West Seattle, Washington
As of 8 am there’s still no word from the Seattle Fire Department about the cause of the fire early this morning in the 10000 block of the alley between 40th and 41st SW. Though the fire was centered in one garage, there is damage to another, and an adjacent house appears to have some heat damage as well. As soon as there’s an update we’ll have it for you. Here’s some pictures of the damage taken at 7:45 this morning. Click here for our breaking news coverage from earlier. 10:12 AM UPDATE: SFD has updated its media info on the fire; spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen says investigators “have ruled the cause (as) undetermined.” Dollar estimate on the damage: $80,000.
(video added 1:42 am – this is looking toward the alley through bushes from 40th SW, close as we could get, you can see the flames’ glow and hear sirens and also hear, then see, a chainsaw crews were using)
ORIGINAL POST: First engine arriving in 10000 block of 40th SW to a “garage fire” call reported via radio a “fully involved” garage – so we’re headed that way to check it out. Two garages and one vehicle burning, according to a subsequent scanner broadcast. 1:29 AM UPDATE: Just back from the scene. At least one garage burned along the alley between 40th and 41st in the 10000 block (map). Huge flames when we arrived – even bigger before we got there, according to neighbors on two sides of that block – who told us they heard explosion-type noises shortly after the fire started (not uncommon). Here’s what else one neighbor about a block west told us:
No official info just yet so everything we report will be from what we saw at the scene and learned from witnesses. No injuries so far as we could tell – a medic unit was there and left empty. Uploading video momentarily – we couldn’t get too close to a burning garage on a narrow alley, obviously, but the flames were clearly visible between houses from a vantage point on 40th. Also note, 100th and 102nd were still blocked off from 40th to 41st when we left a few minutes ago. 1:48 AM UPDATE: The SFD media hotline confirms “two garages about 10 feet apart” burned, no injuries. Scanner traffic is still very active, so fire crews clearly will be there for quite some time. 2:18 AM UPDATE: Still monitoring the scanner; seems at least one other media crew just got there a short time ago, so you might see something on at least one of the early morning newscasts. Here’s a photo from nearby resident Kevin McClintic that shows how thick the smoke was in the air, even more than a block away:
One more clip from our video, more notable for the sound than the picture … as one engine backs up to switch locations, you can hear lots more in the distance – many more arrived even after we got to the scene:
We will update whenever there’s more official info on the damage and any possible cause.
We met Jan Seidel (left) and Loretta Kimball on Saturday, when we stopped by Saturday’s Arbor Heights Block Party to find out more about a new “community playground proposal” mentioned on the party-promoting flyer. They are the force behind a proposal to create a playground on a plot of Arbor Heights Community Church land just west of the church (map). It’s not just a church project; they’re pursuing a community partnership – read on for more of what we found out:Read More
New information today on the missing pugs we told you about yesterday, gone from their Arbor Heights home after a burglary — Southwest Precinct Sgt. Jeff Durden just called to say a witness who read about it on WSB has told police the dogs were definitely stolen – they were seen being loaded into a vehicle. Police are still working to see what kind of description of that vehicle they will be able to publicly release without jeopardizing the investigation. We’ll let you know when more information is available. 1:10 PM UPDATE: And here it is — Sgt. Durden says neighbors saw a dark blue SUV stopped near the house Monday afternoon around 2 pm, with a male driver and male passenger. They saw one of them come out of the home’s front yard, pick up the pugs, put them in the SUV, and drive off. They didn’t realize at the time that anything was wrong, so they didn’t call police until they read here about the burglary and missing dogs. They didn’t get a license plate, and not very much detail on the people in the SUV, except that one appeared to be in his late teens/early 20s, “dark complexion,” possibly Asian or Hispanic, close-cropped hair or shaven head. The police non-emergency number is 206/625-5011, or you can call 911 if you have a tip that needs immediate action.
We haven’t closely followed the Amanda Knox case, though she’s from West Seattle and her mom still lives here, because there’s a preponderance of places where you CAN find every last little detail; our last mention was back in January. However, Cami from Alki just tipped us that Knox’s family, including her mom Edda Mellas from Arbor Heights, did a rare interview this morning, on the Today Show, and sent the link (click the picture on the right side of the page to launch the clip, which starts with an update on the case before the video of the on-set interview). No stunning revelations so far as we could tell from watching.
Thanks to Jill for that photo of the lightning early this morning – she’s in Arbor Heights (which also had one of the best views of the lightning a few nights ago too), and you can see a few more pix on her Flickr page. Meanwhile, with tomorrow’s holiday, we’re all watching the forecast – today looks soggy but tomorrow and Saturday may be better — lots to do all three days, including the Seafair Pirates Landing at Alki on Saturday and the Alki Bathhouse art show/reception tonight (5-8 pm), with a chance to browse creations like this (thanks to Jana):
(thanks to Brian Pickart for that photo taken from west of The Junction; next one is from MargL)
… it’s lightning/thunder off to the south/southeast. The forecast mentioned there was a chance; if you have a view in that direction, you should get a pretty good show in the hours to come. We were just driving home from downtown (six thumbs up for “Wall-E”) and saw it quite clearly. 10:31 PM UPDATE: Added photographic proof – thanks so much to MargL in Arbor Heights for the pic! P.S. Here’s a pic of clouds moving in earlier tonight, before they got to lightning territory … thanks to Dan E for the sunset shot:
12:11 AM UPDATE: Looks like this has moved out of range … we were just out driving around for the weekly gas price survey and didn’t see any more flashes. Did get some more photos, though; will add them to this post shortly.
The STAR 101.5 “Teacher of the Week” promotion had another West Seattle winner today — congrats to Arbor Heights Elementary second-grade teacher Sally Shavey. This comes six weeks after Lafayette Elementary fifth-grade teacher Catherine Bloom won the same honor.
Not to harp too long on a theme, but this one just hit the inbox and seemed sharable:
There seems to be a theme going around with suspicious door-to-door sales people but just wanted to make another mention of Icon Security. At about 7:30 or so we had a young woman come to the door saying that she was from Icon. My husband answered the door and she asked it he was the “man of the house.” He said that he was and she then looked him over and said “you’re looking really good, I hope that your wife isn’t here.” He was rather taken aback especially considering he was wearing flannel pants and ratty old T-shirt. She then started asking about our security system and if it was wireless saying that they could offer us a better deal. He told her we were happy with our service and started closing the door and she left. I remembered that Icon has been mentioned on the blog before so I just thought I would say that they were out again. If these people are legitimate they really need to work on their sales pitch, they seem really sleazy. We called the police and reported this. We live in Arbor Heights.
It’s finally happening! The sidewalk on the south side of SW 104th next to Arbor Heights Elementary School is almost finished. Many thanks to the Arbor Heights PTSA, who have worked for several years with the city to make this happen!
The Arbor Heights sidewalk project was first mentioned here last November.
Report #2: As Manuel noted in his e-mail, the issue he is following isn’t technically in West Seattle, but certainly affects a lot of WS drivers “who use South Spokane Street to go to Costco or work.” He continued:
I wrote SDOT inquiring about the poor condition of the concrete panels at the railroad crossings down there. Over time they sunk several inches, and drivers had to slow way down. They have since fixed the eastbound panels, but the westbound panels are currently pretty bad. Anyway, just passing along a well-thought-out response from our city.
Read on for the full text of the response that Manuel received and forwarded:Read More
From “Trick” in Arbor Heights, who thought his pix might suit the lighter side of Crime Watch, once he survived the two-on-one staredown!
Thanks to Arbor Heights Elementary School teacher Mark Ahlness for these photos from last night’s Art Fair and Auction (silent-auction participants shown below) — he says it was an “incredible success”! More fundraisers are on our Events page (including tomorrow night’s Chief Sealth Tamale Dinner for music $).
Not only is it school-choice season (Seattle Public Schools‘ deadline is Friday), it’s school-auction season. The photo above is from the Our Lady of Guadalupe GAIN auction last night at SSCC, courtesy of a mysterious correspondent calling himself “Rock Steele, Man About Town.” Before showing you a few other pix he sent, we want to note that at least five other local schools have auctions in the next month: Schmitz Park Elementary at the Hilton downtown on March 1 (flyer here), Arbor Heights Co-op Preschool at Youngstown Arts Center on March 8, West Seattle High School PTSA dinner/auction at SSCC on March 14, Gatewood Elementary (kicking off a centennial celebration) at The Hall @ Fauntleroy (also on March 14), Pathfinder K-8 at SSCC on March 15, Madison Middle School PTSA at The Hall on March 22. Again, that’s just the next month; others are on the WSB Events Page, and if yours is missing, please let us know so we can add it. Now, those other photos from last night’s OLG event:Read More
It bears repeating, we share these e-mails about coyote sightings NOT to fan any flames of anti-coyote hysteria, but just to remind everyone that West Seattle is full of wildlife large and small, and if you think “well, not in my neighborhood,” think again. We’re going to try to save them to share in bunches, though, rather than one by one, unless there’s something truly urgent to report. First, Charles sent this yesterday:
We live in Arbor Heights and around 2 AM were awakened by the yips and yaps that are common to coyotes. I have heard them before when I was in Arizona, but never in West Seattle. Looked out the window, and 2 or 3 were running through our yard and down to the ravine that empties out at Seola Beach.
And today, Mary sent this:
My neighbors have been sending e-mail out this week about a coyote that has been seen on Maple Way in the Lincoln Park Annex area (the Annex is just two blocks north of the park). She/he just showed up in my back yard and was a good size ‘doggie’ and is not afraid of people. It appeared she was headed for the park since she trotted south along our easement. On occasion we have heard of one, usually this time of year but only one or two sightings. This one has been in our neighborhood for over a month now and is frequently out during the day.
Once again, here is our favorite official state link about co-existing with coyotes.
For those following this internationally publicized case — according to the P-I’s Big Blog, Arbor Heights resident Edda Mellas, mother of tabloid-featured Italy murder suspect Amanda Knox, gave her first major interview to ABCNEWS, airing this Friday night.
Just out of the inbox, from Meg:
Just wanted to let you know that my truck window was smashed outside my house (Marine View Dr SW, Arbor Heights), last Monday night. Our street has experienced a fairly regular stream of crime over the last year or so, so maybe someone else will benefit by seeing a note on the blog. (The installation of motion sensor security lights and alert neighbors are always welcome.)
Just a few simple words from the Arbor Heights family of Amanda Knox — but they had to put it out on a public relations press release service (PR Newswire), since the European media in particular is in a frenzy over this case. A judge in Italy ruled a few hours ago that Knox would remain in jail, along with the other suspects, while investigators continue to sort the case out. Interesting side note from this Times article on logistics assistance for Knox’s mother, who is now in Italy, to deal with what’s going on.
The city’s Neighborhood District Coordinator for West Seattle, Stan Lock, forwarded an alert about an unusual test in Arbor Heights (& White Center) next week:Read More
Story and video clip here. Meantime, this story says suspect Alfred Layton Jr. made a court appearance today, bail set at $250,000. King County Jail Lookup says he is still in jail; state court cases search says he has a record, three criminal “non-traffic” cases in 1999, one “civil harassment” case in 2001.