April 27, 2020, at 11:13 p.m.: Dispatchers in our Fire Alarm Center received multiple calls reporting heavy smoke and flames coming from a two-story single-family residence on the 1400 block of 25th Ave. Three minutes later, Engine 25 arrived first on-scene and confirmed a well involved fire that originated in the basement and extended into both floors above. Three of the four occupants were able to safely evacuate on their own, but notified our firefighters that one more person was trapped inside the basement.
Crews from Engine 25 quickly laid a blitz line and charged into the basement with their 2.5″ hose in order to quickly pour water onto the fire while coordinating with crews from Ladder 3 to simultaneously conduct a search and rescue. Engine 6 arrived shortly thereafter and established a water supply while Ladder 10 climbed onto the roof to cut ventilation holes. The incident commander escalated the response to a 2-alarm in order to have additional resources to put out the fire while crews already on-scene can focus on finding the resident.
Within 10 minutes after arriving on-scene, Engine 25 and Ladder 3 knocked down the fire in the basement and found the fourth occupant then quickly removed him from the home. Medic 1, with assistance from Engine 2, took over patient care and transported him to Harborview Medical Center. The patient was an approx. 60 year-old male in serious condition.
Additional crews were able to quickly get the fire under control and prevent it from spreading to neighboring homes. The fire was extinguished within 40 minutes from dispatch. Our investigators determined the fire was accidentally caused by embers within a basement fireplace that escaped and ignited nearby materials. Estimated loss is $350,000.
Safety tip: Place a sturdy, metal screen in front of an active fireplace and remove all combustible materials at least three feet away.