Update: House fire on Roxbury ruled arson; road partly blocked for hours

February 13th, 2013 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center news 4 Comments »

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.”

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Reader report: Car fire on 30th SW

January 17th, 2013 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center news Comments 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.

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Deadly fire update: Fire ruled accidental; victim Peggy Munsen’s sister reminisces

November 26th, 2012 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center news Comments 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.

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Update: Woman found dead after fire in 9800 block of 28th SW

November 24th, 2012 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center news 2 Comments »

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.

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Heard the sirens? House fire tonight on 26th SW

November 9th, 2012 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center news Comments Off on Heard the sirens? House fire tonight on 26th SW

(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.”

We’ll check tomorrow to see if we can find out anything from the North Highline Fire District.

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Update: Fire evacuates offices in White Center

October 3rd, 2012 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center news Comments Off on Update: Fire evacuates offices in White Center

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.

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Fire-safety burn ban called by King County Fire Marshal

July 17th, 2012 Tracy Posted in fire, safety, White Center news Comments Off on Fire-safety burn ban called by King County Fire Marshal

Like most years, mid-July means a fire-safety burn ban is going into effect, by order of the King County Fire Marshal. The announcement explains what that means:

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.

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White Center Market temporarily closed by fire damage

January 27th, 2012 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center news Comments Off on White Center Market temporarily closed by fire damage

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.

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Uncle Mike’s Superlicious BBQ closed (temporarily) after kitchen fire

July 30th, 2011 Tracy Posted in fire, Food, restaurants, White Center news 3 Comments »

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.

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Apartment fire under investigation; Red Cross helping victims

July 25th, 2011 Tracy Posted in fire, How to Help, White Center news Comments Off on Apartment fire under investigation; Red Cross helping victims

You may have seen the smoke from Sunday afternoon’s huge apartment fire in the unincorporated area east of White Center, in a Union Gospel Mission-owned building in the 9800 block of Des Moines Memorial Drive. Dozens of people are without homes as a result; efforts are under way to help them, from a collection being taken up at the South Park-area Red Apple Market, to a Red Cross shelter set up in a West Seattle church so residents have someplace to sleep and to get meals. Citywide media reports say the fire’s cause is still being investigated.

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White Center 4th of July aftermath: Field fire doused near WC DQ

July 5th, 2011 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center news 5 Comments »

Thanks to Madge Bloom for e-mailing to share that photo of a fire she spotted, and reported, late last night in the open space by the White Center Dairy Queen. She says North Highline Fire District firefighters got there fast and made quick work of it; she has more photos on her website, The View From Right Here.

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Update: Small fire at Roxbury Lanes

April 26th, 2011 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center news 2 Comments »

Right now (5:31 pm), there’s no bowling at Roxbury Lanes, but the restaurant’s open, as crews clean up after what we’re told was a small fire. We’re still working to gather the details; Seattle crews were there for a while to help North Highline.

5:41 PM UPDATE: It was a small fire in the laundry room – some rags caught fire. The bowling alley WILL be open for business, firefighters tell us, as long as they keep fire watch tonight.

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Traffic alert: Fire response closes 8th SW north of White Center

April 24th, 2011 Tracy Posted in fire, Highland Park, Traffic, White Center news Comments Off on Traffic alert: Fire response closes 8th SW north of White Center

7:15 PM: A house fire in the 9400 block of 8th SW in Highland Park has closed 8th SW immediately north of Roxbury, to Cambridge, so if you are headed into West Seattle, you’ll want to find an alternate route. (Nobody’s hurt; here’s our coverage on West Seattle Blog.)

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Update on 10th SW fire/marijuana investigation

January 24th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Crime, fire, White Center news Comments Off on Update on 10th SW fire/marijuana investigation

An update this morning from King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. John Urquhart, with the cause of the weekend fire and the scope of what KCSO calls a grow operation:

An early morning fire in a single family residence did more than burn up the house. It sent a good-size, illegal marijuana grow operation up in smoke as well.

The fire was reported about 1:00 AM on Sunday morning, January 23rd, in the 10400 block of 10th Ave SW (White Center neighborhood of unincorporated King County).

Responding firefighters called the Sheriff’s Office after they found the marijuana grow operation in the basement of the residence as they were knocking down the fire. There were about 55 medium size plants, lights, timers, ventilation equipment, and other growing supplies in the house.

No one was home at the time of the fire and there were no arrests.

A fire investigator from the Sheriff’s Office believes an electrical malfunction was the likely cause of the fire.

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10th SW house fire in White Center sparks marijuana investigation

January 23rd, 2011 Tracy Posted in Crime, fire, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on 10th SW house fire in White Center sparks marijuana investigation

4:15 PM: According to KING5.com, a fire on 10th Avenue SW early this morning has sparked a King County Sheriff’s Office investigation – because of an alleged marijuana-growing operation. Here’s their story. We’ve got messages out to find out more.

6:07 PM UPDATE: A little more information from King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. John Urquhart – The fire was in the 10400 block of 10th Ave SW. A county fire investigator has been to the scene but the investigator’s report isn’t filed yet, so details will have to wait until at least tomorrow, including the size of the “grow op” he says they found. The house was fully involved when fire crews arrived, according to Sgt. Urquhart, who says fire crews called for KCSO around 1:12 am.

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Van fire under investigation in White Center

August 25th, 2010 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center news Comments Off on Van fire under investigation in White Center

Thanks to Gill for the photos and details on this van fire around 1 pm on the west side of 17th SW, south of 104th. He saw the smoke from a few blocks away and reports that King County Sheriff’s Deputies were on scene along with firefighters when he arrived. A gas can was found near the van but it’s not known whether it was involved with the fire or not; we’ll be checking with investigators.

UPDATE: KCSO’s Sgt. John Urquhart says it’s not a police investigation – just a fire incident.

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North Highline Fire Commissioners’ special meeting Thursday

June 30th, 2010 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Fire Commissioners’ special meeting Thursday

Just got word of this. It’s open to the public. 10 am tomorrow (Thursday) morning, the North Highline Board of Fire Commissioners meets, with two items on the agenda: “New-hire firefighter,” and “chief administrative position.” The meeting’s at NHFD headquarters, 1243 SW 112th.

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You’re invited to the “Fire Muster” this Saturday

April 20th, 2010 Tracy Posted in fire, west seattle, White Center Swap Meet 1 Comment »

On the West Seattle/White Center border, the Seattle Fire Departments Joint Training Facility will host the “Fire Muster” for cadets and explorers this Saturday, 9 am-4 pm. According to this post on the city’s Fire Lines site, you’re invited to watch.

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Update: 7 people escape White Center fire this morning

August 24th, 2009 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center news 3 Comments »

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli; added 11:07 am)
Just got a news release from the Seattle branch of the Red Cross saying it’s helping seven people whose home was gutted by fire this morning at 10044 20th Ave SW (map). We’re checking to see what more we can find out about this fire. 10 AM UPDATE: Photojournalist Christopher Boffoli is at the scene now for White Center Now and West Seattle Blog and tells us investigators are still there. They tell him it started just before 5 am. Everyone got out OK, no injuries. Christopher adds, “Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire but as of right now it appears the origin was the kitchen.”

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Reader report: Fire in the 11000 block of Occidental

July 28th, 2009 Tracy Posted in fire, top hat, White Center news 2 Comments »

Thanks to Wayne Del for sending word of a fire tonight in the 11000 block of Occidental (map), as well as photos of the smoke. He says it was in a “backyard – looks like it could have been a shed where gasoline was stored. Very combustible. Fire trucks on the scene, everyone appears to be safe. Helicopters, fire trucks, local citizens helping with garden hoses. Thank goodness for the community.” 8:45 PM UPDATE: We’re at the fire scene now – Occidental, a narrow residential street, is still blocked off with yellow tape, and fire crews are still here. This is in the Top Hat neighborhood. The incident commander tells us that the fire burned sheds and a carport, but the house itself wasn’t damaged. Nobody was hurt. Investigators are still on the scene, two hours after the fire was first reported, but they don’t know yet how it started. We’ll add our photos in a bit. ADDED: This is as close as we could get:

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