Why the Seattle Fire Department is burning down this Capitol Hill house

If you live near Broadway between Mercer and Harrison, you may have smelled smoke or seen the multiple unit response by the Seattle Fire Department starting early Tuesday morning. But it’s all good. They were the ones setting the fires.

A Capitol Hill corner destined for redevelopment — and already singed in an accidental fire earlier this winter — is burning this week in exercises to help SFD firefighters train under real flames and conditions in the densely packed neighborhood.

Battalion Chief Jared Fields told CHS why they were setting a vacant house on fire in the middle of Capitol Hill at Federal and Republican across from Broadway Hill Park.  “What we’re doing here today is conducting some live fire training in an acquired structure,” Fields said.

In addition to posting notices on social media, SFD says it asked its firefighters to go door-to-door to notify neighboring homes and businesses of potential impact from the two days of exercises. The practice burns will continue through Wednesday.

The previously scheduled practice comes following a rare deadly fire on Capitol Hill. Continue reading

Man and woman reported dead in 23rd and Madison apartment fire — UPDATE

(Image: Seattle Fire Department)

Two people were reported dead in an apartment fire late Thursday night at 23rd and Madison.

Seattle Fire says a pet dog also died in the fire.

The blaze was reported in a third-floor unit after a 911 caller said they saw flames and smoke shooting from the building just after 11:30 PM, according to emergency radio updates. Continue reading

Lessons from Seattle Fire: Where you should never stick your butt and why you don’t park in front of a hydrant on Capitol Hill

A Sunday afternoon fire scorched the inside of a Summit Ave apartment building and provided a valuable life lesson: Never park in front of a fire hydrant on Capitol Hill.

“It’s a life safety concern, and we will take measures necessary to be able to connect to the closest hydrant,” Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Kristin Tinsley tells CHS. “Additionally, vehicle owners can be cited by SPD for a parking violation for parking in front of a hydrant.”

Sunday’s fire in the 1700 block building was caused by an electrical malfunction in the range control panel and did $42,500, Seattle Fire says. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries and the fire was quickly brought under control and contained before it spread. But a photo taken by neighborhood resident Chase Burns of The Stranger of the firefighter response has spread far and wide.

It turns out, firefighters really will bust your windows and run a hose through your vehicle if you park in front of a hydrant. Continue reading

Seattle Fire busy with 13th Ave E apartment building blaze, encampment fires

Seattle Fire’s Station 25 continues to be busy this spring with an overnight response to a 13th Ave E apartment building fire and a fully involved encampment fire Tuesday morning near Melrose and Roy above I-5.

Seattle Fire says there were no injuries in Monday night’s fire reported at the 13th Ave E address of the three-story Raphael Court Apartments just before 11 PM. UPDATE: SFD says the fire was accidental and started from overheated electrical in the bathroom ceiling. Total estimated loss is $35,000.

Tuesday morning, a pillar of black smoke could be seen rising from the area of a burning encampment at Melrose and Roy. Seattle Fire responded and was attempting to knock down the blaze burning the camp. There were also no immediate reported injuries.

Late Monday, meanwhile, a brush fire at an encampment burned an area of Tashkent Park along Boylston Ave E. There were no reported injuries.


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Arson fire singes Capitol Hill apartment building under construction

(Image: Renee Raketty)

Seattle Police are investigating after a fire was intentionally set inside a four-story apartment building under construction near 10th and Roy Monday night.

Seattle Fire says its investigators ruled the just before 10:30 PM fire incendiary and say it was set intentionally in the interior of the building under construction just north of where Broadway jogs to become 10th Ave E.

SFD was able to knock down the flames but not before an estimated $4,000 in damage to the structure. Continue reading

Police search for suspect after arson fire damages emptied First Hill restaurant

(Image: @gordonwerner)

A recently vacated First Hill restaurant suffered an estimated $21,000 in damage after a man suspected of another recent fire was seen breaking the building’s glass and setting it on fire late Friday night.

Seattle Police say they are continuing to search for the arson suspect they believe was contacted earlier by officers for an unrelated reckless burn.

Friday night’s just before 10 PM fire burned the front area of the restaurant space previously home to Little Neon Taco on Boren just off E Madison. Seattle Fire says investigators determined the fire was intentionally set and ruled it “incendiary.” Damage included combustibles in the front window space of the restaurant. Continue reading

Seattle Fire fights apartment blaze in new development above Capitol Hill Station

Seattle Fire responded Sunday afternoon to an apartment fire in the newly opened mixed-use developments above Capitol Hill Station.

There were no reported injuries.

The fire reported just before 12:30 PM at the address of the development’s Ander South building adjacent Cal Anderson Park scorched a second floor unit in the project and filled the building with smoke, according to Seattle Fire updates. Continue reading

One dead in 18th Ave house fire — UPDATE

Thanks to @tygraham for the picture from the scene

One person was found dead as firefighters battled an early evening fire in a house near 18th and Madison Wednesday.

Seattle Fire confirmed a person was found dead inside the two-story house as crews continued to battle the blaze first reported in the 1600 block of 18th Ave just before 5:30 PM.

Neighbors reported a non-ambulatory elderly male lived at the residence with pets. Continue reading

No injuries reported as fire scorches 11th and John apartment building

A fire burned an apartment unit and did heavy damage to the Case Verde Apartments building at 11th and John on Capitol Hill late Wednesday night.

Seattle Fire said there were no reported injuries. Continue reading

‘Fully involved’ fire chars 12th/John squatter house for second time in week

Nobody was injured in what Seattle Fire called a “fully involved” house fire in the 100 block of 12th Ave E early Saturday morning just after 5 AM.

For the second time in a week, firefighters were called to fight flames inside a boarded-up home at 12th and John used by squatters and drug users to get out of the cold Seattle nights. This time, however, the entire home burned.

The structure — one of three boarded and empty of legal residents — at the corner is set to be demolished to make way for a new microhousing project. It still stands but with charred walls on both of its floors.

Wednesday morning, Station 25 firefighters were called to the same house to fight a fire in the basement. That blaze was found to be an accident, most likely caused by “improperly discarded smoking material.”

The location has generated repeated calls to police to report trespassers and people camping inside the structures. Permits for demolition have been filed but not yet issued.

UPDATE 11:45 AM: Seattle Fire remains on the scene: