MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Power restored to Chinatown-International District residents after fire

Jul 20, 2023, 9:45 AM | Updated: Jul 21, 2023, 7:12 am

Chinatown International-District Fire...

A large fire is burning in a vacant building in Seattle's Chinatown-International District Thursday with smoke that can be seen from I-5. (Seattle Fire Department via Twitter)

(Seattle Fire Department via Twitter)

1:00 p.m. UPDATE

Power has been restored to residents in the Chinatown-International District after a 2-alarm fire destroyed an abandoned industrial building, Seattle City Light reports.

11:25 a.m. UPDATE

The Seattle City Light outage map is currently without power due to a fire in the Chinatown-International District. 5,400 customers are without power east of the fire in Seattle’s Yesler Terrace and Beacon Hill neighborhoods.

ORIGINAL

A large fire is burning in a vacant building in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District Thursday with smoke that can be seen from I-5.

The Seattle Fire Department first tweeted about the flames in the 1000 block of South King Street at 6:45 a.m. Thursday.

More on Seattle fires: Seattle firefighters respond to encampment fire along I-5 in Beacon Hill

The fire looked like it was still growing at 8:45 a.m. The roof has collapsed.

A loud noise was heard and then a burst of smoke came from the building.


Firefighters had been battling this fire from outside. They knocked out the windows. They’re dumping water in from hoses from multiple angles.

“I see smoke coming from down here — at first it was just a little bit of smoke coming from the right side of the building,” Ruben, one of the area residents who called 911, said. “And then I walked down here closer right across the street and I see the orange glow through the glass.”

At mid-morning, there were dozens of firefighters, probably a dozen fire trucks, and water was actually flowing down King Street mixed with the firefighting foam.

The fire blocked traffic in the area.

“I came back and saw the road cut off at King and then I saw the water coming down and then the smoke,” Kinesia Draper, who lives nearby, said.

A member of Seattle Fire said, “Firefighters are outside the building because it’s not safe for them to go inside right now. It’s an exposed roof truss, which means high heat can help melt that area causing it to collapse. The fire has broken through the roof. And so we are now in a defensive position for water on the fire from a safe distance away from the building.”

One of those positions that they were in was actually on the rooftop of a nearby building.

They said that they were afraid that the fire could spread and they are trying to ensure that doesn’t happen.

So far, no flames have reached that building to the south.

Smoke is clouding the entire east side of the freeway. And there are dozens of curious people who live and work nearby that are standing on the sidewalk watching the fire.

The building is an industrial type of structure.

Multiple people who live nearby this abandoned building said they regularly see people going in and out and on the steps.

Some think that there are a number of people who sleep in the building.

Seattle Fire is not sure there was anyone inside the building when it happened. When officials arrived, the fire was already advanced enough and intense enough that they could not go inside safely.

There are no reports of injuries.

Firefighters said people who work and live in the area should keep their windows and doors shut due to smoke.

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