Crane Fire Demonstrates Need For Safety Precautions Around Power Lines

A fire at a West Seattle construction site Thursday morning shows how important it is to be safe around power lines.


A crane operator was hoisting trusses for a building when part of the machinery came into contact with a power line. The surge of electricity started a fire that eventually engulfed the crane’s cab. Fortunately, no one was injured.


Here’s what the West Seattle Blog wrote about the fire:

8:27 AM: Seattle Fire is upgrading a “car fire” call in the 4700 block of SW Andover to a “full response” so lots of units are heading that way and we’re told the smoke is visible for some ways around. First units on scene are describing it as a “well-involved crane” with “power lines below the crane” – dangerous situation – avoid the area. Our crew just arrived and says it’s in the alley between 47th and 48th. From the scanner, the fire is “confined to (the mobile crane) and fence.” Firefighters are working to keep it from spreading.

8:38 AM: We’ve added a short Instagram video clip from our crew atop this story. Firefighters say the fire’s under control. No injuries reported. The smoke was visible from as far away as downtown.

8:46 AM: Update from our crew at the scene: The mobile crane was lifting roof trusses for a construction project nearby. Those items are largely undamaged. The fire response is scaling down. No report of flames spreading to nearby homes – firefighters got it handled in time.

8:54 AM: SFD tells us they believe the fire started when the crane touched a wire, which would explain commenters’ reports of a brief power outage at about the same time.

9:00 AM: We still have crews at the scene but also just have heard via scanner that Seattle City Light has advised SFD to keep a 30-foot safety perimeter around the burned crane.

9:23 AM: Thanks to everyone who sent photos, and to those with additional scene info in comments. The scene, meantime, has stabilized to some degree; we will be checking back later.

9:39 AM: Also via scanner – the power lines “are still energized” and they’re awaiting City Light’s arrival to cut the power as well as a salvage crew to remove the crane.

10:07 AM: Not sure how this will affect people in the area but now they’re saying SCL won’t be able to shut down the power until noon or so. At least one SFD engine is remaining on scene TFN.


You can read Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Lines post here: Fire Lines

And get safety tips from us here: City Light Safety Tips


University District Fire Caused by Unattended Candles

April 22- Seattle Fire Investigators determined a basement bedroom fire was accidental caused by unattended candles in a basement bedroom. The damage estimate is $50,000 to the structure and $15,000 to the contents.

At 11:18 a.m. multiple people called the Fire Alarm Center to report a large column of black smoke coming from the 2-story home with a basement located in the 5500 block of 16th Avenue NE. Engine Company 17 arrived to find 5 people who safely evacuated the home. A search and rescue operation was conducted and no other occupants were found in the house.

It took firefighters approximately 20 minutes from dispatch to completely extinguish the flames. The fire damage was limited to the basement fire unit and surround alcove area. However, the rest of the structure suffered smoke damage.  One deceased cat was found in a second story bedroom.

Medics evaluated 2 patients for minor smoke inhalation but no further treatment was needed.

The Red Cross was called to assist residents with temporary housing. The owner said a total of 7 people live in the home.


Early Morning RV Fire Causes $5,000 in Damage

February 24—Seattle Fire Investigators determined the cause of an early morning RV fire in Ballard was accidental, caused by a burning candle inside the coach.

At 2:31 a.m., multiple 911 callers reported hearing an explosion and then a fire in the RV that was parked on NW 45th Street and 6Th Avenue NW.  When firefighters arrived they found the two occupants of the motorhome has safely evacuated.  Because everyone was out of the burning coach, firefighters went defensive, meaning they fought the flames from outside if the RV. It took 8 minutes for firefighters to get the fire under control and 13 minutes to completely extinguish the flames.

The burning RV caught a telephone/power pole on fire. Power lines were directly above the burning motorhome which caused a hazard for firefighters.

AMR transported both occupants of the RV to HMC after they suffered minor burns to their hands.

Fire investigators determined there was no evidence of an explosion just a fire inside the RV. The damage estimate is $5,000 to the motorhome.

3 Opportunities to be Part of the Seattle Fire Code Advisory Board

Because of its importance for residents and businesses, the Seattle Fire Code is updated by the Seattle Fire Department in cooperation with a volunteer advisory board that represents the interests of the public, organized labor, and local business, industry, and technical trades. We are seeking three board members for the Seattle Fire Code Advisory Board to represent:

-Major institutions (including hospitals and universities)
-The services industry (including nightclubs, entertainment and retail)

Board members play a crucial role in establishing the fire code for Seattle. The Seattle Fire Code helps prevent fires and assure the safety of people who live, work and visit in Seattle.

If you are interested in applying for this rewarding professional role, please send your resume and a cover letter indicating why you would like to join the Board and which position you are applying for, by March 20, 2015, to Karen Grove in the Seattle Fire Marshal’s Office.


Address:       Karen Grove

Seattle Fire Department Fire Prevention Division

220 Third Avenue South

Seattle, WA 98104

For more information you can click on this link:


Fire Code Advisory Board c/o Seattle Fire Department, Fire Marshal’s Office 220 Third Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104 Attn: Karen Grove Email:

Phone: 206-386-1451 Fax: 206-386-1359


Man Rescued After Being Trapped 18 hours in Rail Car

February 4—Seattle Firefighters rescued a 25-year-old man trapped in a void space on a train car this morning.

Around 8:15 a.m., walkers along the Burke Gillman Trail heard a man screaming for help in the 6200 block of Seaview Avenue NW. The good Samaritans called 911. When firefighter arrived, they found the patient head first down a narrow steel chute. The man’s head was popping out through the bottom of the chute underneath the train. The man’s feet were popping out of the top of the chute. The patient explained he was trapped in this confined space for 18 hours.

It took about two minutes to free the man. Eventually firefighters were able to carefully lift the man up by his legs to get him out of his precarious position. The man did not have any visible injuries. Medics transported him to Swedish Ballard to be evaluated.

The dry goods rail tanker car was located on a short section of track that was used for railcar storage.