SEATTLE – On July 17, 2018 just before 2 a.m., firefighters responded to a house fire in the Fauntleroy neighborhood. When Engine 37 and Engine 11 arrived on scene, they saw flames from all four sides of a single-family residence, and upgraded the response to a 2-alarm. A house on the right side was in close proximity to the house that caught on fire, and crews wanted to ensure the fire did not spread.
Crews began to apply water on the fire from outside of the structure due to the extent of fire inside. Once safe to do so, firefighters entered the house and fought the fire from the inside, pushing the fire out. The initial firefighting efforts were successful in extinguishing the large body of fire, which resulted in the 2-alarm response being reduced to a single-alarm response.
The two people living in the house were home at the time of the fire, and safely evacuated prior to Seattle Fire’s arrival on scene. Both of their cats also made it out safely. There were no reported injuries to members of the public or firefighters.
Fire investigators will return to the scene during daylight so they can finish their investigation. They will work to determine the cause, origin and estimated loss.
UPDATE as of 7/17/2018 at 11 a.m.: Fire investigators ruled the fire as accidental, and determined it was caused by spontaneous combustion of oil staining rags. The fire started on the deck and spread to the main living area on the second floor. Total estimated loss is $605,000.
SAFETY TIP: Always dispose oily rags in a covered metal container.