West Seattle, Washington
1:32 PM: Though what brought an initially large SFD response to Aura (4435 35th SW) turned out to be a “very small fire,” firefighters at the scene tell us they’re still there because it set off sprinklers elsewhere in the building too, so there’s a water cleanup to deal with. No injuries. But southbound buses are being rerouted while the outside SB lane of 35th remains blocked.
2:12 PM: The call has closed, meaning all SFD units have left.
Two incidents to briefly note:
CRASH: A utility pole was damaged at California/Admiral by a hit-run driver this past hour.
FIRE: A mid-size SFD response is on the scene of a fire in an RV at 9th/Thistle right now. No word of any injuries; the fire has been extinguished. The SFD investigator has been requested but according to dispatch, isn’t immediately available because of a larger response in the area, a house fire at 12th South/South Cloverdale in South Park.
4:05 AM: Midsize fire response this past hour to Fauntleroy/Henderson, near the ferry terminal. We just caught up with the crews still on scene and they told us it was a carport fire, handled fairly quickly, no injuries.
11:08 AM: Though no investigator had been dispatched at the time of the fire, we noticed on the log that one was sent a few hours later. SFD says their investigation determined the fire was “intentionally set,” with damage totaling about $1,000.
10:47 PM: Seattle Fire is on the way to a possible residential fire in the 8400 block of Delridge Way. Updates to come.
10:52 PM: The fire is out (“tapped”) and SFD is downsizing the response. No injuries reported.
7 PM: All those sirens are for SFD units arriving at a garage fire at a house just west of Westwood Village, in the 9000 block of 31st SW. The first arrivals report smoke from a garage that’s about 20 x 20. Updates to come.
7:18 PM: The fire was confined to furniture in the garage, firefighters tell us. No injuries, no structural damage.
10:49 AM: Last night’s fire in a West Seattle Junction condo building (WSB coverage here) has turned deadly. Last night, City Councilmember Lorena González disclosed the fire broke out in her building – and today, she has announced that the 79-year-old woman who was pulled from the burning unit was her mother-in-law and did not survive. Her statement, received by email:
My family is deeply saddened to share that last night we said goodbye to my 79-year old mother-in-law, Mary Lou Williams, who passed away after sustaining significant injuries from a fire in her condo unit located just two floors above our condo. My husband Cameron and his brother Carlos have lost their beloved mother and my daughter Nadia has lost her Grandma. Our loss is unimaginable. She was a member of the West Seattle Senior Center, where she often taught art classes and sold her own art. Her artistic ability was incredible and we live in a home with her art and memories on every wall.
“Thank you to the Harborview Medical Center nurses, doctors, therapists and other staff for doing everything you could to help our family and allowing us to be at her bedside the entire time. We know our first responders and all the medical staff did everything they could to make her comfortable.
“While our unit was spared, our building is uninhabitable. We are staying with friends while we assess our long term housing plans and assess the physical damage to our home. We are sustained by the outpouring of love and support, and offers of housing and basics from all of you during this devastating time. We appreciate your understanding as we embark on our journey to grieve and celebrate the life and memory of one of our matriarchs, our sweet Mary Lou.”
The statement adds, “Council President González and her family ask for privacy at this time as they grieve the loss of their family member and evaluate damage done at their home.” Last night she said she, her husband, and their daughter were not home when the fire started. SFD is investigating its cause.
11:51 AM: SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo says, “I spoke to our fire investigators and they determined the fire was accidental and likely caused by an electrical failure. “
6:15 PM: Seattle Fire has arrived at what they are calling a “working residential fire” in the 4400 block of 44th SW in The Junction. Updates to come.
6:19 PM: Added top photo sent by Brenden. SFD reports “rescuing at least one person from the building.” Here’s a photo sent by WSB’s Katie Meyer:
SFD crews are continuing to battle the flames. Another view from Brenden – the smoke has turned white:
6:34 PM: SFD says the fire’s out and the person they rescued is a 79-year-old woman who’s being taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The cause is under investigation.
7:17 PM: Some units are being dismissed. Along with investigating, there’s a lot of aftermath cleanup – such as broken window glass on the sidewalk below the building.
8:10 PM: This building is home to City Council President Lorena González, and we’ve been trying to find out her status. She has just commented via Twitter:
This evening, a significant fire occurred at our home. My husband, daughter, and I were not at home when the fire began. Thank you to all who have reached out, I want you to know that my immediate family is safe.
I am grateful to Seattle Police Department, the Seattle Fire Department, and our first responders for their efforts to stop the fire from spreading further and for their rescue efforts.
There’s also word that an off-duty firefighter helped in the early going, according to SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo, with whom we spoke at the scene:
Witnesses say neighbors were heroes too, “grabbing ladders and helping people out,” according to Wes Olsen, who sent this photo:
9:30 PM: Nearby streets have reopened; Metro Routes 50 and 128 have resumed service in the area.
SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE: Separate story to come – the victim did not survive. She was Councilmember González’s mother-in-law.
Big response, quickly downsized, for what’s described as a kitchen fire in the 5000 block of Fauntleroy Way.
2:31 PM: Seattle Fire crews are investigating a report of a fire aboard what was described over emergency radio as a “700-foot Navy ship” at Vigor Shipyard on Harbor Island. More info when we get it.
2:41 PM: Crews have gone onto the ship to fight the fire.
2:44 PM: The fire is reported “tapped.”
5:42 PM: Avoid 35th SW south of Avalon; Seattle Fire has a sizable response there for a problem in an underground electrical vault. Updates to come.
6:06 PM: At the scene, firefighters tell us it’s out and the vault is ‘de-energized.’ City Light is here; some nearby power is out.
7:21 PM: The City Light outage map shows 130 customers are without electricity right now.
1:16 PM: Big callout in 5400 block of Fauntleroy but turned out to be a dryer fire, says SFD.
1:35 PM: One engine and one ladder truck left at the scene (on the east side of Fauntleroy). No injuries reported.
6:27 PM: Big Seattle Fire response heading for 3295 SW Avalon Way. That’s a mixed-use building on the southeast corner of 35th/Avalon. SFD says the fire’s on the roof. Updates to come.
6:34 PM: Kevin Freitas shares this image:
6:39 PM: Firefighters report the fire is under control. No word yet if anyone’s hurt. The smoke’s visible for miles around – we have reports from Beacon Hill to Bainbridge. This photo is from Hollie:
Video from Tomasz:
This photo is from a texter, in case you can’t place which building it is – it’s the one with the unoccupied commercial space (formerly a dental office) at ground level.
6:47 PM: The smoke has dissipated now, according to our crew at the scene, as firefighters continue working to finish putting it out. SFD meantime called a second alarm to help. (added) Cindy Gammon recorded what it sounded like as reinforcements rushed in:
I had a clear and too close view from across the street! Yikes! But super fast response from Seattle fire department. pic.twitter.com/KhD37rQ6xN
— Cindy Gammon (@gammonstein) April 4, 2021
Kevin Freitas has a time-lapse of the smoke dissipating:
— Kevin Freitas (@kevinfreitas) April 4, 2021
7:02 PM: While the fire is all but out, firefighters still have a lot to deal with – such as sprinklers. Here’s a closer view *from earlier* emailed by Finnegan Liddell:
Thanks again to everyone who has texted, emailed, and tweeted photos. Here’s an aerial (drone) view from Eddie:
An SFD public-information officer has arrived at the scene so we should have some additional information soon.
7:22 PM: SFD’s Kristin Tinsley confirms no one was hurt. The fire was confined to the roof and top (6th) floor. Fighting it was complicated by the fact the standpipe they would normally tap into was right in the fire area. No indication of the cause yet. Only “hot spots” remain. We have her briefing on video and will upload that when our crew’s back at HQ (update: here it is:)
7:35 PM: Firefighters just told dispatch that 10 units are “uninhabitable.”
8:41 PM: 10+ units are still on scene dealing with the aftermath.
ADDED 9:33 AM: From SFD spokesperson Tinsley via email: “Fire investigators have ruled the cause of the West Seattle 2-alarm fire ‘undetermined’ due to multiple possible ignition sources. Total estimated loss is $500,000 from fire damage to the roof and heavy water damage on roof and top floor.”
5:09 PM: Big SFD response for “fire in building” call at 17th/Barton. Updates to come.
5:13 PM: We’re here checking into it. Already downsized.
5:25 PM: Firefighters tell us someone was doing roof work and material started smoldering. Out fast. Last engine just left.
12:29 AM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is arriving at Avalon/Charlestown after a report of “black smoke (seen coming from) a restaurant.” So far they haven’t found anything and, while still checking, are reducing the response.
12:34 AM: Firefighters have talked with the person who called it in. They now believe it was smoke from a dryer.
7:33 AM: Big SFD response for what has turned out to be a small fire at a construction site near 26th/Genesee [vicinity map]. The response has been reduced but avoid the area.
7:50 AM: Five SFD units remain on scene, about half of those that weren’t canceled before arrival. Their investigator has been dispatched to look into the cause. Metro has rerouted Route 50 off SW Genesee for now.
8:01 AM: Photos added. SFD tells us at the scene that no one was hurt. The fire was in a center building of a cluster of under-construction residences. … Officers told dispatch the fire is “suspicious.”
9:01 AM: Genesee is open; Metro says Route 50 is back to its usual route.
7:40 PM: SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley tells WSB that the fire’s cause has been ruled “undetermined,” with damage estimated at $20,000.
Briefly sizable SFD callout at Arrowhead Gardens, the senior-living complex in southeast West Seattle [map]. The incident log shows all but two units were canceled within a few minutes of dispatch. (Added: This turned out to have been a small kitchen fire, aka “food on the stove.”)
12:03 PM: Seattle Fire has just arrived at a residential-building fire in the 9200 block of 16th SW [map]. It’s reported to be on the multi-unit building’s second floor.
12:07 PM: At least one person is reported to need medical treatment.
12:15 PM: Firefighters tell dispatch the fire is “tapped” (mostly out).
12:20 PM: Our crew on scene confirms even the smoke has dissipated. Avoid the 16th/Barton vicinity for a while, though, since as our newly added photos show, the response is blocking 16th.
12:30 PM: SFD tells us at the scene that the residents of the unit where the fire happened have all been checked out and no one will have to go to the hospital. An investigator is on the way to look into how the fire started.
8 PM: There’s a big residential-fire callout on the county side of the 2400 block of SW Roxbury – that means the North Highline Fire District is the primary agency, but others are being dispatched to help, including some units from the city side of the line. We’re on our way to find out more.
8:15 PM: Roxbury is mostly blocked just east of 26th. The fire was small, we’re told, in a vacant house. No injuries reported.
4:37 PM: Avoid Delridge/Holden for a while – Seattle Fire has arrived to deal with a vehicle fire and has alerted dispatch that some help will be needed directing traffic for a while. The fire, however, is already out.
4:50 PM: Adding a photo sent by Kersti Muul, showing it’s a commercial van. No reports of injuries, but we’ll be doublechecking with SFD.
5:12 PM: SFD has closed out the call.
8:20 AM: Big SFD response to the 2700 block of 60th SW [map] – but it’s already being downsized. We are headed there for specifics. Update to come.
8:34 AM: SFD says the fire was confined to one room of a duplex. @PuyallupCoug tweeted this photo of a burned mattress that was brought out.
8:52 AM: We’ve just talked to the incident commander. No one hurt, damage limited to the mattress.
They’re talking to the unit’s resident to figure out what sparked the fire.
The last units are leaving.
12:17 PM: SFD tells WSB that the cause was determined to be “improperly discarded smoking material.”
Will the city replace the portable toilet destroyed by fire at 44th/Alaska early Sunday (WSB coverage here)? Seattle Public Utilities spokesperson Sabrina Register tells WSB, “There are discussions around next steps for hygiene resources at the location,” After removal of the controversial “hygiene station” in Junction Plaza Park three weeks ago, the city-funded toilet was the only remaining public restroom in the area; the fire also destroyed the portable sink that had been moved there from the park. SFD tells WSB there’s no information on the fire’s cause; one engine was on scene for about 15 minutes and its investigator was not dispatched. The charred remnants of the toilet have not yet been removed, but Register says SPU is working on that “and is reviewing any actions that can be taken to reduce fire risk.” We researched the portable toilet’s history while covering a Junction safety initiative in 2016; the city told us then that one had been there since the Junction Association requested it in the ’90s.
When a Honey Bucket driver showed up at noon to service the city-funded portable toilet on SW Alaska near 44th SW, he had a surprise – there was nothing to service, just foul-smelling molten plastic debris. We were there checking because of reader tips that the toilet had been destroyed by fire. The SFD logs show a “dumpster fire” response there at 4:37 am today, with one engine on scene, for a total of 17 minutes. A toilet, framed by a permanent shelter, has been there for years. Recently a portable sink was added, moved from Junction Plaza Park after two portable toilets were removed from that spot; the sink also was destroyed in this morning’s fire.
SFD tells. us the fire remains under investigation. We’ll be checking with the city tomorrow about plans for replacing the toilet.
4:58 AM: Thanks for the tips. Big Seattle Fire response right now to a residence in the 6000 block of 42nd SW. SFD says it’s a porch fire that “extended to a residence” and it’s under control. Updates to come.
5:06 AM: SFD says no one’s hurt, and that its investigator is on the way to try to figure out how this started.
5:10 AM: Our crew at the scene says smoke is still visible from the roof.
5:17 AM: Firefighters tell us three people were home and all got out OK, though they’re now being checked for possible smoke inhalation.
5 PM: We followed up with SFD about the fire’s cause. Spokesperson Kristin Tinsley says, “Cause of fire ruled accidental. Total estimated loss $300,000. Started on the porch from an energized electrical cord.”