2-Alarm fire near the Seattle Center

Photo by John Odegard

SEATTLE — Just before 4 p.m. on June 8, our Fire Alarm Center received multiple calls reporting heavy smoke coming from a vacant building on the 500 block of Harrison St. When crews arrived on scene, bystanders informed them there might be a person still inside on the 2nd floor of the building on fire. Firefighters acted quickly to attack the fire and search the building, but as they made entry they encountered high heat, heavy smoke and unstable floors. Due to the deteriorating conditions, crews were forced to retreat back outside to a defensive position. They utilized thermal imaging cameras to peer through the smoke billowing from the windows and were unable to locate a person in the building.

By 4:23 p.m., the response was upgraded to a 2-alarm fire in which 10 fire engines, 5 ladder trucks and additional support units were dispatched. In total, 94 fire personnel responded. Crews spent hours pouring water on the fire while Puget Sound Energy secured natural gas and Seattle City Light shut off electricity to the building.

The incident commander began demobilizing units around 7 p.m., but as of 9 p.m., two fire engines and a ladder truck remain on scene to extinguish flare ups.

The incident is currently under investigation and no injuries were reported at this time.

6/9 UPDATE: Fire investigators ruled the incident as undetermined because they are unable to safely enter the building due to concerns of structural collapse.