Just before 1 p.m. today a hazardous materials response was dispatched to a University of Washington chemistry lab. Firefighters evacuated the building and determined that students who were working in a lab on the first floor of the building were exposed to chemical vapors. Paramedics evaluated the three students at the scene and they were released. The hazardous materials team monitored the air quality and ventilated the building.
Just after 8:30 this morning, firefighters responded to a report of an explosion in a metal recycling facility near the intersection of 8th Avenue South and South Chicago Street in the South Park neighborhood. When firefighters arrived on the scene they found a warehouse with the fiberglass windows blown off and large garage doors bowing out.
Representatives from Independent Metals Recycling told firefighters that ten employees were inside the building when the explosion occurred. Paramedics treated two employees for minor injuries and one of those patients was transported to Harborview Medical Center for evaluation.
Firefighters entered the structure with hose lines and found that the automatic sprinkler system had extinguished any fire. A hazardous materials crew monitored the air quality before anyone was allowed back in the building. Despite debris from fallen ceiling tiles and fiberglass windows firefighters determined that the building was structurally sound.
The accidental explosion was caused by a metal propane tank inadvertently placed into a metal recycling shredder. Damage was estimated at $175,000. Approximately 100 Seattle Firefighters responded to the incident.
At 11:40 this morning, firefighters responded to a report of two window washers stuck on a window washing platform near the top of a building. Firefighters arrived to find the two male window washers on a platform around the 35th floor of the Downtown Seattle Sheraton. Both men were conscious and alert.
Seattle Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team went to the roof the building and used a mechanical rope system with ropes, pulleys and rescue harnesses to belay down over the edge of the roof where they could communicate with the window washers. Both men were uninjured.
Firefighters first secured the electrical supply to the platform in order to safely work around it. A firefighter in a rescue harness was then lowered over the edge of the building down to the platform. After the firefighter secured the first window washer into a rescue harness, the firefighters above raised the firefighter and window washer up to safety. Another firefighter was then lowered down to rescue the second window washer. The two window washers remained calm throughout the entire rescue, which took about one hour.
Seattle Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team is trained in high angle rope rescues, as well as other high risk rescues. More information about the Technical Rescue Team is available here: http://www.seattle.gov/fire/firefighting/operations/technicalrescue.htm
The public is invited to watch as nearly 200 Fire Cadets and Fire Explorers from around the region compete in firefighting and emergency medical skill contests at a “Fire Muster” on Saturday, April 24 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The event is hosted by the Seattle Fire Department Cadet Program in association with the Washington Association of Future Firefighters and will take place at the City of Seattle Joint Training Facility, located at 9401 Myers Way South.
Competitions include mass-casualty triage, search and rescue, hydrant connection, a combat challenge relay and more. In the Combat Challenge Relay four-member teams will divide up to complete in carrying a hose bundle up the tower, hoisting a section of hose, search and rescue, and repositioning a charged hose line.
Participants are youth between the ages of 14 and 21 who have an interest in firefighting and emergency medical services. Many fire departments sponsor Fire Cadet or Fire Explorer programs to expose young people to the typical duties of firefighters.
For more information on the Seattle Fire Department Cadet Program, visit http://www.seattle.gov/fire/firefighting/cadets/company511.htm
At 12:45 a.m. firefighters responded to a report of a fire coming from behind the Value Village located at 12548 Lake City Way NE . Firefighters arrived on scene and found a fire that had extended from the loading dock up into the eaves of the roof. The firefighters’ aggressive attack kept the fire from spreading inside the building. The fire was under control within 10 minutes. There were no injuries. Fire Investigators determined that the fire was intentionally set and estimated damages to the building at $40,000.
Just before 9 a.m. the Fire Department responded to multiple 911 calls reporting that the facade of a building at 5th and Virginia had fallen and hit several people on the sidewalk below. Firefighters treated three patients with non-life threatening injuries. The most seriously injured patient is a 40 year old male who was hit in the head by some of the debris. He suffered a head injury but was alert and talking to firefighters. A 45 year old male was hit with debris as well and complained of back pain. The third patient, a 23 year old female suffered a minor leg injury. All three patients were taken to Harborview Medical Center.
The brick and cement debris fell from an approximately 30 foot wide by 6 foot tall section on the third story of the building. Building inspectors from the City’s Department of Planning and Development inspected the structure for safety.
Each year, two million poisoning exposures are reported to Poison Centers across the country. More than one million of these involve children under the age of six years old. The vast majority of these occur in the home.
The Washington Poison Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist with poison emergencies and questions. Their toll-free phone number is 1-800-222-1222. Of course, if you suspect an immediate life threatening emergency, be sure to call 911.
Visit their website to learn more about common poison risks, what to do if you suspect poisoning of your child, pet or other family member. If you have young children, you may order Mr. Yuk stickers for your home.
On Sunday, March 14, just after 4 p.m. firefighters responded to a reported fire at 7214 Woodlawn Ave NE in the Green Lake neighborhood. Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from a one story commercial building with adjacent commercial buildings on either side of the fire. Firefighters made an aggressive attack on the fire and worked to protect the adjacent businesses. Their fast work kept the flames and fire contained to one business. There were no people inside and there were no injuries. Firefighters determined this was an accidental fire caused by an overheated power cord and damage was estimated at $130,000.
Early this morning, firefighters responded to a room fire in a duplex located at 1128 North 91st Street in the Northgate neighborhood. Firefighters contained the fire to the room of origin and the occupant got out safely, but the fire still caused $35,000 worth of damage. Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental, caused by an overheated power cord.
- Never overload extension cords or wall sockets and never run cords under rugs or place in high traffic areas.
- There should only be one surge protector or power strip plugged into a single duplex electrical outlet.
- Power strips vary in their capacity but should only be used for items that require light loads such as computers, printers and clocks, for example. They are not made to handle refrigerators or portable heaters.
- If the extension cord or power strip feels hot to the touch, replace it.
- Do not connect one extension cord or power strip to another. Also known as “daisy chaining.”
- Make sure the power strip has been tested by an independent testing agency such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or the Electrical Testing Laboratories (ETL).
Seattle Fire Investigators and the Seattle Police Arson Bomb Unit are looking into whether two car fires set in the University District over the past two days are related.
The latest car fire occurred early this morning in the 700 block of Northeast 42nd Street. The fire extended from a car parked on the street to the exterior of an adjacent duplex causing $25,000 in damage. The first car fire occurred at 12:30 a.m. on March 8th in the 4100 block of 11 Avenue Northeast. The car was parked in the garage of an apartment building. The fire damage was confined to the car and is estimated at $2,500.
There were no injuries related to either fire.
As a precaution, Seattle Firefighters will be increasing their presence in the neighborhood and distributing arson prevention flyers. Neighbors can help by calling 911 if they see anything suspicious. In the meantime, there are simple things you can do to make your homes and neighborhoods safer. One of the most important is to clean up the areas around your homes and businesses. Get rid of any burnable items and keep your recycle bins secure.
For tips on how to protect your home or business from arson, click on the links below.
When an earthquake or terrorist attack causes a freeway or building to collapse, rescuing trapped victims will be a top priority. This month, as part of ongoing Department training, Seattle Firefighters are practicing structural collapse rescue. More than 1,000 Seattle Firefighters will go through the hands on rescue training.
Utilizing a specially built collapse prop, the training simulates the kinds of real life conditions firefighters will encounter in an actual disaster. During each session, 16 firefighters work together in teams to search for and rescue patients using rope rescue equipment, airbags, hydraulic tools, saws, bars, cribbing, rescue baskets and aerial ladders. The training takes place at the City of Seattle’s Joint Training Facility.