Firefighters rescue two from their burning apartment unit in Downtown Seattle

Photo by John Odegard

SEATTLE— At 10:28 a.m., our Fire Alarm Center received a call reporting two people on a 5th floor balcony waving for help as smoke billowed from their apartment window. The caller was unable to verify the apartment’s address from their vantage point, so they drove directly to the building to inform our dispatcher of the correct location (700 block of 7th Ave).

The caller remained on scene to alert another building resident to pull the fire alarm, thus alerting all residents to evacuate. Then, the caller tried communicating with the two people on the balcony, but soon realized they couldn’t hear. Fortunately, the caller knew American Sign Language and was able to relay to them to stay calm and that help was on the way.

Ladder 1 and Engine 10 were first on scene at approx. 10:33 a.m. with additional firefighters arriving shortly after. Crews from Ladder 1 quickly raised their aerial ladder to gain access to the two people stranded on their balcony, then proceeded to assist both of them down to safety. The residents are a 43-year-old male and 39-year-old female who are both in stable condition, and were transported to a hospital for further medical care.

Crews from Engine 10 and Engine 6 laid an extended hose line up to the unit on fire, while additional crews conducted a primary search of the building. As the crews from Engine 6 attempted to make entry into the unit, they identified a bicycle that was directly behind the front door, thus blocking the entrance. However, the firefighters were able to take the door completely off, then make their way in to pour water on the fire.

By 11 a.m. the fire was fully extinguished, and a secondary search of the fire room confirmed that no additional occupants were inside. The incident is currently under investigation.

Thank you to the caller for quickly reporting the fire and aiding in alerting all residents to evacuate the building.

Safety tip: Please ensure your doorways are clear from furniture or other personal items that may block your ability to escape during an emergency.

Article Source: News from City of Seattle