West Seattle, Washington
10;48 PM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is arriving in the 2200 block of Alki Avenue SW [map] for what’s described as a basement fire at an apartment building. One person in the building and one firefighter are reported in need of medical treatment.
10:51 PM: The fire is reported to be under control.
10:55 PM: A third person is reported hurt. As a result, more units are being sent as this is now classified as a “multiple casualty incident.”
11:02 PM: Alki Avenue is closed both ways at the fire scene. Firefighters have just told dispatch four people are injured – three civilians “red” (more serious), and the firefighter “yellow” (not major).
11:28 PM: SFD says the fire is out and that three people were treated, all in stable condition, including the firefighter, who’s being taken to a hospital. Some units are being dismissed from the scene.
1:48 AM: The cause is under investigation. We’ll update with whatever we find out about it, and the victims, later today.
11:24 AM: Seattle Fire has published this update on its Fireline site:
Last night at 10:34 p.m., the Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Alarm Center received 911 calls reporting smoke coming from an apartment building at the 2200 block of Alki Ave. SW. Ladder 11 was the first unit on scene and found smoke coming from a basement unit. As firefighters made their way to the fire room, they found the resident, a 27-year-old male, in the hallway. He was able to safely evacuate out of the building where paramedics provided medical care. He was in stable condition, but declined transportation to a hospital.
Crews were able to get water on the fire and search the home within ten minutes of arriving on scene. Smoke traveled throughout the building, leading firefighters to aid a 93-year-old, non-ambulatory lady to evacuate as a safety precaution. Paramedics evaluated her at the scene, determined she was in stable condition and did not require transportation to a hospital.
One firefighter sustained injuries from the fire, but is in stable condition. Paramedics transported them to a hospital for additional medical care.
By 11: 24 p.m., the fire was fully extinguished. Though crews remained on scene to ventilate the building to ensure it was safe for residents to return to their homes. Firefighters also assisted the elderly lady to get back home.
Investigators rule the fire was accidental and caused by food-on-stove that ignited, then extended to the rest of the kitchen. Estimated loss is $50,000.
Safety tip: Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in homes.
A student robotics team with West Seattle members has just scored big in regional competition – here’s the report from a Skunk Works Robotics 1983 supporter:
The Skunk Works Robotics Team 1983 had an impressive showing at the Pacific Northwest FIRST Robotics District Championships in Cheney, WA last weekend and secured a spot to compete in the FIRST Championship world competition in Houston, Texas on April 19-22!
In 2022, the City of Houston hosted the largest FIRST Championship event to date, with 36,000 attendees from more than 50 countries, and they anticipate this year’s event to be even bigger. FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through inclusive, team-based robotics programs. Skunk Works Robotics Team 1983 is made up of 30 students, all of whom are in 8th to 10th grade and come from various areas of King County such as West Seattle, White Center, Burien, and more.
At the District Championship competition last weekend, Skunk Works Robotics was added as a 4th team to the #1 ranked alliance and ended the weekend with the following results:
– Secured Skunk Works Robotics Team 1983 position at the World Competition in Houston.
– Tied a world record score of 192 points in one match (193 is a perfect game).
– Received the coveted Excellence in Engineering Award.
– Won the District Championship (with our alliance teams – this is not a standalone win).
– Ranked 14th in the FIRST Pacific Northwest district (made up of Washington, Alaska and Oregon).
In addition, at the recent Sammamish district event Skunk Works 1983 received the Gracious Professionalism Award, a prestigious honor that recognizes teams that not only compete hard on the field but also help other teams and schools by sharing their knowledge and resources.
This is a remarkable accomplishment for the team this year because over 80% of the students are rookies. This team has been slowly rebuilding after the pandemic – and coverage from local media, such as West Seattle Blog, has helped tremendously with fundraising and to reach prospective new students and families.
The team meets in a location provided by the Highline School District and will hold an open house down the road, for families interested in learning more about opportunities for students in 9th – 11th grade to learn software programming, CAD design, marketing/business planning, building electronics, and part fabrication. Visit www.skunkworks1983.com to learn more.
Seattle Public Utilities workers are expected to return tomorrow to 45th SW, where Fauntleroy Creek – one of our city’s few salmon-bearing streams – goes under the street in a culvert that’s currently clogged. Creek stewards have been keeping us up to date on efforts to unclog it, as the backup has led to ponding.
Here’s what SPU has to say about what’s going on:
Three weeks ago, when water started to pond upstream, SPU investigated and determined that the culvert was mostly blocked with debris. During this time, SPU has been assessing repair options and actively monitoring and evaluating the culvert and upstream conditions. As soon as (tomorrow), SPU will use a pump and bypass system to attempt to lower the water level upstream of the culvert to better assess conditions in the culvert. During this temporary work, you can expect periodic noise from the pumping equipment and slower traffic in the work area. This work would occur during daytime hours. SPU will continue to perform work at the culvert to eliminate the blockage and may change strategies depending on the culvert and weather conditions.
The culvert needs to be replaced – as we’ve previously reported – and SPU says it’s currently “in the process of developing a design,” but because “there are requirements from State and Federal agencies that must be met and reviewed during the culvert’s design process … the design will not be completed for several years, with construction anticipated to start in summer 2026.” You can see the preliminary design concept on the project website.
Even if you don’t fish, the scenery might be reason enough to catch the Fly Fishing Film Tour‘s 2023 West Seattle stop. It’s this Thursday (April 13th), 7 pm at the Admiral Theater (2343 California SW), hosted by West Seattle’s own fly-fishing specialists at Emerald Water Anglers (WSB sponsor). We’re told EWA proprietor Dave McCoy is featured in one of this year’s films! You’re invited to stop by EWA’s gear/apparel shop in The Junction (4502 42nd SW) before Thursday’s screening, “as we will be having some activities to celebrate all things fly fishing.” And you can get your ticket(s) in advance via The Admiral’s website.
Another date for your spring calendar: The West Seattle Bee Festival is returning this year as a full-fledged community celebration, on Saturday, May 20th, in and around High Point Commons Park/Amphitheater and the Bee Garden [map]. Here’s what you’ll find that day, as announced by organizers:
The Bee Festival is back and everyone is invited! The fun starts at 9:30 AM and will last until 3:00 PM on Saturday, May 20th so make sure to put this on your calendar! Below are some of the exciting programs and activities already planned with more to come! Be sure to grab a brochure at our information booth on Lanham Place near Graham Street during the festivities for more information!
Buzz Run – 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM. The trail will start at the Bee Garden and will loop you around the hill to the finish hive. A special prize if you’re the first person to make your way back! If you joined us last year for the run, that pesky Bee Gnome trapped some of our bee friends in jars again and we need to save them! Along the running route, there will be jars filled with bees hidden in Commons Park for you to save. The person that saves the most bees and returns them back to the hive gets a special prize. If you find the Bee Gnome and bring it back to the hive, you will also get a special prize!
Community Clean Up – 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM. We partnered with Seattle One Day of Service to provide the best volunteering opportunities for you here at High Point! We’ll be cleaning up the community one block at a time, but you are also invited to help if you don’t want to register! Stop by the volunteer tent to pick up a picker and trash bag and help our community be squeaky clean. If you do register with Seattle One Day of Service, you’ll get a nifty T-Shirt provided from the city. More information on registration coming soon.
Bee Festival – 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Ella Bella Bee will do a performance at the amphitheater and will be on stilts to pass out seeds during the day. Seattle Rec’N’The Streets and UPower will take over Commons park for activities and yard games along with 20 other organizations from Seattle talking about environmental and bee-focused information. Want to see a fire truck up close? Fire Station 37 will attend the Bee Festival for you to ask questions! Puget Sound Beekeepers Association will be on site with their honey near the Bee Garden!
Here’s some backstory on the West Seattle Bee Garden, founded 10 years ago.
That’s the stairway between 37th and 38th SW at SW Findlay, recently renovated. It’s one of seven stairway projects in West Seattle scheduled for 2023-2024, according to SDOT‘s Greg Funk. We checked in with him after reader Desiree emailed to report that she’d spotted a notice for one of the upcoming projects, for Bonair at Halleck (here’s the notice). Funk says work should start in mid-to-late summer because right now they’re “in the process of getting a power pole moved before we can start. Other West Seattle stairway projects ahead for 2023-2024:
California Dr SW-SW Cambridge (40% completed)
SW Hudson St-40th Ave SW (Rail upgrade only. Estimated start Nov-Dec)
50th Ave SW And SW Admiral Way (2024; notice)
21st Ave SW & SW Dakota St (2024; notice)
SW Roxbury and Marine View Dr SW (2024; notice)
The stairway-maintenance webpage – which Funk says will be updated with these projects soon – notes that the city has more than 500 stairways in all.
1:05 PM: Thanks for the tip. SFD is at the Cottage Grove Commons supportive-housing building, 5444 Delridge Way SW, for a hazmat response because of what they’re calling a “strong odor” from one of the units. SPD has northbound Delridge Way blocked between Brandon and Findlay as a result. Updates to come.
1:14 PM: Now police are blocking both directions of Delridge.
1:25 PM: Our crew is at the scene to find out more. So far that’s still all SFD is saying – there’s a strong smell emanating from one of the apartments, and the hazmat responders are strategizing what to do next – they’re not even in their protective gear yet so far as we can see.
1:48 PM: That has since changed.
We’ve spoken again with SFD and SPD on scene. As a commenter notes, this involved a resident mixing chemicals in the toilet of his unit, which he apparently has done before, believing he is extracting gold from rocks. The resident isn’t home now because, SFD says, he has been transported to Harborview for an involuntary evaluation. Hazmat responders have just gone into the apartment to try to figure out how to safely address the situation so there is no health or fire risk to anyone else.
2:07 PM: Hazmat responders have just told dispatch that their evaluation shows no imminent hazard, so they’re coming back out.
2:30 PM: The response has been reduced as a result.
2:45 PM: Dispatch has been told the street has reopened all ways.
ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo tells us that, after entry, “Our HazMat crews found multiple household cleaning products in sealed containers and determined it was not a hazard. Residents were allowed to return to their homes shortly after.”
By Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
West Seattle neighbors, community groups, school leaders and law enforcement trainees gathered on Wednesday night at Denny International Middle School for a town hall discussion focused on prevention of underage substance abuse.
The event’s keynote speaker was expert Dr. Kevin Haggerty, Emeritus Professor for Prevention at the University of Washington, who talked about current challenges and opportunities ahead for families and community members, particularly for vaping and fentanyl.
Four notes in West Seattle Crime Watch – first, two followups:
MANSLAUGHTER SENTENCING: We reported in February on a plea bargain in a 2020 Delridge hit-run death. 40-year-old Steven J. Abrahamson now has been sentenced in the hit-run death of his longtime friend 34-year-old Derrick Lacomb. For first-degree manslaughter and hit-run, he will serve 9 1/2 years in prison, which is what prosecutors had recommended as part of the plea bargain.
CHARGES IN CHILD SEX ABUSE IMAGES CASE: Last month, we reported on an Upper Alki man arrested and accused of accessing child-sexual-abuse images online. He was charged less than two weeks later, but his case was filed under a misspelled surname so we didn’t find out about it until a reader tip. 37-year-old Robert M. Glass is charged with two felonies, Dealing in Depictions of Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct in the First Degree and one count of Possession of Depictions of Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct in the First Degree. As previously described in court documents, investigators were tipped by an internet service provider that a particular user had accessed these types of illegal images in April of last year; subsequent online tracing by detectives led them to Glass. He pleaded not guilty at arraignment last week and remains out of jail after posting bond on $50,000 bail.
Also – two reader reports:
DRIVEWAY THEFT: Elena says this was the third time in 10 days that vandals/thieves have targeted her home in the Fairmount Park area:
We recently had our rooftop charge box stolen from our driveway off the alley. We took it off to wash our car and two minutes after we left, this guy came through and loaded it up. It was noon on a Friday, broad daylight.
After reviewing all our ring camera footage from the week we saw this same van roll through our alley 3 different times last week. His own cargo box has stickers all over it and seems fairly recognizable. I’d love to get this image out there to see if anyone knows where he lives or has a shot of his license plate so I can contact police. At minimum just make sure people are looking out for him.
The initial tracking number for the police report is T230077618.
PACKAGE THIEF FOLLOWING DELIVERY TRUCK: Also in the Fairmount Park area, Ben reported a package thief following a delivery truck, pinching a package within minutes:
It’s a package thief that followed behind the Amazon truck, and swapped an empty box with my package 6 minutes after Amazon dropped it off.
This happened on Sunday.
Looking ahead to the rest of today/tonight:
POSTCARDS TO VOTERS: Long-distance political networking continues 10:30 am at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).
CHESS CLUB: Tuesdays 1:30-3 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon): “Are you looking for a new activity to keep your brain sharp and clear? The Senior Center Chess Club welcomes both novice and experienced players. Join us at 1:30 p.m. for lessons, short tutorials and chess for all levels of expertise. For more information, contact Conwell: email@example.com.”
FREE INDOOR PLAYSPACE: Free Toddler Gym weekday afternoons at the Salvation Army Center (9050 16th SW), ages 2-6, 3:30-5 pm.
DEMONSTRATION FOR BLACK LIVES: Long-running weekly sign-waving demonstration at 16th/Holden. 5-6 pm. Signs available if you don’t have your own.
EDIBLE LANDSCAPES WITH RAINWISE: Eligible for RainWise? You might be interested in this online presentation, 5:30-6:30 pm. Register here to attend.
SCRABBLE NIGHT: 6-10 pm, you can play Scrabble at The Missing Piece (9456 35th SW).
FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: Monthly board meeting at 7 pm – community always welcome. Attend in person at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW) or online – register here.
TRIVIA X 3: Three places where you can play Tuesday nights – 7 pm at Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW), 7 pm at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW), 7:30 and 8:30 pm Sporcle Pub Quiz at The Lodge (4209 SW Alaska).
BELLE OF THE BALLS BINGO: Play bingo with Cookie Couture at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 8 pm. Free, all ages!
You can look into the future any time via our event calendar – if you have something to include on it, please email info to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
6:02 AM: Good morning! It’s Tuesday, April 11th. the second weekday of spring break for Seattle Public Schools and others.
WEATHER & SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
The forecast for today: Showery, chance of thunderstorms, breezy, high in the upper 40s. Sunrise 6:28 am, sunset 7:53 pm.
SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS
High Bridge – the camera at the top:
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):
Low Bridge – looking southwestward toward it:
1st Ave. S. Bridge – another route across the river:
Highway 99: – the northbound side at Lander.
BRIDGE INFO: Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed to see if the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.
If you see a problem on the bridges/streets/paths/bay, please text or call us (when you can do it safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities). Thank you!