News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood


Wallingford fire ruled accidental

December 8th, 2011 by master

Firefighters have finished their investigation into the two-alarm fire in the heart of Wallingford last night. They have determined that the fire was accidental, caused by the electrical system, Lt. Sue Stangl with Seattle Fire says.

The fire started in the southwest corner of the bedroom of the residency behind the restaurant. Today you can see that the home has been gutted by fire. Stangl says that the building sustained $160,000 in damage and $30,000 in content. On the scene last night we learned that the elderly woman who lives there was able to escape uninjured.

Passersby stop and look in the windows of Kitaro Sushi Bento

There was also $40,000 in damage to neighboring businesses. Most sustained by the dentist office. We went in and spoke with the office staff today who tells us that they’re aiming to be back open by Monday.

“Our firefighters did an excellent job, were able to contain most of the fire to that one structure,” Stangl says.

Molly Moon’s was so thankful that firefighters were able to save their business that they opened back up and served free ice cream to the firefighters.

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Two-alarm fire burns Wallingford restaurant, house

December 7th, 2011 by master

Nearly 90 firefighters battled a two-alarm fire in a restaurant and home on 45th near Densmore Wednesday evening. Fortunately, everyone escaped the blaze in time, including an elderly woman living in the house immediately behind the Kitaro Sushi Bento restaurant. Firefighters say most of the fire was concentrated in the house.

“There were a large among of flames coming from almost all four sides of that structure,” said Lt. Sue Stangl to the gathered media, explaining that the two-alarm response was because the building was so close to Molly Moon’s to the west and Dr. Falcone’s dentist office to the east. “It was really critical to get firefighters at all those structures, one to make sure everyone was out, and to make sure the fire doesn’t spread.”

Video from KOMO’s helicopter shows the early moments of the fire

“The flames were shooting from the top of the roof, and I could see a big, giant, black cloud of smoke,” said Stephanie, a neighbor who was walking nearby when she saw the responding fire trucks. “And I just ran here, because I was curious what was going on.”

When we arrived, the street was already packed with onlookers, many snapping photos on their phones. “I’ve never seen so many firefighters in one place,” said one man to his friend. Fire units stretched several blocks along 45th, hoses criss-crossing from just about every direction: 13 fire engines and 6 ladder trucks were sent to the blaze.

The restaurant and the home sustained heavy damage, and the dentist office next door was damaged, too. “The windows were broken out, the front and back door were broken out, the side of the building by the restaurant is burnt, it looks like part of our roof is burnt, too,” said Dianne, the office manager for Dr. Falcone. “We just had a new roof put in, $100,000 worth of remodel, and we’ve been in three weeks.”

Perhaps miraculously, a Molly Moon’s employee told us it was not damaged in the fire, and it reopened for business tonight. “We’re OK here in Wallingford! Our shop did NOT go down in the flames!” says a message on the ice cream shop’s Facebook page. “We’re open until 11 tonight. come say hi! p.s. THANK YOU SEATTLE FIREFIGHTERS!” Only a narrow alley separated it from the fire.

Lt. Stangl says it’s unclear if the fire started in the home or in the restaurant. An investigation is underway.

Firefighters attacked the blaze from the narrow alley to the west, the alley behind the home (above) and on the roof. Seattle Fire says dispatch received many 911 calls reporting the fire at 6 p.m. By 6:45 p.m., only light smoke could be seen from the burned-out home. Seattle Fire Chief Gregory Dean responded to the scene, as well.

Stay tuned for more updates on the story on Thursday. Earlier updates:

Updated 7:45: Lt. Sue Stangl with Seattle Fire tells us that when firefighters arrived on scene they found flames coming from four sides of the building, including the house behind the Kitaro Sushi Bento and the restaurant itself.

Double the resources were dispatched to this structure fire because of the close proximity of buildings in the neighborhood. An elderly woman lives in the house behind the restaurant and she was out safely, according to Lt. Stangl.

Once on scene, firefighters evacuated nearby buildings. Dr. Falcone’s dentist office next door did sustain some damage. Unsure if Molly Moon’s, which is just west of the fire, sustained damage.

Updated 7:10 p.m.: A fire chief on the scene confirms to us that there are no injuries.

Earlier: A massive response tonight to a fire in the heart of Wallingford tonight.

The call first came out at 6 p.m. with reports of flames shooting from the roof near Kitaro, 1624 N. 45th St.

On the scene we see that the fire is on the top floor behind Kitaro on 45th and Densmore.

Kiro7 is reporting this is now a two-alarm fire.

Roads in the neighborhood are closed off.

From King County Metro:

Route 16 is rerouted in both direction due to a blockage at N 45th St and Woodlawn Av N, until further notice.

Use the stops on Stone Way N south of N 40th St or on N 45th St east of Wallingford Av N.

We are on the scene and will continue to update this.

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Fire quickly extinguished on Burke Ave.

August 20th, 2011 by master

Firefighters responded to Burke Ave. N. just off 50th St. this evening — nearly parking on the ladybug — for a fire in a home. The fire reportedly started in the microwave, but crews were able to quickly extinguish the blaze.

Earlier today, a house fire on 46th near Fremont Ave. damaged a home and created long traffic backups in the area. Our sister site Fremont Universe has that story. (Thanks Marina for the Burke Ave. photos!)

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Smoky fireplace brings big SFD response

March 9th, 2011 by master

You may have heard the many sirens or seen the many Seattle Fire Department vehicles (14 in all) responding to a house fire at Corliss Ave. just south of N. 45th St. this evening. The big SFD response was for a super-smoky fireplace that got more attention than the duplex tenants expected.

Here’s what happened: The downstairs tenants started their first blaze in their fireplace — an apparatus they’ve since discovered wasn’t fire-ready — and the upstairs tenants noticed smoke. The residents all got out of the building and called the fire department. When SFD arrived, they cut holes through the roof to let the smoke out of the attic.

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