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2-Alarm vacant building fire in the Columbia City neighborhood

SEATTLE – At 6:28 p.m., the Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Alarm Center received 911 calls reporting heavy smoke coming from a vacant commercial building in the 4200 block of Rainier Ave. S. in the Columbia City neighborhood. As firefighters approached the scene, they reported flames showing through the roof of the approx. 300 by 100 foot vacant building. Prompting incident command to upgrade the response to a 2-alarm fire where eleven engines, five ladder trucks and additional support units were dispatched to the scene for a total of over 80 firefighters.

Crews opened up boarded windows and doors in order to gain access to the fire, but the heavy smoke, high heat and collapsing roof led incident command to issue a defensive strategy where firefighters poured water on the fire at a safe distance away from the building. Around 7:45 p.m., the roof and portions of the front side of the building collapsed. By 9:11 p.m. the fire was deemed under control.

One firefighter sustained injuries and was transported to a hospital in stable condition. A few units will remain on scene overnight to monitor for flare ups. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

UPDATED Nov. 29: Investigators ruled the cause of the fire as undetermined. The injured firefighter was released from the hospital and is recovering.