A small fire caused minor damage to the former Seattle Times building early Friday morning.
Seattle firefighters battled a small trash fire at the former Seattle Times building early Friday.
The fire at 1120 John St. was reported just before 4 a.m., the second blaze at the building in less than a month. Firefighters said there were no injuries.
Firefighters used two ladder trucks to reach the roof of the building and then access the interior. A portion of Fairview Avenue North was closed to traffic during the large response.
After the blaze was extinguished, firefighters searched the building to make sure no one was inside.
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Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Lt. Sue Stangl said firefighters spent a good amount of time clearing smoke from the building and trying to track down people inside before turning the structure back over to security guards hired by the building’s owner.
”They could hear people talking down on the first floor, but they never found them,” she said.
She said the temporary tenants may have left on their own.
The fire was found on the second floor, but investigators did not determine if it was intentionally set.
The earlier fire occurred Nov. 12 in a room that once housed printing presses. Firefighters said that blaze was started by improperly discarded smoking materials.
The building was left vacant after The Seattle Times moved to a nearby building on Denny Way in 2011. In 2013, the newspaper sold the building, which sits across from Amazon’s gleaming new headquarters, to Onni Group in Vancouver, B.C.
The old newspaper site, built in 1930-31, was deemed a city historic landmark in the mid-1990s.
The building has become an increasing source of complaints, problems and calls for emergency services as squatters have moved in despite efforts to seal the structure. One person who had lived in the building for about a year said that, at the peak, there were as many as 200 people living inside.