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Seattle Fire announces cause of Queen Anne apartment fire

Units respond to the two-alarm fire on Queen Anne on Oct. 13, 2018.

Flames shoot out from the fifth-floor apartment.

Saturday’s two-alarm fire at the Century Terrace Apartments in Queen Anne has been ruled accidental. Fire investigators from the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) today announced the fire was caused by combustible materials being placed too close to an electric baseboard heater in the living room.

Response becomes a two-alarm

The initial reports of a fire at 1000 1st Avenue West came in around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. SFD sent multiple units and found a fifth-floor apartment fully involved in flames.

Hose line extends from a responding fire engine in response to apartment fire

Units respond to the two-alarm fire on Queen Anne on Oct. 13, 2018.

The location of the apartment presented access challenges and a possible quick spread. After assessing the situation, incident commanders called for additional units, making this a two-alarm fire.

Seattle City Light cut off power to the involved unit and the four units directly below. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire. Thankfully, all occupants were initially evacuated and accounted for, and there were no injuries. The Red Cross provided assistance to four  adults and one child.

Fire damage was heaviest to the fire unit and some of the roof. Several other units sustained mostly water damage.

At the height of the response, SFD had 32 response units and 92 firefighters on scene.

Flames visible from apartment fire

Flames visible from the apartment fire.

How you can prevent a similar fire

Did you know that heaters are one of the leading causes of home fires? Fire can start when furniture, bedding and other materials are placed too close to baseboard heaters and portable heaters.

Do not put anything close to any type of heater. Baseboard heaters need a one-foot clearance and portable space heaters need three feet of clearance.

This month is Fire Prevention Month, and we are sharing weekly safety tips. Be sure to check the Fireline weekly through October and follow us on social media.


Photo credit: Byron Hardinge