Seattle Fire Department Fire Investigators determined that fireworks caused an early morning fire in the University District on Sunday. Firefighters responded to the 4200 block of 12 Avenue NE at approximately 12:30 am July 5. Fireworks ignited a mattress that was leaning up against a detached garage. The fire extended from the mattress to the garage to the vacant house next door. Four fire engines, two ladder trucks, a medic unit and an aid car responded to the fire, along with support units. The fire was quickly put out and there were no injuries. Damage caused by the fire was estimated at $65,000.
On Friday, July 2 just before 8:30 a.m. the Seattle Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team responded to a report of a spill of approximately 10 gallons of Muriatic Acid in a machine room at the Pacific Science Center. Employees at the Science Center noticed the spill and got out of the room without injury. Muriatic acid is used for cleaning and disinfecting and is corrosive at a high concentration. The muriatic acid is normally pumped out to pools around the Science Center, along with water and a bleach solution, but a pump malfunction caused the acid to spill.
Fire Department crews isolated the area which is not accessible to the public. With the help of specialized Hazmat tools, they worked to neutralize the acid so that it could be safely cleaned up. There were no injuries as a result of this incident.
With Fourth of July around the corner, the Seattle Fire Department would like to remind the public that there are no legal fireworks in the City of Seattle. Fireworks present a safety risk to those who use them and a fire hazard to property. Every year, the Seattle Fire Department responds to fireworks-related fires and injuries, and each and every one of these incidents could be avoided.
• Between January 2000 and July 2008, the Seattle Fire Department responded to 137 fireworks related fires.
• The estimated cost of damages for fireworks related fires between January 2000 and July 2008 amounted to nearly one million dollars.
• In 2005, at least 15 Seattle residents were treated at hospitals due to fireworks-related injuries.
• The City Council’s 1993 decision to ban fireworks has dramatically reduced the number of fires and injuries caused by fireworks.
Any fireworks related fires or injuries should be reported directly to 911, however, on July 4, 911 centers become overloaded with non-emergency fireworks calls. Do not call 911 unless you have a life-threatening emergency and need help from police, fire or medics. Unnecessary 911 calls block people with real emergencies from reaching 911 to get help. Fireworks violations can be reported to the Seattle Police non-emergency number at (206) 625-5011.
Students and faculty from the Columbia Basin Job Corps stopped by Fire Station 25 today to say thank you to Seattle Firefighters and Police Officers who responded when their bus crashed last December. Eighty students from the Job Corps were aboard two buses that slid down an icy street and crashed through a guardrail above I-5 on December 19, 2008. The accident happened at the intersection of Thomas and Melrose Streets on Capitol Hill. Firefighters from Engine 25 were among the first to arrive on the scene. Seattle Fire Department crews evaluated the medical condition of all of the students and took eleven of them to Harborview Medical Center with minor injuries.
The group made a trip across the state from Moses Lake to visit with rescuers today. The students presented plaques with a photo of the students and signatures of those who were on board, along with a photo of the crash.
At 11:05 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23, more than 30 Seattle firefighters responded to a report of fire at 4200 University Way Northeast. When the first unit arrived on the scene they found heavy flames inside a copy shop located on the first floor of a three story apartment building. Firefighters quickly attacked the fire, and through their efforts, the flames were knocked down in approximately ten minutes.
Crews evacuated residents from apartments above the copy shop and got everyone out of the building with no injuries. Quick work by firefighters prevented the fire from spreading beyond the copy shop.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental, caused by an overheated electrical cord. Damage was estimated at $600,000, including $200,000 in damages to the structure and $400,000 to the contents of the copy shop.
Firefighters from Station 27 participated in Fire Department Kid’s Day on Saturday at the Museum of Flight. Fire Department Kid’s Day is an annual event drawing fire engines and trucks from fire departments throughout King County. More than 600 children and adults attended this year’s event. Firefighters from Fire Station 27 showed off Engine 27, displayed and explained their firefighting gear, handed out educational materials and played fire safety and injury prevention games with the kids.
This summer, several Seattle Fire Stations and the Seattle Fire Department Bike Medics will be issuing Bicycle Safety Citations to children who are properly wearing their helmet while bicycling, skateboarding or inline skating. Each citation entitles the child to a free child-size sandwich at participating Subway locations. The goal of the program is to reduce the incidence of childhood head injuries.
According to the National SAFE Kids Coalition, head injury is the leading cause of death in bicycle crashes and is the most important determinant of bicycle-related death and permanent disability. Head injuries account for more than 60 percent of bicycle-related deaths, more than two-thirds of bicycle-related hospital admissions and about one-third of hospital emergency room visits for bicycling injuries. The single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes is a helmet.
When an earthquake causes a freeway to collapse or a terrorist bombing knocks down a building, rescuing trapped victims will take more than the efforts of first responders. On Tuesday June 9, the Seattle Fire Department hosted a drill that focused on integrating public and private resources during the rescue phase of a catastrophic disaster. Firefighters from King, Snohomish and Pierce County along with construction workers, iron workers and crane operators participated in the hands-on rescue training.
Using specially built collapse props, the training simulated the kinds of real life conditions workers will encounter in an actual disaster. One prop was set up as if an earthquake caused a freeway to collapse and the other prop simulated a building collapse caused by a terrorist bombing. Cranes and other heavy equipment were used to lift cement slabs and vehicles and sift through rubble for possible victims. Other skills that practiced include concrete breaching and breaking, burning and cutting steel and rigging.
At 7:45 a.m. on Thursday, May 21, firefighters responded to a report that a man had fallen and may have been injured next to the Washington Street Public Boat Landing at the intersection of South Washington Street and Alaskan Way South. When firefighters arrived they found a 60-year old male who fell approximately 10 feet into a hole after a section of cement collapsed underneath him. Firefighters reported that the fill dirt around the patient and large sections of remaining overhead concrete were both unstable. A Heavy Rescue response was requested, which includes Seattle Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team.
The patient told firefighters that he was not hurt. Firefighters worked in a coordinated effort to stabilize the soil and the concrete using ladders, wood, separators, air bags and rope. They drilled a bolt into one piece of unstable concrete and tied it to a nearby pole so that if the slab of cement were to break it would not fall down on the patient. When the hole was stabilized, two firefighters entered the hole and cut off the patient’s backpack and shirt sleeve which were pinned down by a large slab of cement.
Once the patient was free, he was put in a rescue harness. The aerial ladder on a ladder truck was extended over the sidewalk and used to raise the patient out of the hole. The man was complaining of minor back pain and was transported to Harborview Medical Center for further evaluation.
Susan P. Rosenthal, a 29-year veteran of the Seattle Fire Department was promoted to Assistant Chief in early May, making her the highest ranking woman in the Department’s history.
Rosenthal is a member of the City’s Race and Social Justice Change Team. She has volunteered as a Safety Chief at Camp Blaze, a national leadership camp for young women who want to experience a career in the fire service.