Firefighters from South King and Puget Sound Fire extinguished a basement fire in the 22700 block of 26th Ave South (map below) on Thursday afternoon, Mar. 7, 2024, which displaced 14 residents.

Crews arrived at approximately 1:45 p.m. to find flames on the east side of the structure. The fire was brought under control within 20 minutes. Firefighters then conducted a search for extension and ensured no hidden embers remained.

With the fire originating in the basement, crews had to make their way to the backside of the structure to make entry and attack the seat of the fire first.

“Basement fires are a serious hazard for firefighters as you cannot put firefighters on a floor directly above a fire,” Capt. Brad Chaney of South King Fire told The Waterland Blog. “This is where fatalities happen due to weakened structural supports and floor collapses.”

Once the crews made entry on the backside and were able to extinguish most of the fire and check for stability, crews then entered the main floor through the front door. The house was charged with smoke, and some hidden fires in the walls had to be extinguished.

Crews worked diligently to check the entire house, performed multiple searches, and ventilated the structure to remove as much toxic smoke and gas as possible.

The house is not habitable at this time and the cause is still under investigation.

The American Red Cross also responded, and is assisting the displaced residents.

Photos courtesy South King Fire & Rescue