Car Blocks Hydrant at SODO Commercial Building Fire

April 24—Seattle Fire Investigators determined a fire in a commercial building in SODO was accidental, caused by an overheated ventilation fan. The damage estimate is more than $60,000 to the structure and contents.

At 9:41 a.m. a call came into the Fire Alarm Center reporting flames coming from a 2-story commercial building in the 2400 block of 1st Avenue South at the corner of South Landers Street. The responding crews noticed a column of smoke from three blocks away.

Firefighters initiated a search and rescue operation in both the fire building and the building located to the North.  Seven employees and two customers were on the first floor of the building when the lights went out, and smoke and fire began shooting from the ceiling vents. All of the occupants safely self-evacuated. There were no injuries.

It took firefighters 10 minutes to get the fire under control.  It took about a half-an-hour to completely extinguish the flames.  The fire started in a ventilation system between floors 1 and 2 and charred a 10 foot by 10 foot area.

The fire arriving engine company was delayed in getting a water due to a car illegally parked directly in front of the closest fire hydrant. The firefighters ended up laying the hoseline on top of the car in order to reach the burning building.

The Seattle Police Department issued a $42 citation to the car’s owner and impounded the car for being illegally parked.

The Seattle Municipal Code 11.72.160 – Fire hydrant, states:

No person shall stand or park a vehicle within fifteen feet (15′) of a fire hydrant. (RCW 46.61.570(1)(b)(ii))  (Ord. 108200, § 2(11.72.160), 1979.)

The Seattle Fire Code also has a provision to deal with obstructions to fire hydrants

 507.5.4 Obstruction. Unobstructed access to fire hydrants

shall be maintained at all times. The fire department shall

not be deterred or hindered from gaining immediate access

to fire protection equipment or fire hydrants.

Capitol Hill Fatal House Fire Caused by Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials

April 16—Seattle Fire Investigators ruled a fatal Capitol Hill house fire was accidental caused by improperly discarded smoking materials in a chair.  The fire caused $150,000 damage to the residence and $50,000 damage to the contents of the 2-story home.

Multiple callers reported the fire to the Fire Alarm Center at 8:51 a.m.  reporting smoke coming from a home located in the 400 block of 16th Avenue East. The first arriving engine company found heavy smoke and flames coming from the North side of the house exposing to a neighbor’s home. A 76-year-old male occupant of the home was outside and stated his mother, in her 90’s, was trapped inside the burning home. Firefighters began a search and rescue operation and found the female occupant deceased inside the first floor living quarters.

Medics evaluated the 76-year-old male for smoke inhalation and minor burns to his arms and face and transported him to Harborview Medical Center in stable condition.

It took firefighters 20 minutes to get the fire under control and it took about 30 minutes to completely extinguish the flames.
Firefighters were able to protect the home to the north of the original house.

Red Cross was called to the scene to assist 2 occupants, the victim’s son and a caregiver, with temporary housing.

A family pet was found safe at a neighbor’s home.

Second Fire at Same House in One Month

February 25—Seattle Fire Investigators determined a house fire on 16th Avenue was accidental, caused by an overheated oil radiator. The damage estimate is $50,000 to the fire house and $50,000 to the home to the north.

Just minutes before midnight, a 911 call came into the Fire Alarm Center reporting a fire at a two-story home located in the 700 block of 16th Avenue. The first engine company arrived to find flames shooting out of both sides of the house and fire shooting out of the back of the structure. The flames were exposing to homes on both the north and the south side of the fire house.

The incident commander called for second alarm which doubled our fire resources in order to battle the growing flames. Firefighters ran six hose lines to both protect the neighboring homes and to battle the initial house fire.

Firefighters were able to save the home to the south. However, the home to the north suffered heavy damage to its first floor. The occupant of the north home safely  evacuated. The four occupants of the initial fire house also safely evacuated.

It took about 20 minutes to control the flames. It took an hour for firefighters to extinguish the flames in the north house. Extinguishing the flames in the initial house took longer due to the house being boarded up after a previous fire and the extensive combustibles piled up inside the home.

The previous fire occurred at 4:53 a.m. on February 8, 2015. Firefighters arrived to find flames breaking through the front window of the home. Crews quickly extinguished the fire and all four occupants safely evacuated before firefighters arrived. Red Cross was called to assist the occupants with temporary accommodations.

The cause of this fire was improperly discarded smoking materials in a coach which caused $25,000 in damage. After this fire, the incident commander recommended the residents not reoccupy the house.

After the latest fire, Red Cross assisted the 4 occupants with temporary shelter.


3 House Fires In 90 Minutes cause more than $135,000 in Damage

February 3-It was a busy day for Seattle Firefighters. They battled three unrelated house fires, in different parts of the city, during a 90 minute span today.

• 8 people displaced
• $195,000 in total damage
• All 3 fires were electrical in nature

House Fire 1000 block of NE 123rd Street Fire

Photo Courtesy of Fire Buff John Odegard

The first fire broke out today at 11:01 a.m. A caller reporting a large volume of smoke coming from the house located in the 1000 block of NE 123rd Street. Firefighters arrived to find the lone occupant of the house had safely evacuated. He stated the fire started in the kitchen of the house and spread. The flames worked their way from the kitchen through the ventilation system and into the attic of the 1-story home.



It took firefighters 10 minutes to control the flames and 22 minutes to knock down the fire. The flames caused extensive damage to the kitchen and roof and caused smoke damage to the house.

There were no reported injuries. The Red Cross was called to assist 2 adult males with temporary housing.

The Seattle Fire Investigator determined the cause was accidental, an electrical issue in the stove ventilation fan. The damage estimate is $10,000 to the structure and $60,000 to the contents.

House Fire 1500 23rd Avenue South

A Seattle Fire investigator determined a house fire in the 1500 block of 23rd Avenue South was accidental and electrical in nature. The cause was an overheated power adaptor and cord.

At 12:02 p.m. a person driving by the house noticed flames coming from the house and called 911. The first firefighters arrived within 3 minutes to find the house full of smoke. Firefighter’s aggressive attack limited the fire to just one bedroom. The fire was under control within 6 minutes and completely extinguished within 30 minutes.

No one was home at the time of the fire. However, a family for four did return to find their home damaged by the heat and smoke. The Red Cross was called to provide temporary shelter for 2 adults and 2 teenagers.

The damage estimate is $50,000 to the structure and $15,000 to the contents. There are no reported injuries.

An engine company will remain on scene and conduct a Firewatch until 4 p.m. to ensure hot spots do not flare up.

2800 block of Harvard Avenue East

A Seattle Fire Investigator determined a basement fire in a home in the 2800 block of Harvard Avenue East was accidental caused by electrical wiring.

At 12:31 p.m. dispatchers at the Fire Alarm Center received a hang up call reporting a fire inside the house. When firefighters arrived, they found a small basement fire at a single story house with basement and partially finished attic space. The firefighters made forcible entry into the basement. The flames traveled from the basement up a pipe-chase and into the wall and attic. The house suffered extensive smoke damage.

It took 15 minutes for firefighter to control the fire. It took 30 minutes to completely extinguish the flames.

The house was not habitable. The Red Cross was called to assist two adult males with temporary housing.

The damage estimate is $$45,000 to the structure and $15,000 to the contents.

Car into a Building in International District


February 3–A 92-year-old female was transported to Harborview Medical Center to be evaluated after running her sedan into the front door of a business in the International District.  At 1:27 p.m., firefighters were called to reports of a car into the building with a possible person trapped in the 800 block of South Weller Street.

When firefighters arrived they found the female driver was not trapped. Medics evaluated her and did not find any visible injuries. AMR transported her to HMC to for further examination.

The car broke the glass to the front doors of the building but did not cause any structural damage.

Seattle Police Department is investigating the cause of the accident.