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Fire causes vacant building to collapse in Lake City

SEATTLE — This morning around 6:15 a.m., the Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Alarm Center received calls reporting thick black smoke and flames coming from a two-story vacant commercial building on the 14000 block of Lake City Way NE. The first firefighters on scene confirmed the entire building was fully involved in the fire with high heat and flames extending through the roof. In response, the incident commander prohibited all firefighters from entering the building due to concerns of structural collapse.

Crews maintained a defensive position by pouring water on the fire from a safe distance away from the burning building. They prioritized protecting adjacent buildings from the fire as well as preventing falling debris from causing structural damage. Within an hour of arriving on scene, the roof started to collapse followed by the eastern wall.

Neighboring residents and businesses informed us that water runoff from fighting the fire began to overwhelm the storm drains and posed a flood risk. In response, we requested additional resources, including Seattle Public Utilities, to help mitigate the pooling water and divert further runoff away from the impacted buildings.

The fire is knocked down and crews remain on scene to fully extinguish it. The building was already slated for demolition prior to the fire. Seattle Fire is also working with the property owner to expedite an excavator to demolish the building because the remaining walls are at risk of collapsing onto the streets and walkways.

The incident is under investigation, and no injuries were reported.

Updated March 3 at 9 p.m.: An excavator arrived on scene to demolish the building. Firefighters determined the fire was fully extinguished at 7:34 p.m.

Updated March 6 at 12 p.m.: Investigators ruled the cause of the fire as undetermined. Estimated loss is $0 because the building was previously slated for demolition.