Off-Duty Firefighter Assists in Heavy Rescue in Columbia City












August 28—An off-duty Seattle Firefighter extinguished multiple spot fires and assisted in rescuing three trapped family members after an SUV plowed into a Columbia City hair salon and Greek restaurant this afternoon.

The multi-agency incident began at 1:15 p.m. when an SUV plowed through the front of the hair salon located on the corner of Rainier Avenue South and South Ferdinand Street. An off-duty firefighter dining nearby ran to the scene and used a dry chemical extinguisher to put out spot fires underneath the SUV. The firefighter then assisted in efforts to extricate a family of three trapped by the SUV.

The mother, father and 10-year-old daughter were dining in the Greek restaurant when they were struck by the SUV and trapped between a wall and the trucks bumper. Within 10 minutes of arriving, firefighters were able to extricate the family from their entrapment. They were treated by medics and transported to Harborview Medical Center in stable condition with minor injuries.

Crews then worked on freeing the approximately 40-year-old female driver of the SUV who was trapped inside the car by falling debris from the business.  The driver was evaluated by medics and transported to Harborview Medical Center as a precautionary measure.

A mother and an approximately 6-8 year old boy were struck by the SUV in the salon. They were treated by medics for minor singeing and bumps and bruises. They were transported to Harborview Medical Center in stable condition with minor injuries. A third person in the salon, a female, was evaluated by medics after being hit by debris but she declined transport.

Once all patients were removed from the building, crews worked on shoring up the damaged structure. The building suffered several cracks. Technical Rescue Team firefighters used hydraulic shoring to prevent the building from collapsing.  A City of Seattle structural engineer was called in to inspect the building.

Shortly before 5 p.m., the building inspector yellow tagged the one-story business restricting entry to the heavily damaged structure.  Seattle Police are working to have the SUV towed from inside the building.

The investigation into the cause of the crash is being handled by the Seattle Police Department.