Abandoned building burns on 15th Ave., was planned for demolition this week

(Photo courtesy of Mac Jahn from the My Ballard Group)

Updated: Firefighters were called just before 11 last night for a fire in an abandoned, boarded-up building along 15th Ave. near 80th St.

The building was surrounded by chain-link fence, forcing firefighters to cut their way in to access the fire. Low water pressure in the area also complicated efforts to fight the fire, KIRO TV reported.

“The structure began to collapse, and four additional engines and one ladder truck were added to the response,” Seattle Fire explained this morning. “Due to extreme fire damage, fire investigators were unable to determine the cause of the fire.”

One firefighter sustained minor injuries. Crews were on scene for several hours to douse hot spots.

The location is 8015 15th Ave. NW, the former home of several small businesses. Two abandoned homes next door were also fenced-off by the city after squatters were reported inside, according to KIRO TV. The building was scheduled for demolition this week, Seattle Fire said.

According to city planning documents, there’s a proposal (.pdf) to build 9 townhomes at the same location as the fire. Here’s the proposed design:

This the second fire in an abandoned home in Ballard in just over a week. On November 26th, a fire burned a vacant house on 63rd near 15th Ave.

And also last night, firefighters contended with fire in a vacant home in the 8500 block of Ashworth Ave., north of Greenwood.

“Abandoned buildings pose a significant risk to responding emergency personnel,” Seattle Fire wrote in a blog post this morning. “Seattle Fire has specific procedures for combating vacant building fires, including fighting the fire from outside the structure.”

(This story was reported as it happened in the My Ballard Facebook Group.)

8 comments on “Abandoned building burns on 15th Ave., was planned for demolition this week”

  1. Years ago I lived in Baltimore and the Fells Point area was the site of nearly constant fires. Old buildings, unoccupied, former light industry and warehouses. The word on the street was they were burned for the insurance money, to save on demolition costs, etc. They’ve all been replaced by trendy upscale dwellings. I hope that’s not the case here. Firefighters put their lives on the line every time they fight a fire.

  2. With the amount of greed running rampant in this city, I wouldn’t put it past a developer to use this tactic to “demolish” a building for their new construction. It’s horrible and scary. And also pretty coincidental.

  3. Thanks for the sensible reply, Joe.

    I find it amusing that developers are portrayed as such evil people that they’re going around burning down buildings to save a few bucks.

  4. I find it even more amusing that KOMO news says the other fire last night on 95th “wasn’t related”. Homeless, drugs and little to zero being done about it tells me they are uber-similar. BTW, these evil developers are “getting away” with what our idiots in command are allowing them to. Dense-ity baby.

  5. Wow, not the neighborhood I raised my children in at 70th and Dibble between 8th and 9th NW. They are right, you can’t go back, Seattle Fire Department Medic 1, 1960’s- 70’s.

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