Water rescue response on Harbor Island

SEATTLE – At 8:42 a.m. on Aug. 13, 2018, the Fire Alarm Center received a call about two people in distress in the water near Harbor Island. When crews arrived on scene, they received reports that a man had seen a person in the water in need of medical assistance, and jumped in to help him. Firefighters later learned that the man who jumped in to rescue the patient is a worker at Terminal 18. The patient was working on a cargo ship, and the circumstances which led to him being in the water are unknown to the fire department.

Prior to the arrival of Seattle Fire crews, a private boat picked up the two individuals, and Terminal 18 crews used a crane to hoist them on to the shore. Medics immediately began life saving efforts and transported the patient in critical condition to Harborview Medical Center. The patient is estimated to be approximately 30-years-old.

The Seattle Fire Department extends our appreciation to the man who jumped in to save the patient, and to the private boat owners for stopping to help. If it weren’t for their coordinated life-saving efforts, the outcome may have been different.

Crews respond to two structure fires on Aug. 10

SEATTLE – Seattle Firefighters responded to two structure fires on August 10.

The first fire occurred just after 9 a.m. at 14th Avenue and East Spruce Street. The Fire Alarm Center had received a call about a fire in a residential home, and upon arrival, crews saw that it was a boarded up structure. Firefighters fought the fire from outside of the structure until it was deemed safe to enter. Once inside, firefighters searched all floors of the structure and reported there were no occupants inside. The fire was under control within 30 minutes and no injuries were reported. Fire investigators ruled the fire as accidental, and determined it started on the exterior of the southeast corner. Total estimated loss is $20,000 due to five vehicles sustaining heat damage. The building is scheduled for demolition, so there was no dollar loss to the structure.

The second fire occurred just after 6 p.m. in the Greenlake neighborhood at the 7500 Block of Sunnyside Avenue East. A 9-year-old boy named Caleb was riding his scooter in the area when he saw smoke coming from the attic and alerted his dad. His father then ran into the home, and got all of the occupants out of the house safely. Due to the fire being in the attic space, the occupants were unaware the home was on fire. Crews had the fire under control within one hour of arriving on scene. There were no reported injuries to members of the public or firefighters. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The Seattle Fire Department thanks Caleb for his observation and fire safety skills, and his parents for their quick actions in alerting the occupants of the home.

MEDIA ADVISORY: CPR success story, public encouraged to sign-up for PulsePoint

SEATTLE – On July 31, 2018, an adult male from Seattle went into cardiac arrest at 24-hour Fitness in Seattle. Two bystanders trained in CPR came across the patient and began life-saving efforts. One of the individuals who responded had signed up for the PulsePoint app and received an alert on his phone just after he began conducting CPR. Due to the quick life-saving actions of the two bystanders, use of an AED and cardiac treatment at Harborview Medical Center, the patient has made a full recovery.

Media is invited to interview the CPR survivor, the individual(s) who conducted CPR, and the Seattle Fire Department Medical Director. The CPR survivor’s daughter will be at the event to translate for her father who speaks Lao.

  • What: Media availability for CPR success story
  • Who: CPR survivor, individual(s) who conducted CPR, Seattle Fire Department Medical Director and Emergency Services, Harborview, Dr. Michael Sayre
  • When: August 9, 2018 at 11:30 a.m.
  • Where: Harborview Medical Center, 325 9th Avenue, Seattle, Medic One Apparatus Bay, South of HMC Emergency Room Entrance on 9th Avenue


Media Contacts:

Kristin Tinsley, Public Information Officer
Seattle Fire Department

Susan Gregg, Director of Media Relations
UW Medicine Marketing & Communications

Be Safe at Seafair

SEATTLE – This weekend is Seafair and we want everyone to have fun and stay safe while on the water. Here are some tips on how to do so:

Boating safety:

  • Ensure your boat has a working smoke alarm. Test alarms monthly.
  • Have a U.S. Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher on board and know how to use it. Mount the extinguisher near an exit to prevent being trapped.
  • Dispose of oily rags in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Fuel portable tanks on the dock, not on your vessel.
  • State law requires personal flotation devices for each person aboard a vessel.
  • Never swim in or near marinas, docks or boatyards.
  • Have your boat inspected by a certified electrician.
  • Boats with AC systems should have isolation transformers or equipment leakage circuit interrupter protection.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning while boating:
    • Gas vapors will accumulate in low spots – before fueling, close all hatches, compartments and covers.
    • After fueling, open everything up and ventilate.
    • Swim and play away from areas where engines vent their exhaust.
    • Educate all passengers about the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning (irritated eyes, headache, nausea, dizziness).
    • Never block exhaust outlets. Blocking outlets can cause CO to build up in the cabin and cockpit areas – even when hatches, windows, portholes, and doors are closed.
    • Dock, beach, or anchor at least 20-feet away from the nearest boat that is running a generator or engine. Exhaust from a nearby vessel can send CO into the cabin and cockpit of a boat.

Drowning prevention:

  • The safest decision may be to not enter the water. Think about the risks when swimming.
  • Wear a lifejacket. Infants and children should always wear lifejackets when in or near open water. Air filled or foam toys, are not a substitute for wearing a U.S. Coast Guard approved lifejacket.
  • Learn to swim, including water safety and survival skills. Learn to float and tread water for at least 10 minutes. It’s good to improve skills in a pool before hitting open water.
  • Drowning often happens when inexperienced or weaker swimmers try to keep up with more experienced ones. Have conversations with your children and teens about swimming risks.
  • Supervise children in or near water. Always stay within touching distance of young children.
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs during water activities.
  • Learn first aid and CPR
  • If you have an emergency, call 911

Seattle Fire will also be staffing extra units throughout the weekend in case anyone needs help. We will be providing fire suppression services, marine and water rescue services, and emergency medical services (EMS) for this event.

  • Fire suppression: Two engine companies will be staffed in the Stan Sayres pits for when the hydro planes and boats refuel.
  • Marine and Water Rescue: Fireboat Chief Seattle will be out on the water to help with any boating issues. There will also be rescue swimmers on a Boeing Fireboat, rescue swimmers staged onshore, and Seattle Firefighter/Medics on the Seattle Police Harbor Patrol Boat.
  • EMS: Firefighter/Medics will be staffing bikes and a medic unit around Genesee Park

Photo courtesy of John Odegard


Overturned Tanker

SEATTLE – On August 1, 2018 around 10:33 p.m. the Fire Alarm Center received a report of an overturned tanker at Chelan Ave SW and Delridge Way SW.  Based on that information, a hazmat response was dispatched to the intersection.  Engine 36 arrived first, reporting that half of a double tanker had rolled over.  Prior to their arrival, the driver had exited the truck and was not injured.

Gasoline was leaking from the overturned tanker, and because of this, firefighters applied foam to suppress gasoline vapors and to create a foam blanket over the fuel.  As a precaution, the nearby Chelan Café was evacuated.   Gasoline was leaking into a storm drain so Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and the United States Coast Guard were notified and responded to the incident. Once the incident became stabilized, a private contractor pumped out the remaining fuel in the overturned tanker which was then uprighted.

Over 35 units responded including the Hazardous Material Team, the Fireboat, and 21 engines. Seattle Fire remained on scene until 8:30 a.m. then turned the scene over to SPU to continue monitoring and conduct clean up operations.  SPU estimates that around 3,000 gallons of gasoline leaked from the tanker and confirmed some fuel did enter the Duwamish Waterway.