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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.”
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.
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.
(Photos courtesy Vera Johnson)
No injuries are reported in a house fire tonight at 26th SW and SW 102nd. We got a tip and got there only in time to see a fire crew wrapping up, but Vera Johnson from nearby Village Green Perennial Nursery – near the fire scene – says the house where it happened is vacant, but has been used by squatters. She says, “A couple kids saw flames, told a neighbor, and then the Fire Department was called.”
10:30 AM: Just happened onto this while driving through White Center – big fire response, and smoke, in an office building at 10038 16th SW.
10:54 AM UPDATE: According to North Highline firefighters at the scene, someone was up doing work on the roof, saw smoke, went downstairs and called 911. Two offices were evacuated; turns out the fire was in insulation – firefighters did some ventilation, cutting into the walls, to check how far it had extended. Firefighters did get the office equipment and records out so the staffing firm is OK with that, we’re told. No injuries reported.
A county-wide burn ban was declared today by the King County Fire Marshal in conjunction with Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties. This ban is prompted by forecasts calling for continued dry weather and will last until September 1, 2012.
This Phase 1 burn ban applies to all outdoor burning except for small recreational fires in established fire pits at approved camp grounds or private property with the owner’s permission. These fires must:
· Be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, such as those typically found in designated campgrounds; and not be used as debris disposal;
· Grow no larger than three feet in diameter;
· Be located in a clear spot free from any vegetation for at least 10 feet in a horizontal direction, including at least 25 feet away from any structure and allow 20-foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches; and
· Be attended at all times by an alert individual and equipment capable of extinguishing the fire shall be in constant attendance at the site while burning.
The White Center Market at 98th and 16th SW is closed right now because of damage from a fire earlier this week, reports WCN contributor Deanie Schwarz (who also took the photo above). She talked with a fire-department battalion chief, who says it happened around 4 am Wednesday, when a King County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted flames on the alley-side exterior of the store. Multiple fire crews responded and kept the flames from spreading into the store’s wood ceiling and paneled exterior. The battalion chief tells WCN that the investigation so far suggests an electrical malfunction might have been to blame; WCN is told the store owner’s family does have insurance.
We went over to Uncle Mike’s Superlicious BBQ in White Center after finding out via the restaurant’s Facebook page that they are closed temporarily because of a small fire. Co-owner “Uncle Mike” Gordon explained a grease fire broke out in their smoker; he had it mostly put out even before the North Highline Fire Department crew arrived – but since it’s the weekend, they won’t really know before Monday what they need to do for repairs and replacement, so they don’t know how long they’ll be closed. Mike and his spouse/business partner Elizabeth Gordon want you to know nobody was hurt – they’re OK, and their dining room is undamaged:
The restaurant at 9640 16th SW has drawn rave reviews – not just for its barbecue, but for other menu items like fried chicken and vegetarian options – since its opening almost a year ago.