Neighbors said two people were taken to the hospital with burns after a fire in an Interbay parking lot that serves as a temporary RV camp.

Share story

Seattle firefighters doused a fire at a temporary RV camp in an Interbay parking lot Thursday morning.

Neighbors said two people, a woman and man believed to be in their 30s, were taken to Harborview Medical Center with burns.

Harborview spokeswoman Susan Gregg said the woman was in serious condition in the intensive-care unit. The man was in satisfactory condition, she said.

The fire left the pair’s RV a melted mess of gnarled metal.

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

A fire investigator at the scene told neighbors the blaze was accidental and started when a heater ignited a fuel can inside the RV.

Last month, Mayor Ed Murray issued an emergency order to open safe-parking sites for people living in vehicles. The Interbay lot is a temporary zone where people can park until two safe-parking sites in Ballard and Delridge are opened.

The fire was first reported to the Seattle Fire Department at about 4:30 a.m.

Clayton Lewis, who lives near the RV that burned, said he heard a loud boom, and first thought a wall nearby was toppled.

“I saw sheets of paper on fire in the street. Smoke was filling up,” Lewis said, referring to his RV.

Jarrett Schickling, who lived next to the burning RV, said a power line above the vehicles snapped and fell on the vehicles below.

He said he heard his neighbors screaming.

“They got burned bad,” he said. “They’re going to be in a lot of pain, and I’m worried they’re not going to have a home.”

Crystal Livesey, Schickling’s fiancee, said she had known the people burned for about five years. They had moved to the Interbay lot less than a week ago, she said.

“I hope their parents come to support them,” she said. “If not, I’ll be there.”

The heat of the flames melted the taillight of Schickling’s pickup truck and blew out the window of his RV and melted some material on its roof, he said.

Schickling said he thought the Interbay lot was an OK place to live, but worried about having so many vehicles packed together.

“That could have brought mine down, my RV,“ he said. “These things go up like tinder boxes.”

Schickling said his RV was equipped with a fire extinguisher, but worried that others might not take the same precautions.

“People need to use common sense. They’re not on the streets by themselves anymore. They’re around other people,” he said.

Lewis worried that the fire would threaten the temporary lot where the city has allowed people living in vehicles to park.

He said he’s heard radio jocks “go trashing on us (RV dwellers).”

“They’re going to have a heyday with this,” he said of the fire. There was also a drug bust in the area recently, he noted, which didn’t help.

Lewis said he’s been living in an RV for about two years, and welcomed having the lot to call home because parking was difficult and he didn’t feel welcome.

“We were really hoping it was going to work out,” he said, but now he’s doubtful.

Schlickling shared Lewis’ concerns.

“People don’t want us out here,” he said.

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.