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2-Alarm fire damages townhomes under construction in the Interbay neighborhood

SEATTLE — Dec. 11, at 12:47 a.m., our Fire Alarm Center received calls reporting heavy smoke and flames visible coming from a three-story multifamily townhome under construction at the 1300 block of W. Newton St. At 12:51 a.m., Engine 20 arrived first on scene and confirmed a working fire impacting the entire west wall of the building. Despite the rain, gusty winds quickly accelerated the fire to spread throughout the building.

Firefighters rushed to get water on the fire, but were forced to fight in a defensive strategy due to the risk of exterior scaffolding collapsing in addition to unknown conditions of the floors as the building was in the midst of construction. Around 2:18 a.m., flames broke through the roof, but firefighters raised an aerial ladder to pour water directly onto the roof in order to prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring homes and trees. Crews were able to get the fire under control by 4 a.m.

A neighboring home was evacuated as a safety precaution, and no injuries were reported. Fire investigators ruled the cause as undetermined.