West Seattle, Washington
A Seattle Fire callout is arriving in the 6000 block of 31st SW. It’s reportedly just a kitchen fire, so it’s downsizing.
7:39 AM: Firefighters are at a house fire in the 3800 block of 55th SW [vicinity map]. Avoid the area. Updates to come.
7:44 AM: SFD says no injuries are reported so far.
7:48 AM: The fire is under control, firefighters report.
7:59 AM: We’ve just arrived in the area. SFD is starting to dismiss some of the units now that the situation is winding down. 55th SW remains blocked.
8:05 AM: We’ve just talked to incident command at the scene. They describe the fire as relatively small, but it did spread to the attic so that took a while to subdue. Their investigator has just arrived to start looking into how this started.
5:34 PM: SFD tells us the cause is still under investigation.
9:10 PM: If you’re heading to or from the South Park Bridge, be aware that the main intersection in downtown South Park – 14th Avenue South and South Cloverdale – is closed off right now, as is the bridge’s northbound side, by a big fire response. The fire is reported to be in the business building on the northeast corner of the intersection. The smoke is visible on the nearest traffic camera (which points toward the bridge’s south end), as shown in the screengrab above.
9:22 PM: SFD is still fighting the fire. Southbound traffic off the South Park Bridge is being detoured onto westbound Dallas.
9:25 PM: SFD says the fire’s under control.
9:40 PM: No injuries, per SFD. Meantime, southbound traffic on the bridge is now being held behind a bus, and the traffic camera shows cars turning around and heading back northbound.
9:45 PM: SFD has declared the fire “tapped” (out). Some of the units are being dismissed.
10:37 PM: 14th/Cloverdale is still blocked but south/westbound bridge traffic is flowing again and the camera shows some vehicles getting onto the north/eastbound side from Dallas.
10:53 PM: Officers just told dispatch they’re reopening SB 14th and one lane of NB 14th. The fire, meantime, is under investigation.
2:37 AM: As commenter David points out, SFD has summarized the fire response here, including the determination that the fire was accidental, “likely caused by faulty electrical.” The photo confirms it’s the building that’s home to the café Good Voyage.
3:22 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to a reported house fire in the 8800 block of 9th SW. Updates to come.
3:25 PM: This is the same block where a vacant house had a fire a month ago. This house reportedly was occupied and those inside are reported to be out safely.
3:31 PM: Firefighters just reported it’s under control.
3:36 PM: 9th SW is blocked at Henderson both ways, and Henderson eastbound is being blocked at 10th SW.
3:40 PM: They’re calling for the Red Cross to assist the people affected by the fire.
3:58 PM: More than half of the responding units have been cleared from the scene.
4:08 PM: East/westbound Henderson is reopening, police just told dispatch.
11:57 AM: Thanks for the photos and tips. If you saw that column of black smoke in southeast West Seattle, here’s what was burning:
The reader who sent the photos says this is on Myers Way north of Camp Second Chance. We haven’t been to the scene yet to see how close, but CSC has long been trying to get city help addressing unsanctioned camping outside its site. Four SFD units remain logged to the call; we haven’t heard any word of injuries so far; no medic unit has been sent.
4:39 PM: SFD confirms no one was hurt and says the fire’s cause is “undetermined.”
As previewed earlier this week, Seattle Fire Department crews are at 8822 38th Avenue SW in Upper Fauntleroy [map] for “live fire” training at a house awaiting demolition and redevelopment. They hadn’t started actually burning anything when we stopped by – they’re still finalizing the plan.
As noted when this was announced, spectators are welcome, but don’t go past that line of cones in the (closed) street. This will not be one big fire gutting the house, but rather a series of “fire evolutions” that will enable both veteran and new firefighters to train in specific situations. Also, for those concerned about the big tree on the site, it will not be involved in the training, which is scheduled to continue tomorrow and Friday, 9 am-3 pm each day.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
11:43 PM: Seattle Fire has a sizable response in the 9200 block of 20th SW for what’s described as a fire in a “vacant building.”
11:46 PM: The fire was apparently confined to the fireplace, and only four of the originally dispatched ~20 units are still on scene.
11:53 PM: Side note, the property to which this call is logged has a demolition permit and a plan for six townhouses.
11:59 PM: The call is closed.
10:06 PM: SFD has sent several crews to Westwood Village for what’s reported as an “exterior fire” at the Target loading dock They’re checking to see if it’s having any effects inside the store.
10:31 PM: This did not turn out to be major and two of the four units were dismissed quickly, with only one still on the scene, We’ll follow up with SFD.
ADDED: Here’s what SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo told us: “Crews responded to a rubbish fire outside of a retail strip mall. A bystander was able to knock down the fire with an extinguisher, then our firefighters fully extinguished it. The fire did not extend to any nearby buildings, and no injuries were reported.”
7:47 AM: SFD is just arriving at what’s described as a vacant building where a fire is burning, at 9th/Henderson. Updates to come.
7:50 AM: Firefighters say this is a vacant house and the fire appears to have originated in the basement.
7:55 AM: Both lanes of 9th SW are blocked by the response.
8:04 AM: They’ve “knocked down” the fire enough to search inside the house. So far they haven’t found any signs of the fire extending beyond what they’ve already extinguished.
8:10 AM: Fire’s out. Firefighters tell us at the scene that their investigator is on the way to find out what happened. No one was in the house when firefighters arrived, and so no injuries are reported. Photo added. Some SFD units are being dismissed.
8:26 AM: Records show the house is on a large lot – 12,000+ square feet – that sold to an LLC last year for $1.1 million. There’s a redevelopment proposal making its way through the city system, for 12 townhouses. (added) Records show the demolition permit was issued months ago.
8:48 PM: Police just told dispatch that 9th is open again.
ADDED: We followed up with SFD, Here’s what spokesperson David Cuerpo told us: “Firefighters extinguished a basement fire in a vacant residential building. No injuries were reported. Fire investigators ruled the incident as incendiary (intentionally set) and forwarded their findings to SPD.”
10:24 PM: Seattle Fire has a “full response” in the 10400 block of 41st SW in Arbor Heights. We’re on our way to find out more.
10:40 PM: Our photographer just talked to SFD at the scene. This was a fire in a shed behind a house. It’s out now. No one hurt. Cause not yet known – the investigator’s on the way.
6:25 AM: SFD has a “full response” on scene in the 3400 block of 37th SW (vicinity map). Updates to come.
6:30 AM: Thanks to William for the photo above. He says this is an apartment building and firefighters pulled out a “burning mattress.”
6:50 AM: The response is down to a few units. We have a crew there checking on extent of damage and whether anyone was hurt.
7 AM: SFD tells us damage was confined mostly to the bed, and that no one was hurt.
ADDED THURSDAY: SFD tells us the fire’s cause was ruled “undetermined.”
Thanks for the tips about a Seattle Fire response on the Arbor Heights side of Fauntleroy Park this morning. Tom Trulin sent the photo below, taken by Karen, showing firefighters at the scene in the park:
We asked SFD about the park fire; spokesperson Kristin Hanson says, “This was a brush fire that encompassed an area of approximately 10 ft x 10 ft. The cause was undetermined.” Meantime, Lynne emailed us to say she was the person who discovered and reported the fire:
I stumbled upon a small fire in Fauntleroy Woods at 8:20 this morning while walking my dog. I was worried about approaching it, fearing an aggressive person, but I couldn’t leave it to burn. After calling out several times, I realized no one was nearby. It was burning just off a less used trail at the base of a big pine tree. A fern and brush were in flames. I tried putting it out with the only thing I had, dirt filled with pine needles, which worked as well as you’d think, snuffled with flames popping up again. I got most of the flames out by stomping on it and pulling branches away, but flames kept appearing and there were too many sparks that would easily reignite. I had already called 911 and struggled through giving them a location. Address unknown and deep in the park, it was hard to figure out what to tell them. I ran up the hill as I heard sirens approaching and ran into my friend as I watched the fire truck go down the wrong road. He chased them down and fortunately we got them to the right location. They put out the obvious fire and sparks and came back up for more water while a second truck showed up. They were still there when I left. Neighbors came and told me this is the 2nd or 3rd fire recently in the woods at the base of big trees. There was talk of possibly an arsonist. This fire was not a campfire. There was no reason for a fire being there or natural causes. Definitely looked human induced for no reason. Makes me nervous about our beloved woods.
SFD did not send its investigator but Hanson is checking whether they’ve been tracking any trends in the area. Fauntleroy Park has multiple potential addresses, so it’s hard to search a log for previous calls, but we did get email on August 19th from an area resident who discovered evidence of a then-recent small fire that “looked like a box was burned, on a main trail.”
7:29 PM: Thanks for the tips. Above is a screengrab of the Seattle City Light map showing 317 customers lost power about 10 minutes ago, mostly in the Puget Ridge area. No obvious cause yet. Let us know if you see SCL crews!
7:51 PM: We don’t know yet if it’s related but SFD is responding to a vault fire in the 6700 block of West Marginal [map]. Firefighters report “light smoke coming from an underground vault” and SFD says via Twitter/X: “Firefighters are establishing a 300-foot safety perimeter as a precaution and to protect nearby structures.” … The outage map has, since the start, included two spots off West Marginal, including one in the area of the vault fire, so that might be an indication.
8:05 PM: They’re dismissing most of the units from the vault-fire call.
9:19 PM: Power’s restored to the 300+ who were out.
1:35 PM: Thanks for the tips. Some traffic interruptions continue on southbound 99 just south of the 1st Avenue South Bridge, and near Highland Park Way/2nd SW, because of what’s logged as a brush-fire response. Avoid the area for a while.
2:33 PM: Officers have just told dispatch that they’re reopening northbound West Marginal at the scene.
2:43 PM: And now they’re reopening everything else that was closed.
ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Readers wondered if this was related to an encampment, as some other nearby fires have been. According to SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo, who spoke with crews who were on scene, “There was not sufficient evidence that this brush fire was related to an encampment. The brush fire involved an area approx. half an acre in size. No injuries were reported.”
3:28 PM: Texters say at least one of the ramps to 509 at the end of the Roxbury corridor is closed because of that fire. SFD calls it a “brush fire” so far and says it’s affecting the ramp to northbound 509 at Cloverdale.
4:10 PM: SFD says the fire’s out and the last two engines on scene will be wrapping up their work.
9 PM: We asked SFD about what firefighters found. Spokesperson David Cuerpo replied, “I spoke to the crews and they confirmed fires occurred within encampments in two separate areas on opposite sides of SR509. The fires are extinguished, and no occupants were found. One firefighter sustained minor injuries and was relieved for the day.”
A reader texted us this report of the story behind an SFD callout around 8:30 pm Sunday:
(There) was a fire by 15th SW and SW Cambridge. Lots of smoke and Fire Dept wasn’t on scene yet. Was heading home from Proletariat Pizza and saw all the smoke that was stopping traffic on Roxbury. A neighbor was using a hose on the south side and I grabbed the hose from the house on the north side neighbor and we put water on the fire until firefighters arrived. Those guys are awesome! Clearly caused by a fireworks mortar flipping sideways pointed at the trees. The first person getting water on the fire definitely saved the house and maybe the adjoining houses. Thanks, buddy!
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.
Thanks to everyone who sent photos from what Seattle Fire dispatched as a “brush fire” sweeping across a slope at Westcrest Park about an hour ago. SFD sent Engine 11, which was on scene for about 20 minutes.
No injuries reported, and no word on the cause – SFD did not send its investigator – but it’s a reminder of just how dry things are right now.
Two more Kia Souls top this West Seattle Crime Watch roundup:
STOLEN SOUL: Trent just moved here and his red Soul was stolen last night in High Point, near 35th/Juneau.
Plate is (corrected) RWK2780. SPD incident # is 23-201757.
BURNED-LIKELY-STOLEN SOUL: Thanks for the tips and photos this morning. SFD and SPD responded to the Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex parking lot around 4:15 am today after reports of a Soul engulfed in flames. A few hours later, what was left of it was towed (not likely Trent’s car, as this one is white):
According to archived emergency-radio exchanges, no one was there when officers and firefighters arrived. SFD didn’t send its investigator and we have yet to find an incident number for the police response, so there’s no additional information so far.
GATEWOOD EXPLOSIVE FIRES: One reader asked about an explosion and SFD response last night near 41st/Portland in Gatewood. This reader report we just received answers the question:
Around 11 pm Sunday (yesterday) night, a car driving south on 41st (from Holden towards Portland) stopped at the intersection of 41st and Portland and tossed a(n) firework/explosive out of their car. It produced a very loud bang and an impressive flash. I was in the back part of my house and saw the flash with the blinds and curtains closed.
The explosion was large enough to start fires on lawns on both the north and south side of Portland. There were several fires on my lawn and one across the street.. My neighbors and I were able to get them all out before SFD arrived.
A neighbor with a doorbell device recorded the car drive by their house, stop at the intersection of 41st and Portland and shows the car drive by and the actual blast. You can see sparks for a few seconds before the big blast.
We didn’t find any debris, so not sure exactly what it was.
ADDED: Here’s security video on which you can see/hear the explosion:
WEEKEND GUNFIRE: Police summaries from the weekend include a brief mention of one confirmed gunfire incident in West Seattle – police found “evidence of a shooting” (which usually means shell casings; no victims reported) in the 5600 block of 26th SW after 911 calls around 9:40 pm Saturday night. If you have any information, 23-200285 is the report #.
10:35 PM: Thanks to the texter who sent that photo of a car fire on Alki, between Duke’s and Natalie’s, this past half-hour. No info yet on the circumstances, but it’s out, and there’s no indication of serious injuries. We’re following up with SFD.
10:57 PM: Thanks to Angelo for the photo added above. Meantime, another witness emailed us this report, saying the car “Was in front of me heading West on Alki Ave. Was leaking a ton of gas. It finally slowed and turned left near the burger place then it seemed like it was going to stall and then it sputtered like it needed oxygen. Was blocking both lanes. Then out of nowhere flames came up from under all 3 sides (couldn’t see the front). And a trail of fire following the leaking gas on the pavement behind it started to head back to my car. Had to drive through the flames to get safely around it. Everyone on the sidewalk started running.”
ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: SFD confirms no one was injured and has no other info as the fire wasn’t suspicious and therefore the investigator wasn’t called out.
4:36 PM: Thanks to Kelsey for the video. If you saw the billowing dark smoke in southeast West Seattle earlier this afternoon – that’s the source, near the 1st/Cloverdale Highway 509 interchange for West Seattle and South Park. SFD dispatched this as an “encampment fire” response; the last unit left around 4:06 pm, just under an hour after the initial dispatch. We’re checking with SFD for any additional information.
5:23 PM: SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo tells WSB, “Our firefighters extinguished an encampment fire where multiple tents or tarps were involved. No injuries were reported.”
Ethan sent the photo and report:
There was a fire at Walt Hundley Playfield this evening, almost certainly caused by fireworks. Saw your coverage of the fire by the pond down the street and figured you should know about this one too.
So far, the Real-Time 911 log for today has, citywide, 22 “brush fire” notations, 6 “rubbish fire” notations, 5 “bark fire” notations, and 2 “dumpster fire” notations. Seattle residential fires believed to have been caused by people using fireworks include the one last night in Arbor Heights as well as one Sunday in the Olympic Hills neighborhood.