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Seattle Fire fights 23rd Ave E blaze in freezing temperatures — UPDATE

Occupants made it out without reported injury but one house was heavily damaged and a second also burned in a large, two-alarm fire near 23rd Ave E and E Roy early Wednesday morning in freezing temperatures.

Seattle Fire was sent to the scene by a 911 caller who told CHS he was driving on 23rd and saw the flames just after 1 AM. Arriving units found the small, 1902-built house fully involved and a house to the south also in flames along the mostly ice-free 23rd Ave.

Firefighters knocked down the main blaze quickly but fought the fires in the involved structures for over an hour.

Occupants of the main home in the response and the second house next door were able to make it outside safely. Searches of the structures revealed nobody else inside either home.

UPDATE: Seattle Fire has posted additional details on their response:

Two people in the house to the south of the primary fire structure were able to escape the fire prior to SFD arrival, due to alert neighbors who began knocking on doors. Firefighters conducted a search of both structures and determined the primary fire house was unoccupied at the time of the fire. At the height of the fire, there were eight engines and five ladder trucks on scene.

Seattle Fire says it is investigating what caused the fire.

UPDATE: Seattle Fire says the cause of the blaze is an accidental fire that was started by a baseboard heater left on in the unoccupied house:

Fire investigators have ruled the cause of the fire as accidental, and determined it started from an energized baseboard heater. The fire started in the living room on floor 1 of the house to the north, and spread to the adjacent house on the south side. Total estimated loss is $200,000 to the north house and $250,000 to the south house.

We’re told the empty house was undergoing a remodel.

23rd Ave was closed to traffic during the response.

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4 thoughts on “Seattle Fire fights 23rd Ave E blaze in freezing temperatures — UPDATE

    • These fires are largely the result of King County residential code.

      The reason Seattle has such a squatter problem is that you can’t get a residential demo permit until you have a building permit to replace it.

      Builders/developers are largely responsible for keeping the property free of squatters in the meantime because the police usually won’t interfere. It’s a huge PITA and endangers neighboring buildings.