West Seattle, Washington
3:55 AM: Busy early morning for Seattle Fire – now they are at the scene of a small fire on the second floor of an apartment building in the 9200 block of 17th SW. (map) Via radio, they’re reporting they found what appears to be a deliberately set fire in a small trash can. It’s out; they’re calling for the SFD investigator.
3:59 AM: No injuries reported; the response is being downsized.
(CONTINUING TO ADD UPDATES as the day goes on)
1:25 AM: Seattle Fire has a “full response” arriving in the 2600 block of SW Andover. Updates to come.
1:32 AM: The address logged for the response is the West Seattle Health Club. “Light smoke” reported by fire crews searching inside. A gas meter is involved and an “ongoing gas leak” is reported.
1:37 AM: SFD says via Twitter that this started as an RV fire.
1:43 AM: Though RVs park nearby, generally west and north of the health club, this one hit the SW corner of the building, according to our crew who’s just arrived on scene.
1:57 AM: Photo added of the burned vehicle. No word yet on injuries but SFD’s public-information officer has just arrived on scene.
2:05 AM: You might recall that we covered an RV crash on the east side of the health club’s parking lot back in July; the building and its operations were not involved. Meantime, the gas leak remains the big lingering concern at the site right now.
All but four SFD units from the initial response are being dismissed.
2:21 AM: We’ve talked to SFD’s Kristin Tinsley. The gas is off now. She says (update) no one was treated for injuries. (Video added)
We don’t know yet how, or if, this will affect WSHC operations and will have to check back a little later in the morning. (If you get an update before we do, text/call our hotline – 206-293-6302.)
6:17 AM: Per texter the club is open but the pool is closed.
8:01 AM: As one commenter notes, the vehicle looks like a bus. However, RV is how SFD describes it, apparently more as a catch-all term for a rolling-residence type of vehicle. Meantime, the club posted this morning:
Well folks, another RV plows into the clubs property. This time it started a fire in the pool area and caused significant damage to the structure. We’ve been trying for months to have the RV encampment removed from Andover st. Please call the mayor’s office at 206 684 2489 and complain. We have to stop the unsafe conditions they bring to our club. Constant drug use, illegal dumping of garbage, and theft.
Unfortunately the pool will be closed until we can repair the damage. We will try to keep you posted on the reopening once we learn the extent of the damage.
We are also following up with SPD to see if they had contact with the driver, as SFD confirmed they did not.
8:42 AM: West Seattle Health Club has given us permission to publish its photos from the crash/fire aftermath:
“Enough is enough!” club management said in our exchange, vowing not to stop until they “get this resolved.”
12:20 PM: We are still waiting for responses to our followup questions for SPD. Meantime, Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office shares this report they just received from SFD:
The accidental fire occurred when the suspect of a shoplifting incident fled the scene in an approximately 15-passenger shuttle van and crashed the vehicle into the west exterior wall of the West Seattle Health Club’s pool building. The van collision damaged the exterior above-ground natural gas line. Fire from the van extended primarily to the exterior wall of the pool building. No injuries were reported. Damage is estimated at approximately $300,000.
2:26 PM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is headed for 2424 SW Andover, which is the address for the Nucor Steel plant. The report is a “room fire,” per dispatch. Updates to come.
2:29 PM: The first unit to report in says the problem involves “titanium dust from a printer.”
2:34 PM: Per SFD site command, monitored via scanner, “this is a known ongoing issue” and an onsite extinguisher has been “used to contain the fire.”
2:40 PM: The incident log shows all but three SFD units dismissed from the call. The response isn’t visible from outside the plant grounds.
6:33 AM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is arriving in the 6700 block of Beach Drive (map).
6:43 AM: Crews report they have “water on the fire,” which SFD says is in the attic, reporting that everyone is safely out of the house.
6:50 AM: Though the fire is reported to be relatively small, two more engines are being sent to keep it from spreading. The fire has just been declared “under control.”
7:01 AM: The fire’s now declared “tapped” and some units are being dismissed. Metro also has sent an alert that Route 37 is rerouted, since this area of Beach Drive has no outlet between the south end of Emma Schmitz Overlook and the north end of Lowman Beach.
7:12 AM: SFD confirms, no injuries. Their investigator has arrived to look into how the fire started.
7:26 AM: More units have been dismissed; 10 are still on the call, so Beach Drive in that area will remain blocked for a while longer.
1:35 PM UPDATE: SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley tells WSB, “Fire investigators ruled the fire as accidental and determined it started in the attic space. There were two potential sources of ignition, and not enough evidence to rule either option out. The fire was caused by either an overheated fireplace flue that ignited nearby materials, or overheated electrical wires. Estimated loss is $275,000.”
4:11 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a full response to the 10000 block of 47th SW for what’s described as a “room fire.”
4:23 PM: SFD says the fire is out and no injuries are reported. We have just arrived at the scene, which is on the long dead-end stub of 47th south of Fauntleroy.
4:31 PM: 47th is blocked at the scene until SFD clears out but that shouldn’t be long, they tell us. Also: SFD says damage primarily involved a computer desk.
7:26 PM: A “full response” is arriving at a house in the 9000 block of 17th SW [map]. First crews on scene are seeing “heavy smoke” from a basement window.
7:31 PM: Crews confirm a fire in the basement and have water on it.
7:35 PM: Texted photo added. SFD is searching the house – no word of injuries so far.
7:40 PM: The fire is declared “tapped.”
7:50 PM: Some units have been dismissed. But note that there’s SFD apparatus on both Barton and Henderson in the vicinity, so avoid the area.
8:15 PM: Firefighters at the scene tell us no one is hurt – no one was home when the fire started. Damage is mostly to “contents” in the basement. Cause is under investigation.
8:07 AM: Thanks for the texts/tweets/etc. Getting multiple reports of a power outage in multiple areas. Almost 3,000 customers per City Light map.
8:10 AM: There’s a “vault fire” call in the 1100 block of Alki.
8:15 AM: First crews on scene there are seeing “small amount of smoke” from a grate, per SFD.
8:20 AM: Alki Avenue is blocked by the fire response (here’s where that’s happening).
8:25 AM: Our crew is en route; we’re monitoring the fire per scanner in the meantime. The vault is underground in front of a five-story Alki condo building. Crews report the smoke has dissipated.
8:42 AM: Our crew has arrived and reports that traffic is blocked for about 100 yards either way. The fire scene is by Luna/Anchor Park. City Light is on scene too.
Per scanner, meantime, the SFD response is being downsized.
8:59 AM: Getting reports that at least some have their power back.
9:03 AM: Alki Avenue has reopened; SFD has completely closed out of the call. SCL map says the outage is down to 100 customers.
P.S. SCL blamed the fire on “a failed underground cable, which burned some of the insulation.”
11:56 AM: Thanks for the tips! A “full response” fire call in Arbor Heights, sent to a house near SW 97th and 31st SW [map], was quickly downsized, but several units are still on scene, so we’re on the way to find out more.
12:08 PM: This was a kitchen fire – but not a cooking fire. We’re told the stove, accidentally turned on, ignited some nearby items. Quickly extinguished; no one hurt.
6:25 PM: Neighbor Alan sent this photo of Lou the puppy, who he says was rescued by firefighters:
6:03 PM: A “full response” from Seattle Fire is arriving in High Point, at an apartment building in the 6000 block of Lanham [map]. More to come.
6:06 PM: Firefighters say it’s a kitchen fire; they’ll be ventilating.
6:19 PM: Added a photo from our crew at the scene, where they’ve confirmed the fire’s out. No one hurt.
Last night, we mentioned via Twitter a short-lived “brush fire with exposure,” so short-lived we didn’t head out to the scene at Fairmount and Stevens. But there’s more to the story. Today, neighbor Rosalie Miller sent photos and a report about the fire and what she found this morning:
I wanted to inform West Seattle residents that last night around 10 pm someone set an intentional fire across from our property. My husband was in the bedroom when he heard a car door close and moments later heard crackling sounds and saw flames and called the fire department.
The fire spread quickly through dry grass and foliage, approximately 10 x 20 feet before being extinguished. No one was injured. No property damage occurred although the fire stopped just short of the fence that encloses an adjacent property. This morning I found the casing from a firework called Ground Blossom fire bomb. I notified the fire department and they plan to add an addendum to their report. I sincerely hope that this was an isolated event. Glad to live in West Seattle where folk watch out for each other, and each other’s properties. Stay safe.
As noted in our second tweet, tipster Aaron told us neighbors had extinguished the fire. So we asked Rosalie about that. She replied, “We have a long hose that reached the street and we used it to extinguish the big flames while waiting for the fire department but there were still red hot embers present when the fire department got there and they finished the work and secured the perimeter around the fire location then left.”
3 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a “full response” to the Hill Crest Apartments in the 7500 block of 35th SW.
3:02 PM: First firefighters on scene aren’t seeing anything but are checking out an odor of smoke inside the building, possibly from a 4th-floor unit.
3:04 PM: This is now reported to be a kitchen fire. The response is being downsized.
3:19 PM: Ventilating now, reports @westseawx, whose photo we’ve added above (note that you’ll want to avoid northbound 35th in that area for a while, until the response clears).
As mentioned in our Saturday coverage of the Duwamish River Festival, we learned while there that a community meeting is planned this Wednesday for updates on the June 26th barge fire. The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition has organized the meeting for 6:30-8:30 pm Wednesday (August 22nd) at the Georgetown campus of South Seattle College (6737 Corson Ave. S.). From the flyer:
We have put together an opportunity to hear short presentations from the Washington State Department of Ecology, the US Environmental Protection Agency, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Fire Department, and Puget SoundKeeper, all of whom have some level of expertise with (Seattle Iron & Metal)/the barge fire/the barge fire response. The agenda will also include a dedicated portion of time for community members to ask questions and receive answers. Please join us to learn about the fire, the response, the repercussions, and next steps.
The fire caught the attention of people for many miles around as it spewed thick black smoke into the sky on an otherwise clear summer evening. No injuries were reported; the next day, SFD said the fire had been ruled “accidental” with damage estimated at $1 million. Wednesday’s meeting will be in the Gene Colin Educational Hall on the southwest side of the SSC Georgetown campus; here’s a map.
9:56 PM: Seattle Fire now has a house-fire callout in the 5400 block of 18th SW. Updates to come.
9:59 PM: The incident log shows most of the originally dispatched units have been dismissed. We’re still heading over to see what we can find out.
10:30 PM: This is the second time in a little over three weeks that SFD has been called to 5431 18th SW – here’s our coverage of the July 19th call. As described last time, the house is in rundown condition, and an alleged squatter is living there. The damage/cause in this incident is still being evaluated – the SFD investigator is on scene, as are police, but we do know the fire’s out and no oe was hurt.
ADDED MONDAY: SFD says the cause was ruled “accidental” and since the house is vacant, there’s no dollar amount estimate for the damage done.
8:56 PM: Thanks for the tip. No, the SFD response in the beach area right now is NOT in the SPF30 festival zone – it’s for a brush fire “with exposure” (which usually means a structure potentially in danger) in the 3400 block of Beach Drive.
9:15 PM: The call has closed.
8:13 PM: Thanks to the texter who sent that photo of a car fire at the 35th/Barton 7-11. Seattle Fire is still on the scene, according to the incident log. No other details.
ADDED 11:43 PM: Thanks to Ben for sending the video:
As you can see, firefighters got it out quickly.
8:24 PM: Many are asking, so we’ve been sleuthing. Nothing working in our area, and it definitely wasn’t from the small fire we covered on Dumar Way earlier this evening. We HAVE found there’s a new wildfire in Mason County, on Harstine Island [map], and the smoke has been blowing in this direction – Gig Harbor, northeast of the fire area, is complaining – so that could be contributing. We’ll add anything more we find out.
WEDNESDAY MORNING NOTE: “Air resources” get thanks for slowing the spread of that fire, at 19 acres this morning.
6:33 PM: Seattle Fire sent a “full response” to the 7200 block of Dumar Way, near Delridge/Orchard [map]. We just got there (thanks to the person who called! we had missed it while out on something else) and some crews are packing up. Here’s what they tell us: The fire was confined to the house’s hot tub – how it caught fire is still being figured out. No injuries; Dumar is blocked in the area (between 16th and Orchard).
7:29 PM: The road is open again.
8:20 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a “full response” to what’s described as a vacant structure in the 5400 block of 18th SW [map]. First arrivals report light smoke.
8:32 PM: Some of the responding units are being dismissed.
8:52 PM: Talked to SFD at the scene. They say the fire was in a box of items inside the house. Not a big fire but the house was already in “dilapidated” shape so it looks worse than it was. The rest of the SFD units are now being dismissed.
9:41 PM: That’s the aftermath of a dumpster fire on the east side of the Harbor Avenue 7-11. The response was big enough to attract a lot of attention because of the building exposure, so that’s why we went to check it out, but Engine 29 had gotten there quickly, we were told, so there was no major damage, and no one was hurt. Investigators believe it was started by a “hot cigarette lighter” thrown into the dumpster – whether accidental or deliberate, they didn’t say, so we’ll be checking back.
10:14 PM: SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley says it was determined to have been accidental. “Estimated loss is $500 to receptacle and $10,000 to building.”
2:02 AM: First crews arriving say it’s a fully engulfed 2-story house and they’re calling a second alarm. Side note – this is a difficult area to reach, up a hillside dead-end. It’s close to our HQ … but there are dead-ends here on top of the hill too.
2:14 AM: Via scanner, scene commander reports most of the fire has been “knocked down” – and she is referring to the dead-end street as she instructs some of the extra units on where to locate. No report of any injuries; the initial report of this mentioned that the residents were evacuating.
2:21 AM: Added a photo just sent by our crew. SFD is canceling most of the second-alarm units.
2:29 AM: SFD is reporting that the last spots of fire were in the attic – our crew confirms that firefighters are aiming water that way right now – and the fire’s just been declared “tapped.”
2:53 AM: We’ve talked to the SFD public-information officer on scene. (video added)
Both people who were home got out OK; no injuries to anyone. They got their two cats out OK too.
3:26 AM: They’re continuing to dismiss crews from the scene, but at least one will remain, on “fire watch” as is usually the case at sizable fire scenes, for some hours to come.
12:10 PM: SFD has announced that its investigator determined the fire to be accidental, “caused by spontaneous combustion of oil staining rags. Fire started on the deck and spread to the main living area. Total estimated loss is $500,000.”
Two reports in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
EARLY MORNING ALLEY ARSON: Thanks to Patrick for the photo and tip that an early-morning fire callout near California/Raymond was arson.
We confirmed that tonight with SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley, who tells WSB via an e-mail response, “Investigators confirmed two recycle bins and one garbage bin were set on fire, along with two rolls of toilet paper inside a porta potty. These all occurred in an alleyway. Total estimated loss for all bins combined is $500. Case referred to SPD for followup.” Earlier in the morning, SFD responded to a dumpster fire at Westwood Village but Tinsley says that was not believed to be related.
WINDOW WARNING: From Lindsay, reporting a burglary in the Highland Park area last night:
The burglars got in the house via a semi=open window that was accidentally left open. With the weather so hot, I thought it might be good if you could broadcast a PSA reminding folks that burglars look for open windows and doors. I would really hate for anyone else to be affected in this way.
7:50 PM: SFD sent a full response to the 4100 block of 25th SW but it’s a dryer fire and it’s out, per radio communication. We are on the way to verify.
7:58 PM: Firefighters at the scene took the smoldering dryer out of the house, they told us, adding that no one was hurt and that they are using a fan to clear smoke from the house.