SEATTLE – Firefighters responded to the 100 Block of 14th Avenue just after 12:25 a.m. on March 18 for a report of a fire in a four-story apartment building. Engine 6 from the Central District arrived first on scene to find heavy smoke and flames coming from a window on the second floor. They quickly upgraded the response to a 2-alarm, to bring in additional units for firefighting efforts.
Smoke alarms could be heard throughout the building on arrival. Crews initially attacked the fire by putting water on the exterior of the building, while another engine company went interior to push fire out with hand lines. The fire was rapidly progressing, but due to efficient firefighting efforts, units had the fire under control within 17 minutes. Firefighters prevented further spread of the fire in the building and actively protected the structure directly to the south from also catching fire.
During the search of the building, crews found a victim in the primary fire unit on the second floor. Unfortunately their injuries were fatal. The Medical Examiner and Seattle Police Department responded to the scene to begin their investigation. The American Red Cross was requested to assist displaced residents. Four apartment units sustained fire damage resulting in the units being inhabitable.
Fire investigators have ruled the cause of the fire as undetermined, pending autopsy results. The fire started in a studio apartment and extended into the unit above via the exterior window. Total estimated loss is $295,000.