May 9th, 2016 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center newsComments Off on UPDATE: Fire at White Center apartment complex
3:07 PM: Thanks to Jonathan for the top photo and tip: North Highline firefighters are at an apartment complex near Steve Cox Park this afternoon after flames tore through at least one unit. Our crew is at the scene now waiting to talk with the incident commander to find out more about what happened; so far, we know only that no one was seriously injured. More to come.
(WCN photo) 3:11 PM: NHFD tells us that three units were damaged by the fire – they don’t know yet what started it. No one was hurt; one resident went in to rescue his cat, which is also OK.
6:43 AM: From King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West:
Just before 1 am, King County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a burglary alarm at Cascade Middle School in the 11200 block of 10 Ave SW in White Center.
When deputies arrived, they found at least 2 windows had been broken out and it appeared the suspect(s) were still inside the school. The suspect(s) ran as deputies entered the school.
While searching the school, deputies found 2 small fires that had been set. (North Highline Fire District) responded to extinguish the fires.
King County detectives are investigating the burglary and arsons and said the school had been broken into once before within the last couple of weeks. A fire had been started at that break-in also.
10:12 AM UPDATE: We went by the school, which is open. Out front, we saw both the “ARSON” sign shown atop this story, and the multiple school-security cars in the photo above this line. We’ll be following up with KCSO later today.
(WCN photo) 2:03 PM: Big fire response in Top Hat this afternoon, at the convenience store in the 11000 block of 1st Avenue South. Along with North Highline Fire District, the Seattle Fire Department sent help via mutual aid. Our crew is there and says there’s not much damage visible from outside but crews are using fans to ventilate the mini-mart. Also, SW 112th is blocked right now because of the response. Regional media is at the scene too and we’re expecting a briefing shortly with details of what happened.
2:27 PM: Firefighters tell us that the fire involved vehicles behind the mini-mart, which explains why nothing’s obvious from the front. Our crew is finding out more from the chief at the scene right now.
ADDED: From comments – Erik’s video taken early on during the fire:
(WCN photo by Patrick Sand) North Highline firefighters are just wrapping up their work at a house in the 10800 block of 11th SW, where a small fire started in a wall and extended to the ceiling before it was put out. They tell us damage is not major and the home’s residents will be able to go back inside soon. Nobody was hurt. The fire’s cause has not yet been determined.
We know more today about the 36-year-old woman jailed for investigation of multiple White Center arsons – such as, she has “a flame on (her) right arm.” That’s from the section of the police report where suspects routinely are described. She appeared in the jailhouse courtroom this afternoon, where bail was set at $30,000, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Court documents describe the five fires she is accused of setting late Sunday night/early Monday morning. Two were at Samway Market; two others in dumpsters in a nearby alley; and the fifth was in a recycling bin outside the Mac’s Triangle Pub in South Delridge, across Roxbury from the south edge of White Center. Court documents say she was identified via surveillance video that shows her lighting multiple fires, and that she has been arrested for arson in the past; she allegedly told investigators that “voices in her head told her to (set) the fires because they were pretty,” the crime report says. Prosecutors will decide by week’s end on whether to file formal charges.
The new King County Sheriff’s Office Storefront Deputy for White Center, Bill Kennamer – introduced at this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting (WCN coverage here) – reports the arrest of an arson suspect. After what he describes as “several” arsons this past weekend, “today at about 11, Master Police Office Spence found and arrested the suspect in these arsons. The Arson Investigators responded and the suspect admitted to lighting the fires. She was booked into the King County Jail on 4 counts of Arson 2nd Degree.” Thanks to a reader tip, we know one of the fires was at the Samway Market on 15th SW late last night. We’re following up in search of more information.
We received an alert this evening including word that the 97-year-old house in that King County Assessor’s Office photo is about to be no more:
On March 19, 2015, the South King County Fire Training Consortium will be conducting live fire training at 10635 4 Ave. SW [map] between the hours of 7:00 am and 7:00 pm.
Live fire training is the carefully controlled burning of a specially prepared house that exposes firefighters to the conditions that they would find at an actual house fire. Firefighters practice extinguishing the fire, searching for victims, and clearing smoke out of the building.
Prior to the house being burned, all the oil-based materials including carpets, tar paper, and asphalt shingles are removed to reduce health risks and pollution.
Unfortunately, some smoke will be produced as the training is conducted. We recommend that people living in the area close their windows as a precaution. Those with respiratory sensitivity may want to consider being away from home during the training times.
There will be a temporary closure of 4 Ave. SW in both directions between SW 106 Street and SW 108 Street from 6:30 am until 7:30 pm. This closure will allow fire apparatus and personnel to move around the property safely. Detour signs will be posted and traffic rerouted. Homeowners on the closed section of street will be able to get in and out of their residences.
The South King County Fire Training Consortium is made up of eight fire departments and was created to allow firefighters from different departments to train together, using a common standard, and in a cost effective manner. The SCKFTC serves over 650 firefighters.
Metro also has sent an advisory that Route 131 will be rerouted for a while because of this.
September 13th, 2014 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center newsComments Off on In case you heard the sirens: Fire on 1st Ave. S.
We first heard about it when Skyway Fire tweeted that it had equipment en route to help with a commercial fire in North Highline, 11400 block of 1st Avenue S. No further details but KING 5 photojournalist Doug Dillon got to the scene and reported, also via Twitter, that the fire’s out:
North Highline Fire District crews are still at the scene of a house fire on 13th SW south of SW Roxbury. The incident commander tells WCN that no one was in the house when it caught fire before dawn; there are residents in an RV on the property, and the house was full of items being stored. An investigator will be working in the hours ahead to find out what started the fire.
February 6th, 2014 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center newsComments Off on Update: Fire hits 20th SW home for second time in five years
12:33 PM: Thanks to another tipster who called to report a sighting of fire and aid units. Driving around, we have found them on 20th SW, north of SW 102nd. Seattle Fire Department has again been called for mutual aid. More to come.
12:41 PM UPDATE: Nobody hurt, fire crews tell us, and nobody was home when it started. The fire’s under control but has done enough damage that nobody will be able to occupy the home immediately. Seattle Engine 11 wasn’t needed for long, so they’re headed back to their station in Highland Park.
No word yet on the cause.
1:53 PM UPDATE: Thanks to both Ron and DJ for pointing out that this house also had a major fire a few years back – August 2009, to be precise, as covered here on WCN.
February 6th, 2014 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center newsComments Off on Update: Fire at business building on 14th SW
10:21 AM: Thanks to Amanda (who also shared the photo) and Nancy for the tip – North Highline fire units are in the 10000 block of 14th SW (map) at a business fire. Amanda identifies the business as White Center Blacksmith and Welding. We’re on the way to find out more.
10:35 AM: WCN’s Patrick Sand reports firefighters tell him at the scene that this WAS White Center Welding, but is currently vacant, and apparently a new tenant was getting ready to move in. Nobody hurt; the fire is out. This is next door to WestSide Baby‘s headquarters, and executive director Nancy Woodland says smoke from the fire got into their building, so they’re dealing with the effects of that. No indication yet how this started; investigators will be working to figure that out.
11:01 AM: Do note that the public-safety turnout for this has 14th SW blocked at the scene.
12:13 PM UPDATE: From Woodland:
This morning there was a fire at about 10 am in the large building next to WestSide Baby’s donations facility. One of our staff made the initial 911 call. It was significant and luckily, due to the very quick response of the North Highline Fire Department and with support from surrounding departments, the fire was under control within about 30 minutes. WestSide Baby’s donation facility is closed today to assess the smoke damage. We also have to have all the doors open in the hopes of minimizing smoke impact on all of the clothes, diapers and equipment stored inside. It’s REALLY cold so our staff is all huddled in our Administrative offices nearby. Phones and e-mails work.
The building next door was recently re-occupied by an auto repair business. They had only received keys last Friday. The fire investigators are here determining the cause.
February 2nd, 2014 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center newsComments Off on Update: Fire at White Center apartment building, 1 person hurt
(Photos by WCN’s Patrick Sand) 9:04 AM: We’re on our way to check out a fire response at the Windemere Estates apartment building on 16th SW just south of SW 107th. No details yet but Seattle Fire Department is sending mutual aid, which usually means something major. More as we get it.
9:23 AM UPDATE: We’re at the scene now. The fire is tapped – contained to one unit, one person treated for smoke inhalation, cause not yet determined. Traffic is blocked on northbound 16th just south of 107th and a Route 120 bus was waiting a while but now appears to have moved on.
October 15th, 2013 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center newsComments Off on Update: Big response for house fire on 11th SW
7:48 AM: There’s a big response – including mutual aid from Seattle Fire – headed into Greenbridge for a possible house fire in the 10000 block of 11th SW. We’re heading over to check it out and will update here.
8:05 AM UPDATE: Our crew just arrived. No flames visible but smoke coming from windows and roof. Lots of fire crews on scene, North Highline and the aforementioned help from Seattle (an engine and battalion chief were sent).
8:41 AM UPDATE: We’ve confirmed there is extensive damage to the house; no residents or firefighters hurt; no word so far of how the fire started.
9:08 AM UPDATE: Just added video – North Highline firefighters using a water cannon from atop one of their rigs. Photos to come.
King County’s fire investigator is working to find out what caused a house fire in the 10600 block of 17th SW; thanks to the readers who messaged us about it. It’s out now. Nobody home when it happened, and no injuries were reported, the North Highline Fire Districtincident commander told us.
Lesley recorded video while smoke was pouring from the house:
Fire did major damage to a house on 28th SW just north of Explorer West Middle School late Tuesday night. A King County fire investigator was on scene early this morning trying to find out what started the fire; the incident commander from North Highline Fire District told WCN that the homeowner wasn’t home when it started – though he had arrived by the time we got there – and nobody was hurt.
We are pleased to be hosting King County Sheriff John Urquhart and North Highline Fire Chief Mike Marrs.
Sheriff Urquhart will be here to take our questions, and listen to community concerns about public safety and the sheriff’s department staffing levels for the North Highline area.
Once again our White Center Storefront Deputy position is in jeopardy, as the special funding allocated in 2011 expires at the end of 2013. Will the 2014 budget include funding for this essential position?
The North Highline Fire District, which is funded solely by property tax money from North Highline, is facing critical financial challenges. Chief Marrs will discuss the history of our North Highline Fire District, operational status, and future challenges and options.
Storefront Deputy BJ Myers is scheduled to be there too. The forum’s set to start at 7 pm Thursday, 1243 SW 112th – everybody welcome.
ORIGINAL 5:23 AM REPORT: Multiple reports of a fire response affecting traffic in the 24th-26th vicinity on Roxbury. More shortly.
6:01 AM UPDATE: Just back from the fire scene. Vacant home – apparently for sale, because there’s a lockbox on it – caught fire. North Highline fire investigators don’t know why yet. Nobody hurt. Eastbound Roxbury will be blocked a while, and westbound is affected too, as are Metro buses in the area.
8:10 AM: Westbound traffic is fine and buses have returned to their regular routes, but as of our last check, last hour (we’re going back shortly), eastbound traffic was still impeded.
8:58 AM: Traffic’s fully open both ways again on Roxbury. As for the fire, we’re checking with authorities – a sign saying ARSON is now up at the scene.
11:43 AM: Sgt. Cindi West with the King County Sheriff’s Office confirms their investigators have indeed ruled it arson: “It does appear to be an intentionally set fire that started in the basement.As you probably saw from the sign on the house there is a reward for information leading to an arrest.”
January 17th, 2013 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center newsComments Off on Reader report: Car fire on 30th SW
Scary sight on 30th SW, south of Roxbury, on Wednesday evening – this Lexus caught fire. We heard about it from Harmony via Facebook, and she shared this photo of the aftermath, saying the firefighters who were still on scene told her no one was hurt.
November 26th, 2012 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center newsComments Off on Deadly fire update: Fire ruled accidental; victim Peggy Munsen’s sister reminisces
Two updates today on Saturday night’s deadly fire on 28th SW: First, according to King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West, it’s been ruled an accidental electrical fire; though no crime was believed to be involved, Sgt. West was dispatched to the scene to help coordinate communication. Second, the sister of the home’s resident, 71-year-old Peggy Munsen, has spoken with WCN news partner The Seattle Times and confirmed that Ms. Munsen is the woman who died in the fire; that’s the same information given to us that night by a friend, but we withheld the name until officials and/or family confirmed it. Ms. Munsen’s sister is former West Seattleite, now Bremerton resident, Kay Trepanier, long known for her business Cruises By Kay. As she told The Times, her sister went into the cruise business too. There is no word yet of memorial plans.
5:44 PM: Seattle firefighters are assisting North Highline/Burien firefighters at the scene of a house fire in the 9800 block of 28th SW, just south of Roxbury Lanes and the Roxbury Safeway. We are at the scene and will have more information shortly.
5:51 PM: Just talked with the incident commander, who says a woman was found dead in the bathroom of the home, possibly overcome by smoke. All they know is that she is in her late 60s or early 70s. The house itself was not that badly damaged, but it was a very smoky fire. Investigators are starting work to see what caused it. 28th SW will be shut down in the area for a while.
6:50 PM: Acting Battalion Chief Ernie Brown briefed media at the scene (this has drawn several TV crews as well) a short time ago:
We’ll update with anything else we find out later.
8:35 PM UPDATE: A friend of the 71-year-old woman who lived at the home, a longtime local business owner, tells us her friend is the fire victim, and that her family mostly lives out of town but will be contacted. Our policy is to not publish names until it’s been confirmed by either authorities or relatives that next of kin has been notified. The victim’s friend remembers her as “a wonderfully sweet and kind lady with a wicked sense of humor; a dear friend who will be greatly missed.”
10:16 PM UPDATE: Just went back to check – 28th SW is reopened. One fire vehicle and a TV truck remain at the scene.