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Vacant building fire escalates to a 2-alarm response in the Belltown neighborhood

SEATTLE — At 4:05 a.m., the Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Alarm Center received 911 calls reporting heavy smoke and flames coming from the top two floors of a three-story vacant apartment building on the 2200 block of 2nd Ave. As crews arrived on scene, they confirmed the initial reports and informed dispatch that all of the building’s windows and doors on the first floor were boarded up.

Firefighters made forcible entry into the building in order to pour water on the seat of the fire and conduct a primary search. However, they soon realized the fire on the top floor extended into a void space between the ceiling and attic that connects adjacent units. In addition, high heat and heavy smoke indicated the ceiling was at risk of collapse, so all crews evacuated as a safety precaution.

At 4:15 a.m., the incident commander upgraded the response to a 2-alarm fire to request additional resources. Firefighters went into a defensive position to pour water on the fire from a safe distance surrounding the building. Soon, flames erupted through the roof, so in response, fire trucks raised their aerial ladders to pour water onto the roof.

By 5:44 a.m., crews were able to get the fire under control and began to demobilize. Though a few units remained on scene for several hours to monitor for flare ups and to assist Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections to evaluate the structural integrity of the building.

The fire is now extinguished, and no injuries were reported. The incident is under investigation, and there was no estimated loss for the building because it was slated for demolition.