets, and some media (Fox News and Sinclair) have decided to continuously push a narrative that crime is terrible here.  You see more poor people, yes.  But factually speaking, crime is down.

        • Pessoa April 5, 2022 (11:21 am)

          A bit misleading, though.  Seattle has one of the worst property crime rankings of any major metropolitan area, worse than many cities that one would expect Seattle would outperform.   I’m not sure if it is some collectivist tradition, but it’s one of the most baffling things I’ve encountered since moving here – this “your stuff is my stuff” mentality.   

        • wscommuter April 5, 2022 (11:40 am)

          Please provide data to back up your claim.  I’m always open to be proven wrong, but the information I have seen says that property crimes, theft and vandalism offenses, etc. are all up dramatically.  Certainly the number of shootings this year alone are above average.  I take your point about conservative media driving an hysterical narrative – but setting that aside, I think you’re mistaken about crime data.  And if so, we should deal in reality.  I’m all for increased funding shelter, food, treatment, etc., but the impacts of squalor and addiction should be as unacceptable for those suffering in it as it is for those of us who have to deal with it.  

        • kD April 5, 2022 (6:34 pm)

          Yeah. Just like the NYT says the economy is booming too!  Uh huh. 

  • Auntie April 4, 2022 (9:05 pm)

    Let’s not forget the owners of these properties that let them sit empty, unmaintained, no security. If it has been “scheduled for demolition” then why wasn’t it done? There are any number of properties like this around – one in my neighborhood that has been broken into numerous times and still stands, just waiting for an accident to happen. Then we get to the city’s role – investigating and enforcing code violations. Plenty of blame to go around.

    • Eric1 April 4, 2022 (10:32 pm)

      LOL Auntie.  You should ask the city why it DOESN”T issue permits to simply demolish homes people don’t want.  They tell you it is to preserve “housing” in the city but in reality it is just to preserve tax revenue. The city will only let you demolish a home if you have a newer and better home approved for construction (they want their tax $$$) and if you ever applied for a permit in Seattle, that can take a while.  If the city was truly interested in housing people, it would make deals to reduce taxes for keeping people housed.  Did you notice during the pandemic when the city deemed that you can’t evict people, they never once put a dime of city money forward by reducing the tax burden on homes where residents were behind on payments?  Similarly, if I had a empty home I couldn’t upkeep, they would rather burden my neighbors with blight  than lose any tax dollars by allowing demolition of the building. If they let it be an empty lot, they don’t know when, if ever, a house will be built to provide tax income. With the blight, comes the incentive to build something better for more tax $$$.  Aren’t you advocating “rebuilding” the blight? Wondering how to get the owners to build faster to remove the blight? You are playing into the city’s hand.  But if there was an empty grass lot children could play in, fewer people would complain; in fact the neighbors might like it and advocate that the lot remain empty, reducing tax dollars.  Cynical – yes – but I am not wrong.

      • WSB April 4, 2022 (10:59 pm)

        As noted above, the owner of this house has had a demolition permit for four months. And it’s far from the only vacant building for which a permit has been granted but not utilized. The eyesore ex-strip mall across from West Seattle Nursery, for example – demolition permit issued more than a year and a half ago.

        • Sigh April 5, 2022 (6:31 am)

          Half the block on the west side of 15th between Barton and Henderson (behind the Salvation Army) was issued demo permits back in 2016.  Everyone living in the houses was kicked out, and the houses were boarded up.  The furthest south one was then sold a couple years later (buyer didn’t demo it, but just renovated and re-sold it).  The rest are still sitting empty years later, with no plans to build as far as I can tell.  

          • westsea April 5, 2022 (9:39 am)

            Interesting. I had no idea that it could be difficult to get approval to tear down a house that is on your own property. 

      • Maureen Emerson April 5, 2022 (4:49 pm)

        I can tell you that in regards to this particular property, I have spoken to the developer about just this very thing! He told me MONTHS ago that they had all permits in place, just needed to do the rat abatement and asbestos abatement and would begin demolition within the next 2 weeks…and here we are…

    • snowskier April 5, 2022 (11:10 am)

      I think you’re missing the role of the various city departments in approving various construction permits to allow projects to proceed.  If you live in Burien, it’s about 6-8 weeks for permits while the same ones in Seattle take well over a year.  This is the city’s fault with the disorganization in its various departments.As for why Maureen would want the fire/demolition to proceed.  Remember the old mini mart next to the Beveridge place park that the city purchased and has waited years to expand into a park.  They tore down the structure because an empty slab doesn’t provide a place for squatting and doing meth.  Same thing with the junkie house across from the Lincoln Park upper lot that suffered a fire and continued as a drug den until it was torn down.  Both parcels are now blank foundations awaiting construction but without criminal activity, fires, etc on the premises. 

  • B April 5, 2022 (9:49 am)

    These homes were demolished in 2021 and building permits were recently issued. The Salvation Army homes were definitely full of squatters and you could see people going in and out all the time. I’m looking forward to seeing the land being put back in use with Habitat for Humanity. 

    • sigh April 5, 2022 (10:20 am)

      There were people living in all of them before the demo permits were issued.  Those people were kicked out and the houses were boarded up.  Squatters only appeared during the 5 years they were sitting idle with demo permits in hand.  Glad to hear there’s going to be some development there, but I still don’t understand what the point is of getting a demo permit just to leave your building vacant for 5 years.

  • Bell April 6, 2022 (7:54 pm)

    Sigh, what you are saying is simply not true. Seattle crime is up 20% in the last year alone. And it’s the highest it’s been in 14 years. Not sure where you are getting you info from…

  • T April 7, 2022 (10:02 pm)

    I lived next to a house like this. Owner after owner was denied a tear down permit. It has sat empty for over two years. Called repeated for mental health crisis inside of the house as well as people in my own yard peeking in my windows(I have daughters) People peeing and pooping in the alley and next to our parked cars. Had a wood box full of s**t and tp thrown out of the window that splattered my bedroom wall. House is still there, waiting for the a-hole developer to purchase the property next door after that owner passes.Owner flat out said he doesn’t care what issues he causes here because he gets to go back home with his money( summarized by overheard cellphone conversation)

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