West Seattle, Washington
5:56 PM: What started as a mid-size SFD call has just upsized to a “full response” for a house fire in the 4400 block of 46th SW. Radio communication describes the fire as centered in the house’s attic.
6:12 PM: Added a photo from WSB’s Katie Meyer, who reports smoke but no visible flames.
6:15 PM: WSB’s Patrick Sand reports that it was a small attic fire, is out, and firefighters are winding down their operation.
Five days after that early-morning fire gutted a North Admiral house and damaged one next door (WSB coverage here), SFD announced what its investigators found:
Fire Investigators ruled the fire accidental, and determined it was caused by a Christmas tree in the living room that had caught fire from either an energized light string or lit candle ornament.
SFD added that to its original Fireline summary of the incident along with this reminder: “Please remember to water your Christmas tree daily and to keep it at least 3 feet away from heating sources (fireplaces, candles, wood stoves, and heat vents).”
7:12 AM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is headed to a house in the 9200 block of 17th SW, described in radio communication as “derelict” and known to be used by squatters.
7:17 AM: Firefighters have arrived and entered, reporting “light smoke” throughout the house.
7:21 AM: Per scanner, a “pile of cigarettes (is) on fire in the fireplace” and it’s “tapped,” so most responding units will be dismissed.
7:30 PM: Our crew is there and confirms the response is winding down. Photo added.
2:47 AM: Seattle Fire is dispatching a “full response” to a house fire in the 2100 block of 41st Avenue SW.
2:51 AM: First units on scene say the house is “well involved” in flames.
2:56 AM: Still fully involved, per radio communication, but sounds like they believe everyone got out OK. Firefighters are also dealing with what are reported to be downed power lines.
3:06 AM: The command on scene is calling for two more engines to be dispatched.
3:21 AM: Added photos. Fire just declared under control. Also noting that the burning house is NOT the house whose address is shown on SFD’s real-time 911 log – as we’ve said many times before, that happens sometimes, the address might instead be whomever called it in, for example. Meantime, still no word of any injuries.
3:41 AM: Firefighters are calling the fire “tapped” (albeit with hot spots). Meantime, our crew at the scene will be talking shortly with the public-information officer who was sent.
3:49 AM: Briefing concluded – we have video to add when uploaded (added – here it is):
(As explained in the briefing, one person was home when it started; he is OK. SFD spokesperson Hilton Almond says the smoke detector awakened the man; he got out and alerted the neighbors to the north, whose house was also damaged.)
Too soon to say what ignited the fire – investigators have arrived.
4:17 AM: Just added the top photo sent by neighbor Katy, who says, “My husband & I were woken up around 2:35 am to loud booms to find the house across the street from us fully engulfed in flames with no fire department on scene yet” – they arrived moments later, she says.
3:01 PM: New information from SFD – the cause remains under investigation; damage to the house and contents is estimated at $350,000, while damage to the house next door is estimated at $50,000.
We asked SFD’s Almond about the 911 outage and whether that factored into any possible response delay. “The occupant did try 9-1-1 but could not get through,” he replied, but says he doesn’t have information on whose call (we heard the dispatcher say multiple calls had come in) got through or how long that took – he explains that the number advised as a backup, 206-583-2111, goes to SPD, which then would have transferred the call to SFD. (We’ll be following up with SPD.) Once SFD got its first call, he said, “units were dispatched within 31 seconds.” The incident log shows the first unit to arrive, Engine 29 (based blocks away), arrived 4 minutes after dispatch.
10:17 AM: Seattle Fire says the “fire in building” callout at Cal-Mor Circle in Morgan Junction (the cylindrical apartment building at 6420 California SW) is a kitchen fire. They’re on scene “working to extinguish” it.
10:24 AM: Fire is reported to be “tapped” (out).
8:51 PM: Seattle Fire has escalated a call near 10th/Kenyon in Highland Park [map] to a “full response” for a possible house fire. Updates to come.
8:54 PM: SFD says it’s a garage fire and that it’s under control.
8:57 PM: Via radio, firefighters say the fire’s out.
9:35 PM: SFD’s investigator has just arrived to look into how the fire started. No injuries reported.
In case you’re wondering about the big SFD response – what brought them to a house in the 6400 block of 30th SW just now turned out to be smoke from “an oven that was left on,” per radio communication. The response is being mostly canceled.
Bob e-mailed to ask about that partly burned RV parked in front of the old Sea-Way property (future self-storage) in the 2500 block of Harbor Avenue. The fire is on the SFD log as a one-engine-dispatched “car fire” at 6:47 this morning. SFD spokesperson Hilton Almond tells WSB that the Red Cross was called to help the man and woman who were displaced by the fire; no injuries reported. He doesn’t have information on the fire’s cause except to note that SFD’s investigator wasn’t called out, which usually indicates there was nothing suspicious/deliberate.
Thanks to Jeff for the photo from a car fire in the 3200 block of Harbor Avenue SW this afternoon. It wasn’t an unusual callout – one engine, no investigator – but after seeing Jeff’s photo, we asked Seattle Fire spokesperson Kristin Tinsley about it. Here’s her reply: “Two adult females and a child were in the vehicle when they started having vehicle problems and pulled over. This was an engine fire. Due to the vehicle owners being on site, and no reason to suspect anything suspicious, fire investigators were not called to the scene. The road was shut down for approximately 25 minutes.” Jeff says he called 911 and SFD was there within two minutes.
In case you wondered about the fire callout at Navos (2600 SW Holden) around quarter to 7 this morning – most of the units dispatched were quickly canceled so we didn’t go, but we did subsequently follow up with SFD, whose spokesperson Hilton Almond tells us: “This was a small fire in a bathroom. One person was transported by AMR due to smoke inhalation. The fire is under investigation.”
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.