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.


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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Electrical fire at Greenwood & 77th this morning damages Advance Nails & Spa

June 2nd, 2016 by Doree

Update 2:30 p.m.: Moonphoto right next door to the nail salon is structurally fine but does have some smoke damage. A woman who answered the phone this afternoon said power to half their space is out and some of their computers are down, but overall they are happy the fire wasn’t worse.

The phone number for Advance Nails & Spa goes straight to a recording saying the voicemail box hasn’t been set up yet.

Update 2:15 p.m.: Seattle Fire Public Information Officer Corey Orvold says the fire was caused by overheated electrical inside the nail salon. No one was injured. Damage is estimated at $50,000. Orvold says Engine 21 was first on scene and reported seeing light smoke from a small fire inside the wall.

Earlier: An apparent electrical fire at Greenwood Avenue North and North 77th Street heavily damaged Advance Nails & Spa early this morning.


According to the Real Time 911 Log, the call came in at 4:55 a.m. Engine 21, which is just four blocks south, arrived, followed by Engine 35, Ladder 5, Battalion 4 and Marshal 5.

Tom emailed to say he lives in a condo one block away and was woken up by a loud bang and then sirens.


Thanks to Rob Fellows for the photos.

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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.


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.


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


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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‘Show Greenwood Some Love’ T-shirt sales raise more than $4,000 in just a few hours

March 12th, 2016 by Doree

Greenwood Elementary School families who produced those “Show Greenwood Some Love” T-shirts sold more than 164 of them at The Ridge Pizza and Makeda & Mingus during last night’s Artwalk to raise $4,100 for the Greenwood Relief Fund to help businesses and neighbors affected by Wednesday’s explosion.


Remaining shirts — mostly larger adult and youth sizes — are for sale at Makeda, 153 N. 78th St. But organizers are putting in a second order that should arrive mid-week and will be for sale at Makeda and at other neighborhood businesses. We’ll let you know when and where.

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Special webpage set up by city for neighbors and businesses affected by Greenwood explosion

March 11th, 2016 by Doree

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods has set up a special webpage with resources and contact information for businesses, homeowners and renters affected by Wednesday’s natural gas explosion. That page will be continuously updated as new information becomes available.

You can also call their Customer Service Bureau at 206-684-2489.

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Artwalk and plenty of fundraisers for damaged businesses, plus concerts and a magic show in Greenwood and Phinney Ridge this weekend

March 11th, 2016 by Doree

If ever there was a weekend that Greenwood neighbors should be out and about in their neighborhood, this is it. The weather may not cooperate, but the monthly Art Up artwalk is still happening tonight, even at many of the businesses damaged by Wednesday’s explosion. Let’s show those businesses some love by eating at the restaurants, patronizing their businesses and buying art.

Earlier today, artist Faye Fontaine painted the plywood at Couth Buzzard Books, 8310 Greenwood Ave. N., to help advertise the Artwalk.


Check the Artwalk website for a list of participating businesses and artists, but keep in mind that that list was compiled before the explosion and we don’t know exactly who is participating as cleanup and repair efforts are ongoing. Many participating venues will have donation jars out to help affected businesses, and some are donating all or a portion of the night’s proceeds to relief efforts, including Urban Light Studios (part of Greenwood Collective at 8537 Greenwood Ave. N., Suite 100) and Flying Bike Coop Brewery (8570 Greenwood Ave. N.)

Greenwood Elementary parents will be selling “Show Greenwood Some Love” T-shirts at The Ridge Pizza at 7217 Greenwood Ave. N. during the artwalk tonight. Parents donated the money to make the shirts, so all proceeds go to the relief fund. T-shirts are $25, cash or check only. Checks should be made out the Phinney Neighborhood Association, with Greenwood Relief Fund or Greenwood Love T-shirt in the memo.

The list of businesses and organizations holding fundraisers or collecting donations is long, far too long for us to list them all here. The Phinney Neighborhood Association is compiling a complete list, and is continually adding more, so please check that page for up-to-date information. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation through the PNA to the Greenwood Relief Fund.

Other events happening in the neighborhood this weekend:

Seattle Folklore Society presents internationally-acclaimed harpist Seumas Gagné (one of the founding members of the band Wicked Celts) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Phinney Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N. in the Brick Building. He’ll be joined by several local Celtic musicians. Tickets in advance are $16 general; $14 SFS/PNA members, seniors and students; kids half price. All tickets are $2 more at the door.

Couth Buzzard is still hosting its full lineup of concerts this weekend: Pacific NW Folklore Society’s Drunken Maidens at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Stew’s Folk Music Corner at 12 p.m. Saturday; Songwriters in Seattle with Tim Davidson, Dan Foster, Matthew Schumacher and Steve Church at 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and Open Jazz Jam with Kenny Mandell (all levels welcome) at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Evan’s Family Variety Show is hosting a special event from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Phinney Center with internationally renowned magician Jeff McBride. The show is family-friendly, and there are also special events just for professional magicians. Tickets available online.

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Investigators sifting through debris to determine cause of Greenwood explosion

March 11th, 2016 by Doree

A large investigative team is sifting through debris today at the site of what used to be three well-known Greenwood businesses before they were destroyed by a natural gas explosion early Wednesday morning.

Half a dozen investigators in white hazmat suits work at right, while about a dozen firefighters confer in back at left.

Half a dozen investigators in white hazmat suits work in the center and at right, while about a dozen firefighters confer in back at left.

Andy Wappler, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Puget Sound Energy, told me this morning at the explosion site that the investigation will look at three main things: The condition of the gas system, which includes everything from the gas line in the street to the condition of the meter set at the building; natural gas appliances inside the building, such as the furnace and water heater; and whether something could have happened to the gas system by a third party. For that, they’ll look at recent service calls in the area and maintenance records.

Investigators today are looking at each individual piece of debris to determine if it’s relevant. If not, it will be set aside and eventually carted away. Anything that might be relevant, such as a piece of gas line, the meter, water heater and furnace, “That’s what they’re going through the rubble trying to find,” Wappler said. “That is going to take a while.”

When they do find pieces of gas pipe, they’ll pump them up with pressurized air to determine if there’s a leak or weak spot, and look for any corrosion or impact to the pipe.

The explosion site as seen from North 84th Street.

The explosion site and investigative equipment as seen from North 84th Street.

Wappler said investigators have already interviewed witnesses, including people who were still at The Angry Beaver tavern directly across the street at the time of the explosion, all firefighters at the scene, and transients who were in the area.

He said some people are worried that they don’t know how to shut off the gas to their house if they smell a leak, but he said, “In most cases you don’t want to. You want to leave and then call us. And leave without touching a light switch or using the phone. Leave, get a safe distance away and then call.”

Puget Sound Energy’s website has a page describing how to know if you have a natural gas leak and what to do.

As for how long this investigation might take, Wappler said, “It will take us as long as it takes to get it right.”

While our neighborhood was lucky that no one was seriously injured or killed, that doesn’t minimize its impact compared to other natural gas explosions.

“The reality is these are all significant. They’re never small,” Wappler said. “There are no insignificant gas explosions.”

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Naked City Brewery packed tonight for Greenwood fundraiser

March 10th, 2016 by Doree

Update Friday: Naked City Facebooked this today:

We blew twelve kegs of Greenwood Phoenix Golden Ale.
We raised $8125 in beer sales for the relief fund.
We raised $3474 in donations for the relief fund.
In total, we raised $11,599 in one day for the relief fund.
Love you all. Together, we are a phoenix.

Earlier: Naked City Brewery has been hosting a fundraiser all day today to support businesses destroyed and damaged in yesterday’s explosion. $1 from every pint of the specially brewed Greenwood Phoenix Golden Ale is going to the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s Greenwood Relief Fund.

At 8:30 p.m., the inside was completely packed, with people standing outside.


And more people were in the beer garden.


A number of other businesses are hosting fundraisers in the coming days. The PNA has a special web page with a long list of fundraisers and donation sites (some of those donation sites will match funds up to a certain amount). Many of the locations are in Greenwood and Phinney Ridge, but others are in Ballard, Magnolia and throughout the rest of the city. As of tonight, there are nearly 30 fundraising opportunities, but please check the list often as they are adding to it continuously.

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Much of downtown Greenwood boarded up one day after massive explosion

March 10th, 2016 by Doree

One day after the devastating natural gas explosion in downtown Greenwood, the sidewalks were filled with neighbors taking pictures and taking stock of the damage. Greenwood Quick Stop, Mr. Gyros and Neptune Coffee were completely demolished in yesterday’s blast. G & O Family Cyclery, right next to Neptune, appears to be heavily damaged.


It’s almost a solid wall of plywood directly across from the blast site, with Hummus Café, Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co., The Angry Beaver, Seattle ReCreative, Chaco Canyon Organic Café and Rosewood Guitar losing all their windows.


While many businesses are back open today, even with plywood windows, Seattle ReCreative is shut down for the time being with an “Emergency Order — Hazardous: Limited Entry” sign tacked to where the front door would be.


With the street in front of the blast site from 84th to 85th streets fenced off, traffic is down to one lane in each direction. Vehicles were backed up all the way to 80th earlier this afternoon. Metro Route 5 is back running on Greenwood Avenue.


The south sidewalk is also closed on 85th Street from Greenwood Avenue to Gordito’s parking lot. Flint Creek restaurant lost many windows; Gordito’s lost all of them. Further west along 85th Street, windows are boarded up at Choice Tobacco, Fist Full of Metal Tattoo, The Cozy Nut Tavern, Rhea Healing Essentials and Squirrels Buy/Sell. Greenwood Vision’s front window is spider webbed with cracks.


Between 85th and 87th streets, many businesses lost some or all of their windows, including Chase Bank, Greenwood Family Dental Clinic, Frederick’s Beauty Salon, Phad Thai, La Conasudo Market, Razzi’s Pizzeria, Teachers Lounge, and the space that formerly housed Strokes Paint & Sip Studio. The Lodge Sports Grille lost some small windows above the large picture windows.

The blast seemed to create an uneven pattern of destruction. Greenwood Smile Dental between 83rd and 84th didn’t appear to have any broken windows, while Couth Buzzard directly to the north lost all their windows and the post office to the south lost most of their windows.

At noon, Theo Dzielak, owner of Couth Buzzard Books, was going around to all the businesses asking them to fill out forms to have the area declared a Disaster Zone. He had just returned from a meeting with the city’s Office of Economic Development, which said the declaration will enable businesses to qualify for special aid.

The Phinney Neighborhood Association is compiling a list of all businesses damaged by the explosion. We’ll post that as soon as they have it completed.

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