Early Morning S. Park House Fire Caused by Transient Activity

August 17—A Seattle Fire Investigators determined an early morning fire at a vacant South Park home was accidental, caused by transient activity which ignited combustible materials in the attic space.

At 5:36 a.m. a 911 call came into the Fire Alarm Center reporting a large amount of smoke coming from an abandoned home located in the 1400 block of South Donovan Street. Firefighters arrived to find smoke pouring from the eaves of the home. The house was vacant and previously boarded up. The local engine company had previously inspected the property and found interior hazards so the house was listed as a dangerous building.

Due to the dangerous building status, firefighters launched a defensive attack, fighting the fire from the outside of the building to avoid exposing firefighters to any unnecessary risks. Due to fire damage to the home, a collapse zone was created around the immediately exterior of the house.

The flames extended from the attic space down to the second floor of the home. Crews used multiple hose lines and two ladder pipes capable of dumping 1,000 gallons a minute each on the fire. At 9:27 a.m. the fire was extinguished or tapped.

During the firefight, the roof of the home and a second floor collapsed. Once the flames were knocked down, crews searched both floors of the home and the basement for any occupants. No one was found inside the home.  Waist-deep combustibles were piled up throughout the home which made the search more challenging.

The damage estimate is $55,000 and there were no reported injuries.


Technical Team Rescues Female Trapped Inside Charity Donation Box

August 10—The Seattle Fire Department Technical Rescue Team freed a woman stuck inside a charity donation box near Georgetown this morning.

At 4:34 a.m. firefighters were called to the corner of 4th Avenue South and South Mead Street for a report of a female trapped inside a four foot by four foot by six foot donation box. The 26-year old female stated she crawled inside the box to gather clothes and was crawling out when her leg became stuck in the anti-theft mechanism.  The Technical Rescue Team used several heavy tools to pry open the mechanism entrapping the female’s leg and free her.

The female patient declined medical treatment and transport.



3 Maple Leaf Homes Burn in Two-Alarm Fire


Photo Courtesy of Fire Buff John Odegard

Photo Courtesy of Fire Buff John Odegard

Photo Courtesy of Fire Buff John Odegard

Photo Courtesy of Fire Buff John Odegard

Photo Courtesy of Fire Buff John Odegard

July 23—An early morning fire heavily damages three north Seattle homes in the Maple Leaf neighborhood.At 3 a.m., firefighters responded to a report of a fire at a home under construction located in the 8500 block of 8th Avenue NE. When Engine Company 16 arrived, flames were shooting 30-40 feet into the air from the vacant home. The flames exposed to the homes to the north and south of the construction house catching both homes on fire.

The incident commander called for a two-alarm fire, doubling the number of firefighters responding to the scene. The extra firefighters were needed to battle the three burning homes and protect the neighboring properties. At the height of the fire there were 99 firefighters and 29 fire apparatus on the scene.

Two families of four safely evacuated the homes to the north and to the south of the burning structure. Firefighters rescued a bearded dragon pet lizard in its terrarium from the top floor of the burning home to the north.  A cat is still missing from the home to the south.









Heavy smoke from the fire forced the evacuation of an 86th Street home located just to the west of the north house.  Flying embers from the fire landed on a garage/work-shed in the back of the burning homes causing a fence and the shed to catch fire.







The heat of the fire caused about a half dozen second floor windows to break at the Saint Catherine’s School across the street from the burning houses. The school did not suffer any fire or smoke damage.







The under construction home and the south home are total losses. The north home damage is extensive and is still being assessed. Fire investigator estimate the damage will be more than a million dollars to property and contents.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Seattle Police Arson Bomb Squad and the ATF are assisting in the investigation.

There were no injuries.

Summer Brush Fires Increase by 178% in Seattle

July 22, 2015 -Since June 1st, the Seattle Fire Department has responded to a 178% increase in brush fires. The warm, dry conditions are creating the perfect fuel for fires to burn.

By two p.m. today, the Seattle Firefighters has already responded to four brush fires and four beauty bark fires. The most serious fire started at 10:57 a.m. along the southbound lanes of I-5 at 130th. A fire burned from the freeway up the hillside charring a 200 foot by 100 foot section of dry grass and brush. The flames extended to ignite a tree and burn a section of concrete barrier at the top of the slope. It took five fire engines nearly an hour to completely extinguish the flames.

The fires today include:

Brush Fires:

  • 10:14 a.m. 3801 Discovery Park Blvd- Campfire extending to brush
  • 10:57 a.m.SB I5 at 130th-Brush Fire
  • 11:01 a.m. S Holgate St/5th Ave S- Brush Fire
  • 1:20 p.m. 9444 9th Av SW-Brush Fire

Beauty Bark Fires:

  • 6:12 a.m. 609 Yesler Way- Beauty Bark Fire
  • 6:48 a.m. 149 N 75th St-Beauty Bark Fire
  • 1:56 p.m. 1620 Melrose Avenue-Beauty Bark Fire

From June 1 to July 21 the Seattle Fire Department responded to 442 warm weather related fires. This includes 225 brush fires and 217 beauty bark fires. This is a 178% increase in brush fires and a 119% increase in beauty bark fires over 2014 responses.

During the same time period in 2014, the Seattle Firefighters responded to 180 fires including 81 brush fires and 99 beauty bark fires.

These fires pose a danger to those who live in a wildland/urban interface. There are steps homeowners can take to protect their properties.

  • Clear leaves and debris from roof, gutters, porches and decks.
  • Remove dead vegetation from under deck and porch and within 10 feet of house
  • Remove flammable wood piles, propane tanks away from homes and garage structures
  • Prune trees away from homes
  • For homes adjacent to large areas of greenbelt, consider defensible space between home and landscaping
  • Homes built on slopes should mitigate dead dry vegetation below and around structure.
  • Either keep lawn hydrated or if its’ brown, cut it down.
  • Practice an evacuation plan out of your home and out of your neighborhood.

A link to wildfire prevention tips:

WSP Wildland Fire Safety Tips

DNR Wildfire Prevention Tips

South Seattle Vacant House Fire Cause Remains Undetermined

Photo courtesy Fire Buff John Odegard

Photo courtesy Fire Buff John Odegard

July 10–Fire investigators are classifying the cause of an early morning fire at a vacant house in the Rainier Valley as  undetermined.

At 3:17 a.m. a 911 caller reported smoke and flames coming from a vacant home located next door. When firefighters arrived they found flames shooting from every floor of a home located in the 7500 block of Renton Avenue South. Realizing the home was vacant, the firefighters took a defensive position, fighting the fire from the outside. In additional to multiple hose lines from engine companies a ladder pipe capable of pumping 1500 gallons a minute was used to extinguish the fire. With flames exposing to both a home to the North and an apartment complex to the South, firefighters set up hose lines to protect the neighboring structures. The home to the North was evacuated as a precaution. Firefighters prevented the flames from damaging the neighboring structures.

Within 20 minutes fire crews had the fire under control. It took 30 minutes to knock down the fire and 40 minutes to completely extinguish the flames.

Due to the extensive damage and risk of collapse of the recently sold vacant home, fire investigators were not able to go inside the structure to determine a cause.

The damage estimate is zero dollars due to the fact the abandoned home was set for demolition.

There were no injuries.