A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

House fire at 79th and Dayton this morning

June 6th, 2016 by Doree

A house at North 79th Street and Dayton Avenue caught on fire this morning. Deb, a neighbor who sent this photo, tells us the house is vacant.

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The first call came in to Seattle Fire at 6:47 a.m. As of 10 a.m., units were still on scene.

We have a call in to Seattle Fire for more information and will update this post as soon as we hear back.

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House fire at 67th & Palatine, owner got out okay

April 20th, 2016 by Doree

Mike V sent us photos of a house fire at North 67th Street and Palatine Avenue North this evening.

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He said flames were shooting out of the west side of the house when firefighters arrived, but they were able to quickly extinguish them, but heavy smoke continued to come from that side of the house.

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He said the owner got out of the house and is okay.

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Thanks to Mike, Karl and Eva for sending photos and information!

Update Thursday 12 p.m.: From Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Line Blog:

Palatine House Fire Ruled Accidental

Fire investigators determined the house fire on the 6500 block of Palatine Avenue North on April 20, 2016, was accidental. The fire was caused by overheated electrical wiring in the kitchen of the home.

At 6:19 p.m., fire dispatchers received multiple calls of a fire inside the home. Engine 21, arrived to find heavy black smoke coming from the first floor of the two-story home with a basement. Firefighters immediately applied water on the fire and were able to knock the fire down from the sidewalk in front of the house. However, the fire was fought defensively due to the excess accumulation of materials inside the home. At 6:50 p.m., the Incident Commander determined it was safe for firefighters to enter the building and transitioned to an offensive approach. From inside the building, firefighters continued to fight the blaze that had extended to the second floor of the home. The fire was extinguished at 7:28 p.m. There were no injuries and the sole occupant of the home was on the sidewalk when firefighters arrived.

The total damage to the building and contents is estimated at 300,000 dollars.

Update Thursday 3 p.m.: Naydene, his next door neighbor, tells me that when the fire started, the homeowner knocked on her window and asked her to call 911. Some other neighbors, whom she had never met before, offered to hose down the side of her house to help keep it from catching fire. “This was a truly selfless and generous act for which I am very grateful,” Naydene told me by email.

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Seattle Fire Department rules this morning’s natural gas explosion as accidental, damage estimated at $3 million

March 9th, 2016 by Doree

Seattle Fire Department investigators have ruled this morning’s natural gas explosion as accidental.

Here’s more from SFD Fire Line:

Seattle Fire Investigators have determined that the early morning explosion and resulting fire in Greenwood were accidental and caused by a natural gas leak on the exterior of the building.

Three businesses located in the building shared common walls and were leveled by the blast: Quick Stop Grocery at 8409 Greenwood Avenue North, Mr. Gyros at 8411 Greenwood Avenue North, and Neptune Coffee at 8415 Greenwood Avenue North.

Natural gas levels accumulated in the interior of the building to the extent that they ignited. Investigators were not able to pinpoint the source of ignition inside the structure.

The total damage to the building is estimated at three million dollars.

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Afternoon update on Greenwood explosion: Up to 36 businesses damaged, 4 firefighters from Station 21 injured

March 9th, 2016 by Doree

Mayor Ed Murray came to Greenwood at 12:50 p.m. today to tour the site of this morning’s major explosion in downtown Greenwood. At a press conference later, he said, “This is a significant devastation of a neighborhood district in the city of Seattle.”

Note the debris in the tree in front of the explosion site.

Note the debris in the tree in front of the explosion site.

The explosion made national news today, with an NBC reporter even flying up from Los Angeles to cover the story. Dozens of reporters and photographers were crowded under and around a tiny tent during the soggy press conference with Mayor Murray, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, Puget Sound Energy spokesman Andy Wappler and several other officials from city departments, including the Department of Neighborhoods and the Office of Economic Development. Murray said those city departments will work with affected businesses to assess their needs.

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Mayor Ed Murray briefs the media.

Wappler said natural gas lines are inspected every three years, but he didn’t know the date of this line’s last inspection. He said the investigation would determine that, as well as how old the line is.

Ray Lane with Puget Sound Energy told me, “We don’t have a lot of specifics right now” on what caused the blast, but Fire Chief Harold Scoggins did say they determined the cause to be accidental.

The mayor said up to three dozen businesses were affected by broken windows and other damage. He said Seattle Police would have an increased presence in the neighborhood while all windows are replaced, to keep those businesses safe.

All nine firefighters who were hurt in the explosion have been released from Harborview Medical Center. Some of those firefighters were on 85th Street while others were on Greenwood Avenue, investigating the initial gas leak and were injured by flying debris from the explosion. Seattle Fire Public Information Officer Corey Orvold told me that four of the firefighters were from Station 21 just up the street from the blast site, four were from Station 31 in Northgate, and the Battalion Commander was from Station 17 in the U-District. Station 21’s motto is “Defenders of Greenwood.”

As of this afternoon, Greenwood Avenue was closed to vehicles from North 80th to 87th streets. Pedestrians can walk on Greenwood sidewalks between 80th and 83rd before access is cut off. This afternoon the street was filled with Seattle Fire Department incident response trucks, Puget Sound Energy trucks, backhoes and vans from businesses replacing glass in storefront windows.

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Tony’s Greenwood Autobody shop more than two blocks away had a sign in the window saying they were closed as a precautionary measure. Coyle’s Bakeshop, a block and a half away from the site, had one large window blown out and was closed for the day. A neighbor told me Coyle’s employees set up a table near the site this morning to provide free baked goods to first responders.

Crews continued to clean up broken glass this afternoon.

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And fire crews were still spraying water on the hot spots, despite the pouring rain.

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Jeannette Hayes lives at 80th and 5th Avenue NW and was woken up by the explosion, telling me she thought something hit her house. PhinneyWood has received dozens of tips from people saying they felt the explosion as far away as Shoreline.

Chris Maykut, owner of Chaco Canyon Organic Café, which is directly across the street from the site, said most of his windows were blown out and chairs and tables knocked over, but the business still has electricity, so his food won’t spoil. This is especially good news since the Greenwood café is the commissary kitchen for Chaco Canyon’s other two locations, in West Seattle and the U-District.

“It could be a two-hour cleanup or it could be a lot worse. We won’t know until we get back in there,” he said. He went on to say how thankful he was that no one was seriously hurt. “This is a bummer, but not a tragedy,” he said.

The Phinney Neighborhood Association has set up a special web page with information on how neighbors can help. There’s a link to a secure donation page, a list of other fundraising efforts, and a link to sign up to help when volunteer needs are determined. Donations can also be mailed to: PNA – Greenwood Relief Fund, 6532 Phinney Ave. N.; Seattle, WA 98103.

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How to help Greenwood businesses destroyed or damaged by this morning’s explosion

March 9th, 2016 by Doree

Update: The PNA has set up a web page for tax-deductible donations to help businesses damaged or destroyed by this morning’s explosion.

And Naked City Brewery, 8564 Greenwood Ave. N., has rescheduled its fundraiser for Taproot Theatre, originally scheduled for today, to tomorrow, and it will instead be a fundraiser for the affected businesses. All proceeds from the sale of Greenwood Phoenix Golden Ale will go to relief efforts. The “phoenix” name is a nod to the neighborhood’s coming together to “rise from the ashes” after the 2009 arson that destroyed four businesses on 85th Street. (Naked City is closed today because access to that area is still cut off; they had minimal damage from the blast.)

Earlier: Numerous people have asked how they can help the businesses destroyed or damaged by this morning’s massive explosion in downtown Greenwood. One neighbor has already set up a Fundly page for donations. Someone else set up a GoFundMe page, which had already received more than $4,000 from 101 people by 10:20 a.m.

The Phinney Neighborhood Association is also working on fundraising efforts. Executive Director Lee Harper tells me they are meeting this morning to figure out details. We’ll let you know as soon as we know more.

Please use this post as a way to connect with others for fundraising by writing in the Comments below.

Update 11:40 a.m.: Updated info from the PNA:

The PNA is currently making arrangements for a donation fund and we’re developing a community relief plan to help once we have access to the area.

We will set-up a bank account for donations at Verity where donations will be tax deductible. The scope of the relief efforts is still to be determined.

In an effort to coordinate and communicate the response efforts, we are creating a website which will include the donation and relief opportunities and will send that link as soon as it is completed.

Thanks for all of your interest in helping our community, we will keep you posted.

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Breaking news: Downtown Greenwood rocked by explosion, firefighters injured

March 9th, 2016 by Doree

This post is being updated continuously. Please keep reading down for updated information.

Breaking news: An explosion near 85th and Greenwood has destroyed buildings, sent debris flying and injured at least nine firefighters, according to KING 5. KING has some amazing aerial footage of the scene.

Seattle Fire Department tweeted a number of photos from the scene, showing windows blown out of neighboring businesses, and debris all over the streets.

The Seattle Times reports that firefighters were already on scene investigating a possible natural gas leak when the explosion occurred.

Dozens of firefighting personnel were on scene through the morning. Firefighters were initially on scene about 1:04 a.m. for reports of a gas leak. When the explosion happened about 1:40 a.m., nine firefighters were hurt by flying debris and glass.

Phinneywood reader Lauri emailed me info after hearing it on the scanner:

I was listening when I heard a female responder say “MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY!!!” I have never heard that. When a commander arrived and assumed command she sounded really rattled. (Editor’s note: The Seattle Times has audio of that chilling mayday call.)

Update 6:30 a.m.: Neptune Coffee, Mr. Gyros and the Greenwood Quick Stop on Greenwood Avenue between North 84th and 85th streets are completely destroyed.

The buildings housing Greenwood Quik Stop, Mr. Gyros and Neptune coffee are completely destroyed.

The buildings housing Greenwood Quik Stop, Mr. Gyros and Neptune coffee are completely destroyed.

Update 6:50 a.m.: Davey Oil, who co-owns G & O Family Cyclery right next door to the destroyed building, said his alarm company called to tell him that all of his alarms were going off. He lives nearby and ran over to see the neighboring buildings destroyed.

“Neptune, Mr. Gyros and the Quick Stop are gone; it’s just annihilated,” Oil said. “It’s just so horrible. All those nice people who work there. Thank…god it wasn’t at Gordito’s where all those people live upstairs.”

Windows at many neighboring businesses were blown out, including Chaco Canyon, Seattle ReCreative and Angry Beaver across the street, and Chocolati Café, Emerald City Karate and Couth Buzzard Books half a block south, plus Coyle’s Bakeshop over a block away. The owner of the Hummus Café across the street on the corner of 85th and Greenwood said her windows are blown out. Eric Donnelly, owner of the Flint Creek restaurant that is still under construction on the southwest corner of 85th and Greenwood, said some of his windows are probably broken but he can’t get close enough to the scene yet to know for sure.

Windows at Chocolati Cafe were blown out, half a block from the explosion site.

Windows at Chocolati Cafe were blown out, half a block from the explosion site.

Corey Orvold, Seattle Fire Department Public Information Officer, said firefighters were still fighting hot spots that keep flaring up. She said eight firefighters and one battalion chief were taken to Harborview Medical Center with minor injuries. They were on scene checking out reports of a natural gas leak when the explosion occurred at 1:40 a.m.

The wreckage was still smoldering hours later.

The wreckage was still smoldering hours later.

Ray Calvert, who works at Atlas Coffee Importers just around the corner on 85th and lives about four blocks away, said he heard the explosion. “We have maybe one or two windows broken,” he said. “I’m here to clean up my parking lot.”

Greenwood Avenue and 85th Street are both closed for a couple of blocks in either direction.

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Neighbors and business owners have been gathering throughout the morning to view the scene, exchange hugs and say, over and over again, how thankful they are that no one was more seriously injured.

Puget Sound Energy crews are going house by house in the area, checking for residual natural gas in the air.

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Metro bus routes 5 and 48 are currently rerouted due to the street closures.

For Route 48:

Heading toward Mt Baker Transit Center use the stops Eastbound on NW 85th St just east of 8th Av NW or N 85th St just west of Aurora Av N.

Heading toward Loyal Heights use the stops Westbound on N 85th St just east of Aurora Av N or Westbound on NW 85th St just west of 8th Av NW.

For Route 5:

Heading towards downtown Seattle use the stops on Greenwood Av N north of N 90th St or south of N 80th St.

Heading towards Shoreline Community College use the stops on Greenwood Av N south of N 80th St and north of Holman Rd N.

Update 8:08 a.m.: Seattle Fire has posted a recap on its Fire Line Blog, saying “Seattle Fire Investigators are working with the Seattle Police Arson Bomb Unit and Puget Sound Energy to determine the cause of the explosion and two alarm fire.”

Update 8:52 a.m.: Mayor Ed Murray just emailed this statement to media:

“My thoughts are with the Seattle firefighters injured from last night’s explosion in Greenwood and I wish them a quick recovery. These men and women risked their lives this morning, as they do every day, to keep our community safe. I am grateful for their service and all of our first responders.

“As the investigation and clean-up continues today, I ask that commuters along the corridor be patient. Please follow updates from the Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro on detours and alternate transit routes to keep people moving through the neighborhood and away from the scene during the investigation.

“Greenwood is a close knit neighborhood and an incident like this is felt by the entire community. I know neighbors will do everything they can to support these businesses as they begin the long and challenging task to recover and repair from this incident. The City will also be there to do what we can to help those affected with the clean-up and help local business owners as they work to get back on their feet and re-open their doors.”

Update 9:07 a.m.: The students at nearby Greenwood Elementary formed themselves into the shape of a heart on the playground this morning, in support of their neighborhood and the firefighters. Thanks to Sandy for the photo.

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Numerous people have asked how they can help and several people have told me they are working on setting up some kind of fund or fundraiser. We will update when we have more information on that.

Update 11 a.m.: Emerald City Karate, half a block from the explosion site, is now the staging area for first responders and other crews.

Photo courtesy of Emerald City Karate.

Photo courtesy of Emerald City Karate.

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Beachcombers Kids Cuts looking for temporary space after Friday night fire

November 15th, 2015 by Doree

A fire at Beachcombers Kids Cuts brought more than a dozen emergency vehicles to 6417 Phinney Ave. N. Friday night. According to the Real Time 911 log, the fire happened right at 10:30 p.m.

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Photo from Steve Gunn.

The front windows are now boarded up and it looks like the window above the door was blown out.

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Kelly Vice has owned Beachcombers for 13 years. She says the fire investigator told her it appears to be an electrical fire that started near the front desk.

Vice says all the scissors are undamaged, and she thinks the popular dolphin and turtle chairs may be salvageable, but all the hairdryers were destroyed. The fire didn’t reach the back play room, but it has extensive smoke and water damage.

She says they are looking for temporary space to keep providing haircuts for their clients. If anyone knows of any appropriate space, please put a note below in comments or email us at tips@phinneywood.com and we’ll pass along the information.

Vice sent these photos of the damage inside.

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Most of the the customer photo wall was destroyed.

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Thanks to Val for the photo of the outside, and Morganopolis, Melissa and Sue for the tips!

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Firefighters extinguish house fire at 1st Ave NW and NW 83rd Street in Greenwood

July 30th, 2015 by Doree

Update Friday: Investigators estimate the damage to the home at $70,000. The official cause “accidental, mechanical damage of electrical wiring system during the installation of insulation.”

Update 4:15 p.m.: SFD Public Information Officer Kyle Moore just called me with more details. He said the call came in about 1 p.m. A man was home with his dog while some work was being done in his attic. The workers said to call 911 and everyone evacuated. The fire burned in the attic space, causing a lot of smoke and more flames when firefighters opened up the roof. The fire was extinguished by 1:51 p.m. The Red Cross was called in to provide housing for the man, a woman and a child. The house is not a total loss; fire investigators have not yet provided a damage estimate. Moore said the cause was accidental/electrical.

Earlier: Seattle firefighters have extinguished a fire in a house in the 100 block of NW 83rd St. According to a Seattle Fire Department tweet, the home’s occupant and a dog made it safely outside.

Photo by Seattle Fire Department.

Photo by Seattle Fire Department.

Another tweet with a picture showed firefighters being cooled down by huge misting fans because of the heat.

Photo by Seattle Fire Department.

Photo by Seattle Fire Department.

We have a message in to the Fire Department Public Information Officer and will update this post when we have more information.

Thanks to Jeremy for alerting us!

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Seattle Fire Department: Fireworks are illegal in Seattle

June 29th, 2015 by Doree

The Seattle Fire Department is reminding people that consumer fireworks are illegal in the City of Seattle.

From SFD’s Fireline:

Do not use consumer fireworks. Fireworks are illegal in the City of Seattle without a permit from the Seattle Fire Department. Fireworks cause thousands of burns and eye injuries each year. Celebrate Independence Day by attending a public fireworks display.

Did you know?

  • In 2013, an estimated 11,400 people went to the emergency room for fireworks-related injuries.
  • Two out of five people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15.
  • Sparklers burn at more than 1200 degrees.
  • Sparklers alone accounted for 41% of the emergency room fireworks injuries.
  • Sparklers accounted for 79% of the injuries to children under five.

Keep you and your family safe from the risk of fireworks. Watch a public display and leave the dangerous fireworks to the experts.

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