Off Duty Lieutenant responds to UW Hospital Fire

SEATTLE — On October 2, 2019, at UW Medical Center, Seattle Fire Lieutenant LeRoy Sisley was visiting his wife Lynda—who has also worked for Seattle Fire in data analysis and IT. He was at her bedside on the seventh floor when a fire alarm went off on the first floor. Even though he was off duty, LeRoy told Lynda he was going to investigate, assured her he would be back, and rushed downstairs. When he got to the first floor, he saw crowds of people running away from the area.

LeRoy and Lynda Sisley

Down the hallway he found an approximately 3,000 square foot storage room that was filled with black smoke. Some lithium batteries had ignited, creating flames that quickly spread through the room.

Not only is LeRoy a Lieutenant for Seattle Fire, but also a Wildland Communications Unit Leader for Washington State Team 10, and because he deploys regularly, he always carries his department radio with him. He radioed Seattle Fire Dispatch that there was a working fire in the hospital, and a Full Response was dispatched.

As the engines and trucks were responding to the scene, LeRoy found 2 dry chemical extinguishers and emptied them onto the fire, then closed the door to control the remaining flames in the storage room from spreading. The building engineer showed up and together they created a fire attack plan and a smoke removal plan. They directed the first arriving units to the fire room and located the best exit points for ventilating the building.

Were it not for LeRoy’s quick action to stop the progression of the fire, large amounts of hospital equipment could have been lost and hundreds of people would have been evacuated from the hospital. We thank Lt. Sisley for his commendable actions of protecting lives and property while off-duty.

Media interested in interviewing Lt. LeRoy Sisley can contact the acting Seattle Fire PIO via email at sfdpio@seattle.gov