Share story

When David Bailey saw the smoke down the street on Friday morning, he took off in a full sprint toward the flames in North Seattle’s Pinehurst neighborhood.

Bailey knew that his good friend, Claudia Stoppelmoor, was at a job interview and her dog, Lily, was trapped inside the burning building. Bailey alerted Seattle firefighters to Lily’s presence, and they went inside and retrieved the trembling bichon frise.

Stoppelmoor had her phone off for the interview, and when she turned it back on she learned that her condominium building was on fire.

“After I found out Lily is OK, I cried. When I got to the condo, I talked to my neighbor across the hall from me — she said her cat is still trapped inside,” Stoppelmoor said.

This week, save 90% on digital access.

Bailey stayed outside the building, holding the tiny shaking dog, until Stoppelmoor returned. He watched as firefighters resuscitated a cat and praised the rescue crews for saving his friend’s dog.

Seattle fire spokesman Kyle Moore said that residents in at least six units will be displaced because of the fire. Stoppelmoor believed she will be able to return home once fire crews clear from the building.

Stoppelmoor and other residents say this is the second time in several years that a fire has forced residents to evacuate.

“I’ve lived in the building about seven years, and about two and a half years ago our roof caught on fire,” she said. “It was 11:30 at night, and one of the guys who lives in our condo is a fireman and he started fighting it.”

Moore said fire crews were called to the condo building at 11532 15th Ave. N.E. just before 11 a.m. for reports of a motorcycle on fire in the garage. Firefighters are still investigating where the fire started, since a vehicle and a trash bin were burning in the parking garage when they arrived.

The building was quickly evacuated, and residents stood on the street watching the flames.

One woman, a nurse who declined to give her name, said she was asleep after working a night shift when she was awakened by an explosion and smelled thick smoke.

The woman, who has lived in the building for nearly 15 years, said she managed to grab her purse but was unable to get her two cats.

Moore said they do not have a damage estimate yet.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.