A building caught fire Friday morning in the Ravenna neighborhood, and flames could be seen shooting from the top of the building.

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A vacant building caught fire in the Ravenna neighborhood early Friday, and flames could be seen shooting from the top of the building.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 65th Street about 4:50 a.m. Friday. Lt. Sue Stangl, a spokeswoman for the Seattle Fire Department, said the fire won’t be out quickly.

“It’s a defensive fire, so it’s going to be a while,” she said. “A defensive fire means we’re not going inside the structure … (we) have to stay on the outside and put water on the building.”

Traffic around 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 65th Street was closed for several hours. The building is across 15th from Roosevelt High School.

King County Metro routes 48, 64 Express, 71, 72, 73, 76 and 373 were detoured around the fire.

Stangl said she did not know of any injuries.

“They (firefighters) tried to look as closely as possible to make sure nobody was inside, but they couldn’t do an active search,” Stangl said.

The department sent double the number of firefighters that typically respond, she added.

“In a vacant building, if you have a fire inside, it has a chance to grow large before somebody on the outside notices it,” Stangl said.

The building is owned by Hugh Sisley, according to King County parcel records. Sisley is a notorious Seattle landlord, who at one point owed the city of Seattle several million dollars in legal judgments, fines and interest related to housing-code violations.

A Seattle development group paid millions to satisfy court judgments on Sisley properties. The city may use some of that money to build a small park in the area.