911 | Downtown tunnel cleared, car vs. bike reported at 15th/Mercer

It’s been a busy twelve hours for Seattle Fire and SPD after a series of incidents on and around the Hill you might have seen or heard about. Here’s what we know about those sirens.

  • Downtown transit tunnel cleared:Riders reported the downtown transit tunnel was evacuated as fire alarms sounded Monday morning just before 9 AM. We have no details from official sources on what caused the alarm but riders reported hearing an automated message that there was a fire in a segment of the tunnel and that fans had been activated to clear smoke. UPDATE: “False alarm,” Metro says.
  • 15th/Mercer car vs. bicyclist: A female bike rider was apparently struck by a car on 15th Ave E at Mercer Monday just before 8. We were told unofficially that her injuries were not life-threatening. We’ll update as soon as we learn more. UPDATE: “Firefighters assessed the injuries to the female bicyclist who was in her 40’s. She was helmeted and suffered a minor leg injury,” SFD tells us.

  • Garfield High School response: Several police units and a Seattle Fire truck responded to Garfield Monday morning on the first day back after winter break. SFD said their response was for a male complaining of a possibly injured shoulder. No details yet of what warranted the police presence at the school. UPDATE: CDNews reports the man was arrested after being injured in a fight with a police officer.
  • Summit apartment fire: Seattle Fire responded to Summit Ave’s Hudson House building for a fire reported in one of the Pioneer Human Service building’s apartments. Residents of the building evacuated — many carrying their TVs or other valuables out of concern that the fire might spread. SFD reported that the fire was contained to a single unit and was quickly “tapped.” We’re checking with SFD for more details on the 9 PM fire. UPDATE: SFD says it is likely improperly discarded smoking materials caused Sunday night’s blaze that was quickly extinguished by firefighters. Damage to the unit was estimated at $10,000. SFD reports it was called to that building more than 30 times since January 1st, 2012 — only two incidents, including Sunday night’s, turned out to be significant fires.
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12 thoughts on “911 | Downtown tunnel cleared, car vs. bike reported at 15th/Mercer

  1. I was in the tunnel this morning when it was cleared. Nobody was in much of a hurry. Glad to here it wasn’t a real fire. I love me some bus tunnel.

    A quick note regarding the bicyclist. I find it frustrating when reporting on car->bicycle collisions mention if the bicyclist was wearing a helmet or not. I’d say it’s akin to mentioning if the bicycling was wearing jeans (hey — it would have prevented some knee scrapes or something). I feel like it subtly shifts some blame focus to the victim in the collision.

    Here, it doesn’t sound like such a big deal. When there’s a collision and the bicycle rider was not wearing a helmet (helmets, by the way, are not designed to protect cyclists from car impacts) police or reporters seem to go out of their way to note that (“look at the irresponsible cyclist!”).

    Obviously, I’m not trying to call out CHS for this, and I’ve clearly written too much on this topic for such a short, passing mention. It’s out of my system now.

  2. Re bicycles. I have no problem reporting whether a cyclist is wearing a helmet as long as it is reported whether a car accident driver is wearing a seatbelt. Consistency.

  3. The bicyclist was loaded into the ambulance just before 8am and the emergency responders were all gone well before 8:25. Most likely the two police cars you saw were responding to a different incident.

  4. 911 log shows callouts at 7:43 and 7:44 AM

    1/7/2013 7:43:46 AM F130002042 1 A25 E25 M10 15TH AV E / E MERCER ST
    1/7/2013 7:44:11 AM F130002043 1 E34 L10 M1 15th Av E / E Mercer St

  5. Yeah, so often when helmets come up it seems like it’s concern-trolling meant to indicate that bicyclists don’t belong in the street. Personally I have a bigger problem with the passive voice used to talk about such crashes. A bicyclist was struck by a car? How about a motorist struck a bicyclist. The passive voice shifts the blame to the bicyclist for being out of place (when in fact we can lawfully use streets), rather than keeping it on the shoulders of the person with the greater ability to do harm (i.e., the person driving a car). I think it helps people distance themselves from the deadly potential of car crashes to make bicyclists into the problem.

  6. You need to remember, Howeller, that bicycles are VEHICLES under state law and that in many instances the bicyclist is at fault in the collision because so many of y’all think the rules of the road don’t apply to you. Don’t be whining because you wrongly claim somebody shifted blame onto the bicyclist.