Medic Unit Dispatched to Magnuson Park Water Rescue | 3

SEATTLE, Washington

Fire Department rescue swimmers and fireboats were dispatched at 2244 PDT on Tuesday night, July 21, 2020, to reports of an adult female that fell off an approximately 23-foot boat into the water without a life preserver on.

Units include A14, A2, B2, B6, E17, E38, E6, FIREBOAT 5, L9, M17, M44, SPD PATROL4, R1, SAFT2, FIREBOAT1.

They would eventually code green everyone except for E38, B6 and FIREBOAT1. (2343)

The female patient was being transported by FIREBOAT1 to a location where Medic 17 could meet up with them and transport her to the hospital.  Coordination of details were still in motion on Wednesday morning, July 22, 2020 at 00:03 hours PT.

Harbor2 reported the patient as alert and talking.  It was stated could be transported in a BLS unit.

The incident was reported in the 7800 block of 62nd Avenue N.E. in the Magnuson Park area.

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 7/21/2020

Seattle Firefighters Requesting Guardian 1 for Mutual Aid Call | 2


UPDATE | RP noticed missing person off their boat 40 minutes ago. Guardian requested by SFD Command | 1118 PT

FD rescue swimmers and fireboats were dispatched at 2244 PDT on Tuesday night, July 21, 2020, to reports of an adult female that fell off an approximately 23-foot boat into the water without a life preserver on.

Units include A14, A2, B2, B6, E17, E38, E6, FIREBOAT 5, L9, M17, M44, SPD PATROL4, R1, SAFT2, FIREBOAT1.

The incident is unfolding in the 7800 block of 62nd Avenue N.E. in the Magnuson Park area.

This is a developing story.

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 7/21/2020

Seattle Firefighters Dispatched to Magnuson Water Rescue Call

SEATTLE, Wa. | FD rescue swimmers and fireboats were dispatched at 2244 PDT on Tuesday night, July 21, 2020, to reports of an adult female that fell off an approximately 23-foot boat into the water without a life preserver on.

Units include A14, A2, B2, B6, E17, E38, E6, FIREBOAT 5, L9, M17, M44, SPD PATROL4, R1, SAFT2, FIREBOAT1.

The incident is unfolding in the 7800 block of 62nd Avenue N.E. in the Magnuson Park area.

This is a developing story.

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 7/21/2020 2311 PDT.

Seattle Firefighters Tap Basement Fire Quickly

SEATTLE, Washington —


Firefighters were dispatched to a house fire in the 9000 block of 17th Avenue SW on Friday, September 28, 2018 around 1733 hours PDT.  Battalion 5 assumed fire control and the incident became 17th Avenue Command.

The fire appears to have been fully engulfed in the basement when crews arrived.


Fire Units included Aid 14, Air Unit 10, Battalions 5 and 7, Deputy 1, Engines 11, 26, 27, 36 and 37; Ladders 1 and 11; Medics 32 and 44 (Supervisor); Marshal 5 (FIU); Rescue 1 (Heavy Rescue unit), REHAB1 (Firefighter REHAB), Safety 2 Officer and Staff 10 (Officer).

Seattle Fire apparatus. (Not the fire scene) Stock Photo Credit: NW Fire Blog


Fire was reported to be burning in the basement on the alpha/bravo corner.  A 360* was completed of the building by Command/Staffing.  Primary and secondary searches of whole building resulted in nothing found.

Water was on the fire around 1929 hours. Less than 10 minutes later, overhaul was in progress.  A DECON line was established along with ventilation.  Rescue 1 had secured gas and established ventilation and was working securing the power.


The fire was tapped (put out) at 1941 hours.

Most of the Command staff (B5, Deputy 1 and Safety 2) went back into service quickly, while fire crews continued to overhaul and go through the DECON (decontaminate their gear and equipment) Line established at one of their engines.

Great job to Seattle Firefighters for putting out this basement fire so quickly and safely, so that everyone goes home.


No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported.


The cause is currently unknown, as well as the financial damage to the contents and structure.

(c) 2018 NW Fire Blog

Seattle Fire Responds to UW Fire

SEATTLE, Wash. – Firefighters were dispatched to a Fire in Building call 4200 block of Mary Gates Memorial Drive NE around around 1723 hours PDT on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.

Units dispatched were the equivalent of a full response which included:  Aid 2, Air 9, Battalions 2 and 4, Deputy 1, Engines 17, 22, 25, 40, 6 and 9 and Ladders 3, 4 and 9.  Medic units 16 and 44 (Supervisor).  Marshal 5 (FIU).  REHAB 1 (Firefighter REHAB unit). Command Staff which includes Safety 2 (Safety Officer) and Staff 10 (Administrative Officer).

The first due units arriving reported smoke visible from the building.  Fire Officials released a statement that all occupants had self-evacuated.  No injuries to civilians, staff or firefighters were indicated. (1735 hours PDT)

Fire was knocked down quickly and crews were tasked with finding extensions into the building. (1739 hours PDT)

Crews brought the fire under control and FIU Investigators were immediately brought in.  They were reportedly en route to determine the cause. (1745 hours PDT)

The building located at this address is listed as being named by Redmond’s Microsoft Chairman and CEO to honor his late mother, Mary Gates.

At the time of this post, there was no cause or estimate of damage caused by the fire.

(c) 2018 NW Fire Blog


GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN | 4 Seattle Firefighters Remembered

Tragedy struck at the Mary Pang warehouse incident  that  occurred on January 5, 1995, an arson-caused fire – that was deemed to be a well-played out plan by the owner’s son for insurance money.  He had hoped that  if it burned down, he would reap a large payout.

As it turned out, many people and Officials were aware of this planned attack on a Seattle business but the day to carry out the arsonist’s intentions came and went.  Soon afterwards after the intended date, the fire eventually took place and the intensity was well publicized.  It was also the day, the arsonist murdered four great Seattle Firemen and destroying hundreds of lives and those who were deeply impacted by their losses to their immediate families, Fire Department, fellow Fire Brothers and Sisters, communities and those indirectly.

I wrote a short story, Seattle Mourn from the viewpoint of a fictious reporter but based upon actual Fire Investigative reports, media news and publications, eyewitness accounts and listening to audio coverage as the fire incident unfolded on that horrendous day.  As a former Firefighter REHAB volunteer, I can only imagine the intensity, the smells, the sounds and the large number of Fire personnel arriving on scene.  This story was inspired by these amazing men – Lt. Walter Kilgore, Lt. Gregory Shoemaker, Firefighters James Brown and Randall Terlicker who lost their lives on this tragic day and published in an anthology, Felons, Flames and Ambulance Rides released July 2013.

Their lives will be forever remembered and what they stood for.  Please take a little moment and say a prayer remembering those who are still greatly affected by their loss by their families, friends, Fire brothers and sisters.  We Will Never Forget.

~ LR Swenson, Editor/Owner

MISSING | Seattle Firefighter Greatly Missed by Many

As some of you may or may not know, Seattle Firefighters along with the Seattle Police Department and fellow friends and Firefighters have been searching since last Thursday [December 10th] for missing Seattle Firefighter Joshua Milton, a 3-year veteran of the Department and entering into his first year into King County Medic 1 Program as a Paramedic student.


Photo Courtesy: Seattle Police Department

Initial reports after he went missing a day or so,  reported by various sources said he had been found and working to bring FF Milton back home.  His car was found abandoned at Deception Pass – approximately 80 miles from Seattle, Washington.

Little information has been shed on the details surrounding his disappearance, so for the sake of hurting his family, we [The NW Fire Blog] have taken a back seat and seeing where we can help or lend support.  As of the time of this publication, this is still deemed as an active Missing Person case being investigated by the Seattle Police Department.

His Fire Family, immediate Family and Friends still are looking for him and if you know of any details on where he is located, you are urged to contact 9-1-1.

Many have been asking how they can help support his Family during this difficult time of year and there has been a Go Fund Me account setup for him.  Here is the information:  We don’t know the person  directly, but we are led to believe this is a legitimate fundraising page for the family.

Please take a moment and give if you can. If not, please keep FF Milton’s family and his Fire brothers and sisters in your thoughts and prayers.  As you know, this has left a HUGE hole in the Fire Family and to those who know and loved him.

Editor’s Comments:  Generally speaking from experience, living with Depression or other underlying issues that can cause potential suicidal thoughts are embarrassing to admit, little alone share with someone that you are thinking about ending your life because it seems too hard or no one can really understand just comes with the territory of the burden they are carrying.  It becomes your reality and something that you hide on a daily basis.

I can attest to this state-of-mind when I was began experiencing suicidal thoughts at the age of five years old from a very bad childhood into my adulthood at age 21. Yes, that is the truth and has been a worthy cause for me to try to help at least one person, then I know I am making a difference in someone’s life to keep on living.

Be a good listener and to issues that he/she may be going through. Don’t criticize or be judgmental as it could easily send the person over the ability to handle the stress impeding your opportunities of assisting them.  Always check in with them to see how they are doing and let them know they are important.

Did you all go through a traumatic call? Talk it out with each other or let your Chaplain know you need to chat about it.  It is better in so many ways to let off the “steam” then holding all those emotions deep down inside until the burden is way too heavy to carry anymore.  There are many resources including @safecallnow, a 24 hour/7 day/365 confidential line.  Many of those who reach out to are great listeners, confidential, compassionate and know what you are going through. Some of them have gone through very bad situations.   Give them a call @ 206-459-3020.

I don’t know about SFD Firefighter Milton’s situation or if he was dealing with many personal issues, but I can tell you from experience that it is very important to talk things out with one another and get a feel for what they are going through. Being a good listener and helping them through whatever it is that they are going through is the best way to offer assistance.  If you feel it is out of your scope, please talk to a Professional or Chaplain for recommendations.

Be Safe Friends and remember, we care a lot about every single one of you all.

– Lisa Swenson, Editor of The NW Fire Blog [@nwfireblog – Twitter]

Seattle Fire Responds to Major MCI on Dangerous Aurora Bridge


Seattle, Washington | Aurora Bridge or also known as Highway 99, played host to a deadly crash scene on Friday morning, involving The Seattle Duck tour vehicle and a chartered tourist bus.  Witnesses reported seeing the vehicle veering into the other lane striking the larger bus, including two additional cars.

One media source reported that the driver may have had a mechanical issue with one of the front tires. Seattle PD was last investigating the closed roadway.  NTSB Investigators had arrived at the accident scene involving two commercial vehicles  and two civilian cars [were towed away shortly afterwards].

Four International college students were killed and over 50 were medically evaluated. Some were serious injuries. Patients needing additional medical attention were transported to Harborview Medical Center [HMC] and area hospitals.


Seattle Fire units were dispatched to the crash site located at the 3700 block of Auroran Avenue N or more pinpointed on the Aurora Bridge just above Lake Union.  It is known by locals where many serious accidents have occurred over the years. Seattle Fire Units began emptying the City around 1111 hours, as they responded. According to the City’s CAD system, these are the units that were dispatched:

  • Engines 2, 8, 9, 18, 20, 21, 22, 25, 34, 36, 41. [11 units]
  • Ladders 1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10. [6 units]
  • Medics 10, 16, 18, 28, 31, 44 [Supervisor], 81, 82. [8 units]
  • Aid Units 5,  [1 unit]
  • Rescue Units:  L7, Rescue 1, Aid 14 [All Respond together] [3 units]
  • Command: B4 & 6, Deputy 1, Staff 10, Safety 2 [5 units]
  • Air 9 [1 unit]
  • Additional Units:  MCI1, PIO, MAB1 [3]

That is an impressive 38 units dispatched, deployed and were on scene within minutes. Mutual Aid arrived from the assistance of Shoreline Fire Department medics.


The Duck Tours of Seattle, is an independent and locally owned business by Brian Tracey, a longtime Seattle resident and original host of King5’s Evening Magazine.  Opening in 1997, Tracey saw a need for travel in the Lake Union area, waddling away with the ingenious idea of creating a tour Company as both entertaining and as a business adventure.  For the past 13 years, he has applied his many decades of talents, entrepreneurship skills and experience, making this one of the most successful Tour companies in the State.

Currently, he owns 20 DUKWS  with 120 employees, which include: 40 Captains, 9 highly skilled and heavy-duty mechanics and a great staff of compassionate individuals whose main focus is on entertainment and providing the best customer service as anyone can possibly provide or even match, making them a valuable commodity.

The “ride” is a 90-minute tour of Seattle from many tourist attractions in the downtown area where one stop to pick up passengers is either at the Space Needle or Westlake Center, both very busy with foot, motorized and vehicle traffic whizzing by. The website describes the tour waddles one hour on land and swims 30 minutes in water.

Prices range from $1 [infant] to $29 per person.

The business boasts their Award-Winning recognition for the last eight years as the “Best City Tour Company” by King5’s Evening Magazine.  This is Tracey’s former employer.


A DUKW is described as an amphibious landing craft developed by the U.S. Army during World War II to deliver cargo from ships at sea to the shore.  D for Built in 1942. U for Amphibious 2-ton truck. K for front wheel drive. W for rear wheel drive. And, therefore the name “Duck” was born.  The Army used these vehicles until the mid-60’s and have been known to be used by the Police Departments, Fire Departments and rescue units.

A local radio guest stated they are not the “exact” DUKW used in the war but they are similar in that they have the same round shape of the vehicle. They are said to be newer & more safe than original U.S. Army models made in the 40’s.

The Seafair Pirates currently have one they’ve named Moby Dick. You can see their DUKW in action annually when the Pirates “land” on Alki Beach [Seattle] in celebratory opening of iconic Seafair and it’s festivities.


There are 40 “Duck” Captains with the  Seattle tour company that carry a U.S. Coast Guard Master’s License, a Commercial Driver’s License [CDL], are CPR/First Aid certified and must pass a rigorous training program.

The boats are inspected by the USCG and bi-annually by the DOT.  They are frequently audited by both on a regular basis.

In a 2010 interview with a local TV news channel after the 2010 Delaware River Duck Tour fatality incident, Seattle Duck tour owner Brian Tracey stated:

“We are not related to the Philadelphia boat company. We are locally and independent run business here in Seattle.  Our boats are newer, safer and less than five years old as they are built on truck chassis.”

The Company prides itself on having an Operations manual that is used as a guideline by others around the Country.


In a NTSB investigative report on the sinking of the Miss Majestic vessel in 1999, the Safety Board researched available accident history on amphibious passenger vehicles. They found U.S. Coast Guard records show between March 6, 1991 to May 1, 1999, 18 of these vehicles had been involved in accidents including six [6] of them with some degree of flooding.  In December 1999, a meeting bringing operators, Coast Guard and technical experts together to discuss amphibious passenger vehicle safety.

September 23, 2015 – Aurora Ave N Bridge, Seattle [WA]

Media sources say Duck No 6 had not been inspected since 2003 – that’s 12 years ago. We took information from the Company’s website stating they have these vehicles inspected regularly. [Courtesy: Fox News –

August 2014 – Lake Delton – Wisconsin

A Ride the Duck tour vehicle collided with a truck on Lake Delton, Wisconsin’s County-A highway. At the time of the post, Investigators state it’s possible the truck with two [2] occupants may have crossed the center line hitting the amphibious passenger vehicle.

13 people were taken to nearby hospitals.  None of them were life-threatening. [ ]

September 29, 2013 – River Thames – London [England]


The UK Government was also investigating this incident. fire on board the DUKW amphibious vehicle Cleopatra on the River Thames, London, England. [ ]

30 passengers jumped overboard and were later rescued by Fire personnel, Police and other passing boats. [ ]

Investigation report dated December 2013. [ ]

The following Press Release was issued by Porcellio Manufacturing Ltd on 30 September 2013 in response to the fire on a London DUKW.

“A manufacturer of modern amphibious vehicles has warned that a blaze, which saw 30 passengers evacuated from a craft on The Thames yesterday (29 September), was “an accident waiting to happen.

This is the third accident in 2013 so far and follows two in Liverpool, in which two similar machines sank. In the wake of the news, the manufacturer is now urging authorities to withdraw the current certificates for all old crafts currently running tours in the UK, until they can be checked for compliance against the latest regulations.” – Managing Director Howard Slater of Porcello Mfg Ltd on SeaHorse Amphibious Passenger vehicles.

June 15, 2013 – Salthouse Dock – Liverpool [England]

“Wacker Quacker 1”

The UK Government is looking into the flooding and sinking of the DUKW amphibious vehicle Wacker Quacker 1 in Salthouse Dock, Liverpool, England, owned and operated by Yellow Duckmarine.

The Government issued a warning to Coast Guard and Maritime Agencies about DUKW passenger vehicles. [ ]

Approximately 31 passengers including children were on board at the time of the sinking. 27 patients treated and transported to area hospitals. No serious injuries or deaths reported.

October 2011 – Pike Street – Downtown Seattle [WA]

A motorcyclist was waiting at a stop light on Pike when it turned green. A DUKW aka Seattle Duck Tours bus was behind him, hit the gas pedal running over him and dragging him several yards.

The victim was seriously injured and later would file a lawsuit against the company. Media sources did not know what the settlement or status of that lawsuit was. [ ]

Around July 16, 2010 – Downtown Boston [MA]

Media reports of only nine [9] days later after the Philly accident, a DUKW lost its brakes on a Boston Highway [Charles Circle / Storrow Drive in downtown Boston], causing the amphibious passenger vehicle to smash into seven [7] cars, injuring five [5] people.

Boston Duck Tours is not owned by the Ride the Ducks but does provide “duck” tours.  [ ]

The cause was unknown at the time this post was published.

July 7, 2010 – Delaware River – Philadelphia [PA]

Philadelphia’s Duck Tour Captain collided with a barge that caused the vessel to run down the tourist vehicle causing all 37 customers to be dumped into Delaware River. The Duck sank. 2 student tourists were killed when they drowned. []

2 tourist families brought lawsuits against the company for both tourist deaths, settling for $17M.

December 8, 2001 – Lake Union – Seattle [WA]

“DUKW No. 1”

Seattle’s DUKW No. 1, a 33-foot amphibious passenger vehicle began taking on water five [5] minutes into its tour on Lake Union from one of the city’s neighboring boat launches. The bilge alarm began sounded and the Captain noticed water discharging, immediately headed back to shore after contacting their Dispatch Center.A passing boat safely assisted passengers on to their own vessel.

There were no injuries or deaths reported.

After being attempted to be towed across the lake by Harbor Patrol, the vessel sank in 25 feet of water. After being salvaged, Investigators found that there was a 4 1/2″ access plug that was missing.

The Driver testified he was in a hurry and didn’t have time to confirm all 55 items on the Safety Checklist had been checked. All vehicles were modified to have the hull plugs permanently sealed to prevent this from happening again. There was one [1] boat operator along with 11 passengers on tour at time of accident.

$100,000 vehicle damage.

September 18, 2000 – Milwaukee Harbor – Milwaukee [WI]

“The Minnow”

The Minnow, a 21-foot long Alvis Stalwart-type amphibious passenger vehicle began taking on water after disembarking 13 passengers. A failed bearing on the end of a propulsion impeller shaft contributed to the vessel sinking. [U.S. Coast Guard. ].

N0 injuries or deaths were reported.

$170,000 vehicle damage.

May 1, 1999 – Lake Hamilton – near Hot Springs [AR]

“Miss Majestic”

The Miss Majestic, a 31-foot amphibious passenger vehicle sank on Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Arkansas. 13 fatalities including 3 children out of 20 passengers and 2 crew members. Vehicle damage $100,000. A tear was located in the hull.

The company was supposed to have an alarm installed but never was. The root cause by investigators was that the DUKW the Company failed to repair and maintain the vehicle. [Source:  NTSB report


The National Transportation Safety Board made and adopted Safety Recommendations in May of 2002.  [PDF is 52 pages long. Here is the link –> ]


Seattle Firefighters, Medics, Command Staff, support staff and all mutual aid companies, including additional Medics from the Shoreline Fire Department responded quickly and swiftly to remove entrapped victims from all vehicles.  Can’t say enough great things about their heroics and how Seattle is one of the best Fire Departments in the Country.  Many will say they are doing what they were meant to do in life. We say it is definitely a calling of greatness in helping others.

Skilled with many hundreds if not logging thousands of hours becoming skillfully trained in many disciplines.  Their actions out on the roadway just went to prove how experienced they are, putting into action and compassionately removing injured victims.  To see one person deceased is hard on one’s soul and to see four with dozens and dozens of patients proves how great they are at their jobs and treating so many at once.

Great job Seattle Fire!


Many agencies responded upon the scene from the Seattle Police Department, Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Fire Department and working in unison with the Emergency Operations Center.  This day was hard for many physically on and off scene, directly and indirectly involved and to area hospitals for doing a great job in triage, treating and your compassionate care of every single injured person.

Coming together as one shows that Seattle can handle anything – major and minor.

Thank you for your Service, Commitment and Dedication in everything you do day in and day out.  You are highly admired for your bravery in going in and taking care of so many and respected for the great things you do everyday.  Your communities thank you!


We are deeply saddened by this tragedy in Seattle and we offer our sincere sympathies to those who were injured, to their loved ones and to those affected by today’s events. We are so sorry for your losses to your families, friends and to their communities they represented.

[c] 2015 The NW Fire Blog





Seattle Fire Responds to HAZMAT Call with Fire At UW Chemical Engineering Facility

Seattle,Washington | Firefighters were dispatched at 0950 hours this morning to a HAZMAT with fire to UW’s chemical Engineering Lab in Benson Hall located at 3781 Okanogan Lane NE in Seattle.

The location of the fire was on Floor 01 [Basement], Bravo 13 [where fire originated].

Fire Festival, SFD L1, Rear

Ladder 1 Stock Photo [Credit: LR Swenson]

Units were dispatched and tied to the call per SFD’s CAD were Engines 16, 22, 25, 27, 34, 38.  Ladders 4, 7 and 8.  Aid Units 14, 25 with Medic Units 16 & 44 [Supervisor].  The Special Ops HAZMAT team included: Unit 77, Ladder 1, Engine 10 and Aid 10 makes up this Special Ops unit.  Command Staff:  Air9, Deputy1, Safety2, Staff10 and REHAB1.

The fire was in a 2×3 contained box and self-extinguished itself.  The cause was determined to be a small amount of lithium that was exposed to H2O.  There was no HAZMAT exposure.

After determination of no HAZMAT on scene, all staff and students were allowed to reoccupy the building with business as usual.  All units returned back into service around 1018 Hours.

Seattle Fire says that it is safe to return to all normal functions within Benson Hall on UW’s Engineering Campus.

[c] 2015 The NW Fire Blog


Seattle Firefighters Battle House Fire in Ballard Neighborhood

Seattle, Washington | Firefighters are fighting a fire at a home in the 1500 block of NW 61st Street in the Ballard neighborhood.  The home was being rennovated at the time.

Crews have brought the fire under control.  No injuries have been reported.

The cause is currently under investigation.

ABOUT The Ballard Community

Homes in the Ballard neighborhood is a suburb in Seattle, Washington.  It is located in the Northwestern part of the City.  It’s Northern Boundaries are Crown Hill, Phinney Ridge and Freemont.  Southernly boundary is the Lake Washington Ship Canal.  To the West is Puget Sound’s Shilshole Bay.

It’s Community is rich in Scandavian cultures and full of seafaring activities.  It is traditionally known as Seattle’s ethinically seafaring communities, bringing those to fish for salmon.  The community is home to many fishing vessels based at Fisherman’s Terminal including “Deadliest Catch’s The Northwestern”.

[c] 2015 The NW Fire Blog

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