Training fires planned this week at Upper Fauntleroy home awaiting demolition

(King County Assessor photo)

An Upper Fauntleroy house slated for demolition will be the site of “live fire training” first. Here’s the Seattle Fire Department announcement:

The Seattle Fire Department is conducting live-fire training exercises at a vacant home in the Fauntleroy neighborhood Wednesday, Nov. 1 through Friday, Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 8822 38th Ave. SW. Live-fire training is an opportunity for new and veteran firefighters to work with our officers and face real fire scenarios in a controlled setting. In the past week, firefighters went door-to-door to notify neighboring homes and businesses of potential impact.

Seattle Fire conducts this training exercise in the city and makes every effort to minimize the impact on the neighborhood. Portions of the roads within one block of 8822 38th Ave. SW. will be closed to ensure the safety of the community as well as the firefighters in training. Water in the immediate area may turn brown due to sediment in the pipes. The water is likely to clear on its own within 2-8 hours.

SFD recognizes that this training exercise may present inconveniences to your daily schedules and thanks those in the immediate vicinity for their patience and understanding. Seattle firefighters are among the best in the nation because of the training provided and support received from the community.

The department will have 4-6 fire evolutions spread throughout the day, each lasting 15-20 minutes. Residents will see smoke as controlled burns are set inside the vacant structure. All carpet, plastics and toxic synthetic materials have been removed along with required asbestos abatement. The training officers will set wood fires in a controlled method with safety officers on-hand during the exercises. This training is conducted under the strict regulations and rules of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. The smoke coming from the buildings during the live-fire is equivalent to smoke from a fireplace. After the fires are out, most of what you see coming from the structure is steam.

Neighbors are welcome to come and watch the live-fire training. Typical training days begin around 7 a.m. with the live-fire evolutions starting at 9 a.m. and lasting until around 3 p.m. with a break from 12-12:30 p.m. Any questions can be directed to SFD’s public information officer at

As for the future of this house post-training: Online records show the house, which is on a one-third-acre double lot, was sold to a developer earlier this year, and the site has a plan for six residences – two single-family homes, each with two accessory dwelling units, one attached, one detached, with offstreet parking for 10 vehicles. Local tree advocates, meantime, have been monitoring the plan because of at least one tall evergreen on the site.

22 Replies to "Training fires planned this week at Upper Fauntleroy home awaiting demolition"

  • 1994 October 30, 2023 (11:03 pm)

    How about signing up that red boarded up abandoned house near the West Seattle Bridge on ramp for a live fire training?  It has been an eyesore for a couple decades.

    • WSB October 30, 2023 (11:46 pm)

      It’s a voluntary program and the property owner has to volunteer. Also, a demolition permit has to be already issued; that one doesn’t have one currently pending.

      • UpperNeighbor October 31, 2023 (8:46 pm)

        Plus, my house is directly above it and please don’t.  

  • John Nuler October 30, 2023 (11:16 pm)

    Old timers might recognize the historical home of long time Fauntleroy YMCA Director and great Northwest Gymnast, Jack Henderson.  

    His was a wonderful Fauntleroy family with a fondly remembered legacy.”

    *Henderson, Jack: Met George Lewis at the YMCA in 1939. Did trampoline comedy with Paul Hurd. Served in the Navy during WWII. Coached at Fauntleroy YMCA in West Seattle in 1948 – included boys and girls. Diver at UW and did flying rings and tumbling. His wife played piano and his daughter Jean was a competitor. Also did Indian Clubs. Sponsored an exhibition group that conducted gymnastic performances from 1949 to 1970. He coached at Ingraham High School from 1981-1984 and at Stealth HS from 1985-86. He was Head Coach at Seattle University for a time. Executive at Boeing.”

  • Susan October 31, 2023 (12:15 am)

    Thank you, John Nuler, for pointing out that it will be the Henderson home. Offering the family home for firefighter training is one more example of their commitment to bettering the community. Jack Henderson was truly our “second father” in raising so many kids through the Fauntleroy Y.  I always adored his “Flapjack & Turner” trampoline skit at the annual Gym Show during his tenure directing the Fauntleroy Y!   And while Jack also was the director at Camp Colman, his wife Pat was the musical core, which continues to influence many to this day.  A very rich heritage there, for those of us who attended Camp every summer.  

  • anonyme October 31, 2023 (5:27 am)

    I fail to see how torching a perfectly good home betters the community.  How will the large tree be protected – or will it?  And what kind of developer’s nightmare will be put up in its place?

    • WSB October 31, 2023 (7:16 am)

      The last paragraph includes information on the redevelopment plan.

    • Mark October 31, 2023 (7:54 am)

      What the fire fighters learn here may save countless lives and homes in the future.

    • Anne October 31, 2023 (8:10 am)

      Wow- you really fail to see how this might better the community-you need it spelled out for you?  

    • Mellow Kitty October 31, 2023 (9:46 am)

      My dad was a firefighter for 17 years. This is how they practice and train new firefighters. It’s not uncommon and I’m thankful they do it. 

    • YT October 31, 2023 (11:42 am)

      The benefits seem pretty clear from the article.  In addition to firefighters getting practical training with a live structure fire, replacing this single home will then provide six homes.  Both of these are wins for the community. 

  • Jkp October 31, 2023 (8:04 am)

    Would be great if a photographer could go out and document this beautiful home before all of that charm is washed away. 🥲

  • Denden October 31, 2023 (10:33 am)

    I call it mindless entertainment but the web is full of information other than FACEBOOK or TIC_TOK.  Seattle Building Department has a website; HTTP s:// All the information and more about everything being built in Seattle.

  • Olivist October 31, 2023 (10:34 am)

    Can’t wait to see the boxes designed and built to last 50 years that will replace this 75 year old house that clearly could go on many years. So much for seattle govt statements about canopy cover and impermeable lot coverage.  I’d like to think they would try to salvage some materials, but unfortunately it’s cheaper to throw it away and use cheaper products. 

    • John Nuler October 31, 2023 (1:46 pm)

      I this either angry ignorance  or mis-information, Olivist?
       No houses are being “designed built to last  50 years.”
      Please share claims regarding Seattle government tree canopy as applies here and violations of impermeable loan coverage  with these plans?

      75 year old houses are also inefficient in many ways, from insulation, glazing, heating, ventilation, plumbing and sewer.  
      Houses of that era, and before, are  contaminated by toxic lead paint, asbestos, DDT, mercury and even  lead in the drinking water systems.  
      Then, there are the multiple seismic issues with older houses. 
      Do you know, Olivist, that nothing was recycled from the home?  
      And what would you suggest being salvaged?

      I imagine in the spirit of the Henderson Family, they would be pleased their home is being used for SFD training as well as their site being better utilized  with more density for a changing West Seattle.

      • Plumber October 31, 2023 (8:02 pm)

        As a certified WA state Plumber, I can assure you no residential homes even 100+ years old in this city have Lead Water Piping. Even the ones with original piping. Also, Plumbing, Sewer, Insulation, roofing ect is all much cheaper to update and upgrade than it is to build 6 new homes. The other issue with tearing down single family homes for 6 new homes is that the city is not digging up the roads to upsize and update the failing and crumbling sewer and water systems in these neighborhoods. Now a lot designed for one home has to dump the sewage and supply water for 6 homes. The repercussions of this are that our city sewer and water lines are overloaded resulting in greater issue that will one day soon effect entire streets and neighborhoods rather than one house in the name of greater density. My bet is all 6 homes will be listed at $750,000 or greater in this neighborhood. That’s not fixing any housing issues as it is far from affordable for average wage people. I make 6 figures, I’m in my twenties and I cannot afford any home on 38th with a water view. These homes are built cheap to look nice for buyers with huge incomes. I do just as much work in 100 year old homes as I do in townhomes built in the last twenty years, tells me all I need to know about modern build quality. 

        • John Nuler November 1, 2023 (12:34 am)

          Plumber, I sincerely hope you are playing a semantics game with your assurance of no “Lead Water Piping.  I wrote “lead in the drinking water systems,” which is correct. Not Lead Piping. Lead get into the water system through sweat joints of copper water lines as well as fixtures such as faucets I the potable lines.   Cauldrons of liquid hoy poured lead seals for cast iron drain pipe connections have been the standard until banned.  The mid fifties house my father built has all of these.  Nowadays we read reports of schools with the drinkin fountains turned off because of lead in the fixtures themselves.The leaded soldier was used and legal in copper water lines until it was banned in 1986. a plumber, you have been installing low flow toilets, shower heads and fixtures for 25 years.  The addition of water saving appliances like clothes washers and dishwashers means that Seattle uses about the same amount of water now as it did in the 1950s.   All new housing is required to include surface infiltration rain gardens for hard surface.  The house being replaced as most of that era has downspouts hardlined to the sanitary sewer which leads to sewage overflows into Puget Sound.  The city does indeed require redevelopers to make improvements to the city infrastructure which ,makes drivers angry with all of those street closures. The homes if sold at market rate, may be in $750K range, which is ‘affordable’ in the unaffordable Seattle market.  Those multiple ‘boxes’ will fulfill multiple families’ dreams of home ownership and inject new life into our community.Ironically, it is the city’s with strong neighborhood preservation that have become the most unaffordable, while those that have relaxed single family protections and increased density are seeing a gradual swing toward more affordability.

          • Plumber November 1, 2023 (6:34 am)

            You just don’t get it. I’m not going to dispute plumbing systems you researched on a few articles. I’ve been plumbing 10 years. I have the equivalent of a college degree in WA state plumbing code, water and waste systems, particularly residential structures and none of what you are citing is even close to true. Lead solder was at 0.5% or less and didn’t have health effects on anyone at least in residential copper systems. Gutters and downspouts tying into sewers doesn’t overflow into the sound, it flows through the overloaded and crumbling city sewer lines, then seeps into the sound because people like you think it’s actually reasonable from a utility or cost standpoint to build 6 expensive homes where the is only one expensive home. Maybe push the city to upgrade and upside its systems with your tax dollars rather than pushing them to build more houses that are the cause to the effect. It doesn’t create anything sustainable or affordable for the residents of the city. These paper box homes are built quick and cheap for maximum profit. 

      • Bill October 31, 2023 (8:10 pm)

        It is called – “a tax deduction”!And whenever did increasing population density result in improving a community?

  • Jeff November 1, 2023 (8:42 am)

    This home is so much nicer than mine… why is it being Demo’d?

  • nacho cheese November 2, 2023 (9:05 am)

    that’s nuts that they’re going to put 6 residences on that double lot, in that n’hood.  all these single family homes, and then this little village on this lot.  I guess whatever makes a buck.

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