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Fire collapses roof of the Jack in the Box in the Ballard neighborhood

Photo by John Odegard

Seattle — This morning around 4:15 a.m., the Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Alarm Center received 911 calls reporting smoke and flames coming from the Jack in the Box at the 900 block of NW Leary Way. The first units arrived on scene by 4:18 a.m., and confirmed flames were visible through the roof of the building. Crews completed a primary search inside the structure, but quickly evacuated as they witnessed flames breaking through the ceiling. Indicating the roof was at risk of collapse. Firefighters confirmed that no restaurant workers were present and the business appeared closed, despite signage indicating it operated 24/7.

Crews transitioned to a defensive strategy by pouring water on the fire at a safe distance away from the building. By 4:30 a.m., the rooftop structure began to collapse. Puget Sound Energy and Seattle City Light were able to shut off natural gas and electricity to the building. Firefighters were able to knock down the fire by 5 a.m. and continued to extinguish hot spots into the early morning.

Photo by John Odegard

We received reports from bystanders and building management that there was recent transient activity in a vacant office/attic space located in the impacted area. Crews were unable to enter the building due to safety concerns of falling debris from the collapsed roof. They were able to utilize aerial ladders to do a cursory search of the rooftop and were unable to find anyone.

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

UPDATED March 27: Investigators ruled the cause of the fire as undetermined and have shared their findings with Seattle Police for them to determine whether to do a follow up investigation.