Neighbors’ fast action stops North Admiral post-explosion fire from spreading

What happened near 46th/Massachusetts in North Admiral around midnight sounds similar to what happened near 41st/Portland in Gatewood earlier this week. Terry sent photos and a note thanking neighbors for their heroism:

Big THANK YOU to all our neighbors in North Admiral who called 911 shortly before midnight last night and woke me and my husband to alert us about the fire on our property. There apparently was a loud explosion prior to the fire. Looking for the woman who turned on our garden hose and started to try to put out the flames before we were able to get out of the house – my husband took the hose from you but we were in such shock we were not able to properly thank you before you left. Kudos to the quick response from Seattle Fire and Police – the only damage appears to be to our landscaping.

20 Replies to "Neighbors' fast action stops North Admiral post-explosion fire from spreading"

  • Sillygoose July 21, 2023 (2:55 pm)

    Humm this sounds very familiar to the fires in Morgan/Seaview last summer.  First a loud bang then fire would erupt.  Why Why Why do this? 

  • Chuck Jacobs July 21, 2023 (3:48 pm)

    If you see a fire following an explosion,  make sure there’s no electricity involved before spraying water on it.

  • anonyme July 21, 2023 (3:49 pm)

    These fires are clearly intentional.  The perpetrators need to be found and put in prison.  Not counseling, not rehab, not home monitoring.  Prison.

  • RLV July 21, 2023 (4:13 pm)

    Then I didn’t imagine that boom?!  I’m so thankful for these neighbors who jumped into action and did what they could to help.  There’s been a lot of that in West Seattle this past week in particular. 

  • Chris July 21, 2023 (6:47 pm)

    There was big boom…like the 4th of July… plus some kind of fireworks down a few blocks from this address on Massachusetts around 9pm.   Sure glad did not start a fire.    We just do not understand why people do this stuff.

  • beaner66 July 21, 2023 (7:29 pm)

    This sounds similar to what happened at 41st and Portland Sunday at 11pm. I am so glad you had a rapid response from your neighbors… very scary how fast the fires all spread with everything so dry! Even when the damage is “minor”, the reality of how randomly and how quickly it all happened was jarring. Frightening. I am sorry you and your neighbors had to experience that. My Portland neighbors did the same here arriving with extinguishers, buckets of water, and stamping feet. (followed by hugs, which were needed and much appreciated!).We heard a loud car slow down, a strange whoosh sound, and then two explosions, the second was VERY LOUD and VERY BRIGHT. The blast sent burning debris that immediately started numerous small fires in a wide swath – from the parking strips on both sides of the street all the way to inches from my front  deck. I have nest videos from two neighbors, one with a clear shot of the vehicle that the device was thrown from, the two explosions,  and the immediate glow from the fires. We offered/provided this to SPD, SFD, and WSB. I wish the story had been more visible, and I hope that this story gets more notice to try to prevent this from happening again. Both scenarios could have ended far worse. Again, I am so sorry this happened to you. 

  • Ferns July 21, 2023 (8:39 pm)

    I hope these incidents are being reported and investigated with the urgency they deserve the way any domestic terrorist explosions would be. Also, If a critical slopes vegetation is burned down in the summer that could lead to a landslide in winter and people actually losing whole houses or their lives. In a more forested area this might just be called arson. I can’t believe the basically throwing Molotov cocktail bombs at peoples houses. Or whatever this louder more advanced version is. Bombs don’t seem like child’s play (like the old totally inappropriate cherry bomb in a school toilet “prank” in movies from the 80’s) when they’re meant to destroy homes and terrorize neighborhoods. The homeowners in this case are so lucky for good neighbors yet I imagine Everyone is really angry at whomever did this. And the parents that are not supervising them. My bet is it’s a bored teenager. 

    • Westyone July 21, 2023 (9:50 pm)

      I would think a thug(s) with an anger management problem and ‘issues’ is it work with this sick behavior.  I would imagine the perpetrator is quite proud of themselvesi and I don’t think it will stop.  It definitely needs to be addressed with the SPD on a deeper level.  And we need to watch carefully what’s going on in our neighborhoods and get additional cameras. You can place cameras on your rearview mirror that are low lux ( low light) that can easily track what’s going on. If a number of people on the same block do it, it should be pretty apparent who is doing this and then they can end up with the consequences (if they live through it) This is likely a HATE crime and Seattle/SPD takes that very seriously

  • Westseattle32 July 21, 2023 (9:36 pm)

    Did anyone notice the bystanders?  Behaviorally it seems very odd that someone would be standing there watching so close to the fire.It’s pretty well-known that the people that SET fires enjoy watching them so I wonder if you may have the perpetrators it in that picture? Think about motive as well.

    • Terry July 22, 2023 (7:34 am)

      Just for clarification, the person in the photo is a neighbor who called 911

      • Wrstseattle32 July 22, 2023 (9:15 am)

        Thank you for identifying the people in the photo as neighbors.  Probably not a great idea to stand that close to a fire that clearly has sparks flying in the air over them. .  glad to hear it is a neighbor

  • Becky July 21, 2023 (10:31 pm)

    Just heard another loud boom (I’m at 45th & Massachusetts). Guess I won’t be sleeping tonight.

  • beaner66 July 22, 2023 (2:06 am)

     The  explosive was thrown from this vehicle on Sunday night in Gatewood. One of the scorch marks from the fires. Others were closer to my deck and home.This is the only remnant of the device that I could find.

    • Westsiderez July 22, 2023 (9:22 am)

      Thank you for getting some photos to the blog. Can you tell what make up car that is? Did you check with any other neighbors for a video that might identify the occupants or license plates?  So I guess I will ask in this comment if anyone in the neighborhood can check their videos and see if they can further identify who is in the car.(age., race., the number of people, type of vehicle, license plate or anything else that can help catch them and get them prosecuted)  …. did you give the evidence to the police department?  Any possibility for fingerprints? Probably always good to pick it up with gloves in the hopes that fingerprints are on something where they can identify the thugs that did this

  • Simple preventive measures July 22, 2023 (6:37 am)

    We all know that this time of year it’s not rare to have the crap scared out of us with the random sporadic blast of a mortar out of no where. Anyone who’s rooted in this once fine West Seattle Soil knows that this has been the norm for at least the five decades of my life here. And this is why getting out there once a day or every other day to give your house/garage a good rinse down along with your trees and grass to prevent losing everything in seconds. Would u rather risk losing everything or pay a little extra on your water bill to prevent this. Especially if you live close to a neighbor who always goes all out on Independence Day if it’s your next door neighbor use their hose to do this better yet have them do it all together I did for my neighbors each July just cause I learned my lesson the hard way at 9 years old after accidently catching my neighbors parking patch on fire with a ground flower.  

    • anonyme July 22, 2023 (8:44 am)

      So, all of us naive simpletons (law-abiding taxpayers) should squander resources and pay higher bills to accommodate your inconsiderate and lawless behavior?  I have a better idea: make the lawbreakers pay for a change.  I know, I know, it’s not the Seattle tradition to demand accountability from anyone, but it just might work.  Your excuses are pathetic.

  • beaner66 July 22, 2023 (10:29 am)

    This was not a neighbor setting off a Whistling Pete. This was a random person who drove up, threw out an explosive and sped away. We were lucky that our fast acting neighbors helped us put out the fires before they spread further.  I don’t consider watering my house, garage and yard every day to be a “simple preventative measure”. I don’t want to live here if that is the case. It isn’t reasonable or practical  for us to routinely use (precious) water this way.  I do hear what you are saying, but this act had a different flavor to it, different intent. It wasn’t a reckless neighbor.  Am I the only one who is a bit freaked out by this? 

  • gebee July 22, 2023 (11:59 am)

    This is bordering on deliberate arson. My advice is to talk to your insurance agency and increase your home insurance. They might also be able to refer you to specialists regarding analyzing videos and pictures. Be strong neighbors in Gatewood and North Admiral. Dont let yourself being driven out of your neighborhoods.

  • ArborRes July 22, 2023 (5:48 pm)

    For the 11 years that I have lived in Arbor Heights, I have not seen any evidence that the police or fire department takes fireworks seriously, regardless of the scale or the frequency of the activity, even with repeat and known offenders.  I have complained by phone and in writing numerous times, to no avail.  It seems to be a pattern of criminal recklessness and the absence of any accountability that is growing and pervasive in the city. In this case, I am so relieved to hear that nothing more dire happened in this instance.

  • Lisa July 23, 2023 (3:34 pm)

    I’m thankful for everyone that called 911 and helped. It was truly terrifying to see 50 ft flames so close to our neighbors home and ours. I’m grateful to station #29 for their quick response in putting out the fire. Our garden hose was useless. I really hope SFD and SPD fully investigate this incident and the other one. They have been sent videos of the incident and possible people of interest. Everyone has cameras these days so I’m hoping everyone in the area checks their footage at that time to look for anything unusual. It was at approximately 11:50pm on Thursday July 20th. Next time it might cause a house fire or a fatality. 

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