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


No one injured in early morning house fire in Greenwood

February 15th, 2017 by Doree

Seattle Firefighters extinguished a house fire in Greenwood early this morning. No one was injured.

From the Seattle Fireline Blog:

On Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at 1:22 a.m., firefighters were dispatched to the 100 NW block of 81st Street for a house fire.

Firefighters arrived to find visible flames from the two-story residence. They quickly deployed a hose line through the front door to the second floor, applied water, and ventilated smoke through the attic while checking for occupants. The fire was successfully extinguished by 1:45 a.m.

The homeowner advised firefighters that the fire was in the upstairs bathroom and there was no one inside the home.

There were no injuries from this incident. Firefighters remained on-scene overnight for fire watch.

Fire Investigation Unit members determined the cause of fire to be an electrical malfunction in the bathroom exhaust fan. The estimated loss is $55,000.

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Update to Woodland Park Zoo fire: It’s likely 6 hibernating turtles died

December 16th, 2016 by Doree

Woodland Park Zoo has announced that yesterday’s fire in the Night Exhibit building likely killed six hibernating turtles. While the building has been closed since 2010 due to funding issues and most of the animals moved to other exhibits and institutions, turtles hibernating in the winter were placed in a special room of the building’s basement.


SFD and our animal care staff worked together to evacuate over 200 animals from the adjacent Day Exhibit. Additional staff from all over the zoo helped by gathering transport crates, and bringing blankets for animals and warm jackets for staff standing outside. Evacuated animals were swiftly transported into vehicles and transferred to warm, safe locations around the zoo.

Rescued animals include reptiles, amphibians and a tree kangaroo. Our Animal Health team performed health assessments last night, and are continuing throughout the day today.

While the Night Exhibit has been closed to the public for nearly seven years and has no longer housed animals, a special room in the basement was used for turtles hibernating in the winter. Sadly, it is highly likely that six turtles hibernating in this room have perished in the fire.

Seattle Fire Department released a statement today saying two firefighters were injured, one with minor burns, the other from possible contact with an electrical panel. Both were treated and released from Harborview Medical Center.

Damage was estimated at $1.5 million dollars, but the cause of the fire could not be determined, “due to structural instability and partial collapse.”

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BREAKING: Fire in empty nocturnal exhibit at Woodland Park Zoo

December 15th, 2016 by Doree

Update 7 p.m.: The zoo plans to reopen at 11 a.m. Friday, and will present WildLights Friday evening as usual.

Update 5:30 p.m.: The fire has been contained.

Update 4:45 p.m.: Woodland Park Zoo has canceled tonight’s WildLights because of the fire. One person was transported to Harborview Medical Center with minor burns. Animals in the nearby Day Exhibit building were being moved as a precaution.

Earlier: Seattle Fire Department is battling a fire in the Night Exhibit at Woodland Park Zoo. That building was closed in 2010, so no animals were hurt.

Zoo Spokesperson Gigi Allianic told me they don’t yet know how the fire started. The zoo was evacuated after the fire started about 3:10 p.m. The zoo was already scheduled to close at 4 p.m., its winter closing time.

You can see raw video from KING 5 here. KIRO 7 has some closeup video of the flames.

We will update this post as we know more.

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Firefighter story times for preschoolers at local libraries

October 3rd, 2016 by Doree

In honor of Fire Prevention Month, local firefighters will be reading to preschoolers at several Seattle Public Library locations in October. The books will be on fire safety, and the firefighters will bring some of their equipment and their trucks for children and caregivers to see up close.

They’ll be reading at the Broadview Branch, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N., from 10:30-11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

You can see the full schedule of firefighter story times here.

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Fire in detached garage on NW 76th Street, 3rd Avenue NW is blocked at 76th, no injuries

September 25th, 2016 by Doree

A fire in a detached garage on NW 76th Street near 3rd Avenue NW this morning caused no injuries. As of 7:15 a.m. 3rd Avenue NW is blocked in both directions at NW 76th Street.


A firefighter on scene tells us there were no injuries and the fire is confined to the garage.


According to Seattle Fire Department’s Real Time 911 Log, the call first came in at 6:53 a.m. As with all calls for a fire in a single family residence, a massive response of emergency vehicles is initially called.

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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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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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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.


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.


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.


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


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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