SEATTLE – On Sunday, July 23, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to a brush fire under the State Route 99 viaduct. The fire was approximately 300′ x 300′ in size, and had impacted the railroad tracks, hillside, and under the viaduct, near Pikes Place Market.
Firefighters applied water and foam from multiple directions, successfully extinguishing the fire by 4:29 p.m. At the height of the fire, there were six engine companies and one ladder truck on scene.
The fire occurred near a homeless encampment with approximately 20 tents. There were no reported injuries and encampment occupants had evacuated the site. The tents located at the encampment were not damaged directly by the fire, but may have sustained smoke and water damage.
Traffic was heavily impacted from the brush fire, closing down SR 99 in both directions and Alaskan Way until it was safe to reopen. Railroad traffic was stopped a mile north and south of the incident for approximately one hour while firefighters worked to extinguish the fire. For further updates on traffic in the area, visit the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Twitter page.
Fire investigators responded to the scene to determine the cause, origin and estimated loss. This fire is still under investigation. The Seattle Police Department has arrested a man who witnesses say started the fire, more on the SPD Blotter.
UPDATE 7/24: Fire investigators have ruled the fire as incendiary. The estimated loss is to be determined.
Photo Credit: Seattle Department of Transportation