SEATTLE – On May 11 at 10:56 a.m., the Fire Alarm Center received a call from the King County Sheriff’s Office reporting a house fire at the 5600 Blk. of 42nd Ave. SW in West Seattle. Dispatchers relayed information to firefighters over the radio that this was an active King County SWAT incident. Due to reports of ballistic material inside the house, and an active SWAT investigation, firefighters initially stood by two blocks away, outside of the hot zone.
Seattle Fire and the King County Sheriff’s Office formed a unified command to operate jointly during the incident. Once the area was deemed safe to enter by incident commanders, firefighters began fighting the fire defensively from outside the structure. There was significant amount of fire on the first floor of a 1 1/2 story house . Ladder trucks used ladder pipes to apply water from above the structure, and engine companies operated hose lines from the ground, a safe distance away. Seattle City Light shut down power to the entire block, due to downed power lines and as a precautionary measure. Puget Sound Energy also responded to the scene to shut off gas to the structure. Crews worked to control the fire, and protected nearby homes from catching fire.
The fire was upgraded to a 2-alarm fire. At the height of the fire, there were a total of 30 units on scene, including 10 engines and four ladder trucks. The Fire Department’s Resource Management Center was activated to ensure coverage across the City should another incident occur simultaneously.
Once the fire was under control, King County Sheriff’s Office personnel entered the structure to search for a possible patient and found an adult male deceased. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Media should contact the King County Sheriff’s Office or Medical Examiner’s Office for further information.
Photos courtesy of John Odegard