October 31—Seattle Fire Investigators determined a fire inside a Central District duplex was accidental. After combing over evidence for several hours, investigators determined the fire was electrical, caused by an overturned lamp onto a mattress located on the second floor.
The first 911 call came in at 7:52 p.m. reporting smoke in the intersection of Jackson and 26th Avenue South. Neighbors directed firefighters to a home in the 400 block of 26th Avenue South.
Central District Engine Company 6 arrived first to find the second floor of the duplex fully involved. A wheelchair-bound downstairs resident and a relative were unaware of the flames burning a few feet above them. Firefighters evacuated the occupants and carried the man in the wheelchair down a set of stairs to safety.
The family of six who lived on the second floor was not home at the time of the fire. They were out trick-or-treating.
Next crews attacked the flames in the second floor. The fire extended up into the attic space. Exposure hose lines were laid to protect the next door neighbor homes.
It took crews 25 minutes to completely extinguish the flames.
While searching the 2nd floor for survivors, firefighters saved a cat named Lolita who was hiding in the bathroom. Several hours later, 2 more kittens were found hiding in the debris of the kitchen. All three cats were reunited with their owners. A third kitten and two dogs are still missing.
One firefighter suffered a minor injury while assisting with the evacuation of the wheelchair resident.
The Red Cross assisted 3 adults and four children with shelter.
The damage estimate is $150,000 to the structure and $50,000 to the contents.
Firefighters will be keeping an overnight fire watch to make sure the flames do not re-ignite.