West Seattle, Washington
9:40 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to California/Edmunds. The report is: flames in alley, but “they’re not sure what’s on fire.” It’s on the alley east of California, west of 42nd, and reported to be in a basement, in a building described as “just behind US Bank.” Updates to come.
9:45 PM: They’re reducing the response. Apparently not a large fire. We’re on our way to find out exactly which building.
9:54 PM: Fire declared “tapped” (out). No injuries reported. SFD describes it as an exterior fire.
9:59 PM: The fire was on the back side of the Performing Arts building per the tweeted photo above.
10:04 PM: Our photographer has talked to firefighters who say it was trash burning in a dumpster.
No building damage reported. (Added) For more location context, here’s a wider shot texted to us:
That’s the US Bank lot in the left foreground, and in the semi-distance at upper right, the Edmunds/California 7-11.
In case you heard the sirens and/or saw the engines/trucks – Seattle Fire is just closing what was briefly a “full response” in the 9200 block of 17th SW. Most of the dispatched units were canceled before ever arriving. We’re checking on what it turned out to have been.
11:07 AM: It’s a kitchen fire, firefighters tell dispatch, so they’re downsizing the response.
11:10 AM: Firefighters subsequently told dispatch that the fire did not extend beyond the kitchen and that it’s out.
11:26 AM: Our crew at the scene confirms that the fire’s out and no one was hurt.
A few people asked us about a big fire response east of south Arbor Heights this afternoon. We covered it on partner site White Center Now.
That reader-contributed photo shows the fire at its peak. It burned a detached garage at a home near 28th/110th [map] in unincorporated North Highline. No injuries.
5:20 PM: A Seattle Fire midsize response in High Point has just been upgraded to a full response, in the 6400 block of 30th SW [map]. Updates to come.
5:25 PM: The fire was small and is out already, Apparently a dryer was to blame. firefighters are telling dispatch.
5:28 PM: Some of the units are being dismissed. No report of injuries.
5:50 PM: Just talked with firefighters as they were packing up. They confirmed the dryer was the problem, and that no one was hurt.
7:11 AM: Most units sent on a “full response” to 30th SW near Raymond have been dismissed, We’re on our way over to see if we can find out what the original call was about.
7:22 AM: We’re told by police and fire at the scene that this involves a man who was threatening to set a fire in a domestic-violence situation. The suspect has been arrested. Both SPD and SFD continue to investigate.
11 AM: SFD says one person suffered minor injuries, a woman in her late 40s who was treated at the scene.
A reader looking at the Seattle Fire 911 Real-Time log entries from early this morning asked us about a callout to an address that cross-checked to West Seattle Bowl. We looked at the incident-specific page and it indicated that some units were dismissed before arriving and all the rest were dismissed within eight minutes of arrival, so it appeared to be a false alarm, but we asked SFD to be sure. Spokesperson David Cuerpo tells WSB, “The 911 caller saw tiki torches across the way and mistook it for a fire.” (West Seattle Bowl is co-housed with the “tiki bar” Three 9 Lounge.)
A short-lived “full response” in the 2300 block of Alki Avenue SW earlier this afternoon closed even before it caught our attention. But we’ve received a few questions about the 1:35 pm callout, so in case yu were wondering too: SFD tells us, “This was a small fire in a single unit that the first arriving crew was able to quickly extinguish prior to the arrival of the full response.”
3:01 AM: Five SFD units are arriving at a reported garage fire at 34th/Holden- practically next door to Station 37. Firefighters tell dispatch it’s a vehicle on fire in the alley, adjacent to a garage and in danger of spreading.
3:12 AM: Firefighters report the fire is burning in “the void” between the ceiling and roof of the garage.
3:19 AM: Firefighters have declared the fire “tapped” (out). They’re summoning SFD’s investigator to figure out the cause. No injuries reported.
3:26 AM: Thanks to the reader who texted a photo, added above. They also note that this was on the alley off Holden between 32nd and 34th.
ADDED 2:20 PM: SFD would only tell us that the fire remains “under investigation.” We learn from SPD’s overnight summaries that the fire is considered suspicious – they were called after 4 am to check it out because the “Fire Marshal considered it suspicious as there was a (gunfire) call fewer than 10 blocks away. The resident heard the shots and then voices nearby. They then noticed the vehicle on fire.” (The gunfire was at 24th/Holden, and we’re writing about that separately.)
11:55 PM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is arriving in the 7300 block of Bainbridge Place SW, and they’re reporting flames from the roof. Updates to come.
12 AM: This is in a townhouse complex just north of Lincoln Park [vicinity map]. The fire is on the roof and being described by firefighters as “small,” and under control. … They’re reducing the response.
No injuries reported.
12:38 PM: We followed up with SFD; spokesperson Kristin Tinsley tells WSB, “The fire started in light vegetation area on the roof, but the specific cause was ‘undetermined’.”
Some of what’s happened in the past two and a half years of West Seattle Bridge closure will change when it reopens – no more low-bridge restrictions, for example. Some things will stay – like all those new speed humps/cushions installed in various neighborhoods. But at least one major matter remains unsettled: The fate of Seattle Fire Ladder 13 and Medic 26.
A few months after the bridge closed, those two units were activated from SFD reserves and added to West Seattle/South Park to supplement what’s already based at the six area fire stations – Ladder 13 was added to Station 37 in Sunrise Heights, Medic 26 was added to Station 26 in South Park. The additions doubled the local availability of those two types of apparatus – previously the only ladder truck and medic unit in the area were Ladder 11 and Medic 32 at Station 32 in the Junction/Triangle area. We don’t know the total cost of basing those resources here, but in the original May 2020 announcement, SFD said that just for the remainder of that year, “funding required for staffing the two new units, apparatus maintenance and fuel, and room accommodations at the fire stations [would be] approximately $2.5 million.” Whether they’ll be deactivated – meaning that in responses where an extra truck or medic unit is needed, they’d be sent from outside the area – has yet to be decided.
A source suggested that Fire Chief Harold Scoggins supports keeping them here, so we asked SFD first; spokesperson Kristin Tinsley would say only that “The future of Ladder 13 and Medic 26 will be determined in the budgetary process.” That process begins shortly, with the mayor presenting a proposed budget and the City Council starting months of reviewing it, culminating with finalization of a budget in November. So we asked West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold – who also chairs the Public Safety and Human Services Committee, which among other things deals with fire/police issues. She meets regularly with Chief Scoggins and told us that in August, “I brought the issue up with him as well and requested that both be maintained. It was apparent to me in that conversation that the Chief understands the clear need for these resources to be maintained.” Right now, SFD confirms, the two units are funded through the end of this year, so they’ll stay at least a few months beyond the bridge reopening. If you have comments for the mayor about this or anything else as he drafts a budget, contact info is here; council contact info is here.
With the help of that video, Seattle Fire investigators have now ruled at least one of Morgan Junction’s recent fires as arson. As reported last night, the video shows the start of last Sunday night’s fire along an alley off the 4300 block of SW Graham. We had been asking SFD about the recent fires and noted that the video had emerged. SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley told WSB today, “The video has been shared with both SFD fire investigators and SPD for any follow-up that may occur. From this footage, SFD fire investigators have made the determination that the fire on 9/11 was intentionally set.” But that’s the only one ruled as arson so far; Tinsley says the Monday fire at California/Eddy is “not being investigated as suspicious after all,” and last night in the 6500 block of California SW, though the initial dispatch was labeled “dumpster fire,” she says “no evidence of a fire was found by responding firefighters.” She also recommends that the property owners on Graham file police reports if they haven’t already – the block had Saturday and Tuesday fires as well as the one on Sunday shown in the video (for which a police report has been filed, 22-920094). We also asked her if there’s anything people can do to try to protect their property from fires, intentionally set or otherwise; she recommended this link on the SFD website.
8:48 PM: After a string of “brush fires” in the Morgan Junction area, neighbors are circulating that video as evidence that someone set at least one of the fires – the one we covered along an alley off the 4300 block of SW Graham three nights ago. In the video, recorded by a camera over the back lot at The Bridge, you see someone lurking across the alley, and then around 1:45 in, you clearly see the vegetation lining the alley explode in flames. You can even hear it burning. We got there for the aftermath:
SFD logs show another fire on SW Graham within a block of that one a night earlier, on Saturday, and two fires since, one at California/Eddy on Monday, and another one on SW Graham last night. We have an inquiry out to SFD about whether these have been identified as a pattern of suspicious fires. In the meantime, neighbors want to be sure everyone is extra-watchful for suspicious activity. The resident whose hedge was torched in the video above has filed a followup report with police; we’ll add the number when we get it.
ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: A four-minute SFD call at 1:10 am is logged as a “dumpster fire.” A reader texted this morning to say “I think our apartment manager interrupted him last night around 1 am when he was trying to set fire to the Marnae (6533 California Ave). He was making a pile and she saw what she describes as flashes of light. We think he got scared when she started turning lights on and called SFD.”
11:08 AM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is headed to the 7900 block of 17th SW for a possible residential fire. Updates to come.
11:11 AM: First firefighters on scene are seeing smoke but the source hasn’t been traced yet, possibly in the attic.
11:14 AM: Firefighters tell dispatch it’s clearly an attic fire, and that everyone is reported safely out of the house. … They think it started outside and spread up to the attic.
11:26 AM: The fire is reported to be under control.
11:33 AM: And now they’ve called the fire “tapped” (out).
11:42 AM: Firefighters confirm to us at the scene that no one is hurt. The investigation into the fire’s cause is under way, starting in the back of the house.
ADDED WEDNESDAY: We followed up with SFD regarding the cause. Spokesperson Kristin Tinsley says, “The fire was ruled as ‘accidental’ by fire investigators. Started as a result of a smoldering fire on a table that spread to combustible material. The fire extended to the wooden exterior siding and travelled up the wall, and into the attic space. Total estimated loss is $95,000.”
8:07 PM: A Seattle Fire ‘full response’ is headed to the 4300 block of SW Graham [vicinity map] for a report of “an exterior fire extending into a building.” Updates to come.
8:10 PM: The response has been downsized. SFD says the fire was small enough that the occupant put it out.
8:20 PM: At the scene, firefighters tell us this was actually a “small brush fire” on the alley between The Bridge and a house to its west.
4:42 AM: Thanks for the tip. SFD sent a “full response” to a fire reported in the mixed-use building on the southwest corner of Fauntleroy/Edmunds just before 4 am. The fire is reported to have been small and quickly extinguished, with no injuries, and most of the responding units have been dismissed.
4:49 AM: At the scene we’re told the fire was in The Sisters Beauty Bar, one of the businesses in the building, involving some “contents” that caught fire. So far, firefighters told us, it does not appear suspicious.
2:13 PM: We contacted SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo to verify that’s still the case. His reply: “I spoke with our investigators and can confirm this incident is not under investigation for suspicious activity.”
That’s reader-contributed video showing the aftermath of a fire around 7:30 this morning in western Fauntleroy Park. What concerned the person who sent it, and another nearby resident we have heard from tonight, is that there have been multiple fires recently. Stacy said via email:
“I’ve lived next to Fauntleroy Park for 13 years. Today we called 911 because of a sizeable fire in the park, at our property line. SFD responded extremely quickly and put the fire out using shovels, rakes, a large hose of water and a chainsaw. We’ve spoken with neighbors and come to find out, this is the third fire in the park in the timespan of one week that the SFD has had to respond to and put out. And SFD says neighbors reported additional recent fires. … I don’t think anyone has seen any indication of an encampment at the sites of the fires. But the multiplicity is obviously concerning. … We are hoping others will be alerted so that they are careful and so that they let the fire department or police department know of any leads.”
We asked SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo about today’s fire, which was logged only as a “brush fire.” He replied, “I spoke to the firefighters that responded to this incident. They extinguished a small smoldering fire occupying a space of about eight feet in diameter. There was no clear evidence around the area that would have indicated how the fire may have started. No injuries were reported.”
9:58 AM: Missed this in real time but noting for the record that there was a house fire in North Delridge early this morning. SFD dispatched a “full response” around 2:20 am to the 4500 block of 23rd SW, which is (updated) south of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. SFD says the fire “involved the garage and extended to the home”; no one was hurt. We’re asking SFD about the cause.
3:12 PM: Thanks to neighbor Danny for the photo of the aftermath. SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo tells WSB that investigators have ruled the fire’s cause “undetermined” so far.
2:17 AM: Seattle Fire is at the scene of another “full response” – this time a house fire in the 4000 block of 35th SW [vicinity map]. Updates to come.
2:20 AM: Firefighters told dispatch this apparently started as an electrical fire and they think they have it pretty close to handled.
2:25 AM: Or not. They’re telling dispatch that the fire has spread to the attic.
2:32 AM: They’ve declared the fire to be under control.
2:39 AM: No injuries reported so far.
2:57 AM: The Red Cross, which assists fire/disaster victims on request, is being summoned. Meantime, several of the support and medical units sent to the fire are being dismissed.
3:11 AM: Firefighters are still working toward fully extinguishing the fire.
3:31 AM: From the original 20 units at the scene, they’re down to five – two engines, one ladder truck, a battalion chief, and investigator.
ADDED TUESDAY NIGHT: Finally got the cause from SFD: “Ruled as ‘accidental,’ caused by a charcoal grill on the deck that had been in use earlier that evening. Total estimated loss is $195,000.”
10:58 PM: Seattle Fire has just upgraded a response to the 9400 block of Delridge Way SW – it’s now a “full response.” Original dispatch was a report of people possibly setting “rubbish on fire next to a building.” Updates to come.
11 PM: They’ve just downsized the response, after arriving units discovered what they told dispatch was a “tapped rubbish fire.”
9:10 AM: A “full response” from Seattle Fire is headed to a possible house fire – “smoke reported from a garage” in the 4000 block of 46th SW. Updates to come.
9:13 AM: First units to arrive weren’t seeing smoke; one says it may just be a “super-minor wall fire.” They’re reducing the response (though they’ve since noted “light smoke” in the garage).
9:19 AM: Final determination “no fire,” all units will be dismissed from the scene.
Since the house fire in the 2600 block of 39th SW early Sunday, we’ve been asking SFD about their determination of how it started. Today spokesperson David Cuerpo told WSB, “Fire investigators ruled the fire as intentionally set (incendiary). SPD is conducting a follow-up investigation.” No details were provided on why that determination was made; we have followup questions out to SPD and have not heard anything back. If you have any information, there’s a statewide tipline – 800-55-ARSON.
2:13 AM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is headed to a possible house fire in the 2600 block of 39th SW [vicinity map]. Updates to come.
2:15 AM: First engine to arrive confirms “working fire.”
2:19 AM: Firefighters say the fire seems to have reached the roof.
2:24 AM: Firefighters have told dispatch that they’re finding “hoarding conditions” inside the house. Meantime, they’ve also declared the fire under control.
2:45 AM: The fire’s now been declared “tapped” (out).
3 AM: Our crew at the scene has talked with SFD’s David Cuerpo, who says no one was inside when the fire started, and no one has been hurt. SFD’s investigator is on the way.
3:02 PM: Cuerpo says the fire’s cause remains under investigation. He also says there was a resident inside the house at the time: “The resident was able to evacuate and reported no injuries.” And regarding another point of the firefighting operation that’s under discussion in the comments, Cuerpo says, “While our firefighters may state ‘hoarding conditions’ over the radio, it is communicated as a safety precaution for other firefighters on scene to be aware of objects that may block access to a space within the home. After the fire, our Battalion Chief on scene confirmed these were not hoarding conditions.”
ADDED TUESDAY MORNING: We’ve been asking SFD since the fire about the determination of cause. They have just confirmed it was arson. We’ll have a separate story later today.