Burning trash and debris inside a vacant Lower Queen Anne apartment building kept firefighters at the scene for more than five hours Saturday. As of late afternoon, it was not safe to go inside to make sure nobody was there, said Seattle Fire Department spokesman David Cuerpo.
The department got the call about the two-story, brick building at 601 Roy St., along Aurora Avenue North, shortly before 11 a.m. Officials declared the fire under control, but not out, at 2 p.m. Firefighters were still working there at close to 5 p.m.
One firefighter suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital.
The building’s doors and windows were boarded up, making it impossible to pour water directly onto the trash and debris inside. So firefighters kept pouring water onto the building, hoping to drown it all out, Cuerpo said.
The fire department closed the Highway 99 tunnel, surrounding parts of Aurora Avenue and westbound traffic on an adjacent stretch of Mercer Street until about 2 p.m.
Area residents were warned to close their windows and doors to prevent smoke inhalation. Heavy smoke was visible from Interstate 5 and West Seattle.