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2-Alarm fire in between University District, Wallingford and Meridian neighborhoods

Photo by John Odegard of the Seattle Fire Buff Society

April 23, 2020, at 6:06 a.m.: Our Fire Alarm Center received multiple calls reporting flames visible from a 4-story building under construction at N 45th St and 1st Ave NE. Engines 17, 22, 31 and Ladder 9 were the first companies on-scene. They confirmed a large column of smoke visible for miles with flames extending from all four sides of the structure. Battalion 6 immediately upgraded the incident to a 2-alarm response in order to ensure we had enough resources to effectively combat the fire. A total of nine engines, five ladder trucks and additional support units were dispatched.

Photo by John Odegard of the Seattle Fire Buff Society

Deputy 1 assumed command of the incident at 6:19 a.m. and initiated a defensive strategy because of the intense heat, large volume of smoke and risk of the the building collapsing. Engine companies provided a water supply for three ladder trucks that raised their aerials and utilized their ladder pipes to pour water onto the fire from a safe, elevated position while additional crews on the ground had multiple hose lines. One residence adjacent to the building on the north side was evacuated due to concerns the fire could extend to their home. Fortunately, they were unharmed and we were able to prevent their home from catching on fire.

Safety tip: Have an emergency go-bag ready by your front door filled with:

  • Additional clothes appropriate for the current weather.
  • First aid kit.
  • Flashlight with additional batteries.
  • 1-2 days worth of your prescription medications.
  • Backup wallet with your identification, cash and credit card.
  • Non-perishable snacks and water.
  • More info at: https://www.ready.gov/kit
Photo by John Odegard of the Seattle Fire Buff Society

We were able to gain control of the fire within 30 minutes from when the first crews arrived on-scene with the majority of it knocked down within 45. Crews confirmed no occupants found after conducting a primary search of the first and second floors of the building, but were unable to access the third and fourth floors due to concerns with their structural integrity from the fire damage. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire as well as estimated loss are currently under investigation.