Seven people were injured in an apartment fire on Aurora Avenue North in East Queen Anne on Monday morning, authorities said.
Seattle Fire Department crews responded just before 5 a.m. to a “multiple casualty incident,” indicating more medical units being requested, at an apartment building in the 2400 block of Aurora Avenue North, according to 911 dispatch logs and the department’s Twitter account. The three-story, seven-unit building is near Thomas C. Wales Park, just south of the Canlis restaurant and the Aurora bridge.
Fire Department spokesperson Hilton Almond initially said six adults were taken to Harborview Medical Center. One of those was rescued by firefighters who got a ladder to the person.
Hospital spokesperson Susan Gregg said later Monday afternoon that another person involved in the fire was also being treated, bringing the total number of patients to seven. As of 3 p.m. Monday, the patient — a 39-year-old man who had jumped from the building and hurt his ankle — was in satisfactory condition, Gregg wrote in an email.
Two other patients, men who are 41 and 50 years old, are also in satisfactory condition, Gregg wrote.
She added that four patients are in critical condition with burn wounds. No further information about them was immediately available.
Isaac Lucas, who was visiting a friend who lives in the apartment, said he escaped the fire by jumping out the kitchen window down the back of the building. The blaze “had [them] all trapped,” he wrote in a message to The Seattle Times, but added that he wasn’t injured.
“Honestly my first reaction was oh my god I’m gonna die,” Lucas wrote. “Burning alive is the thing I’m most afraid of. But after I was able to get past that, I guess survival instinct sort of kicked in.”
Fire and medical vehicles blocked the highway in both directions for a couple of hours, during which King County Metro bus routes 5, 26, 28 and the RapidRide E Line were rerouted to avoid the scene. Northbound lanes reopened by about 7:30 a.m. All buses were back on regular routes by about 8 a.m., although an 8:13 a.m. Metro text message to transit riders warned of continued service delays.
By 6:30 a.m., the Fire Department said the blaze was under control and the investigation into its origin was beginning. By about 7:30, though, investigators had not yet entered the building.
At a news conference Monday morning, Seattle fire Chief Harold Scoggins said firefighters who responded to the blaze from the third floor of an Aurora motel encountered “multiple people jumping out of windows and people burned.”
He said the firefighters used a ladder to reach the third floor and treated seven patients on the scene.
Scoggins described the blaze as “a very challenging fire.” The chief said that joining Fire Department investigators on the scene were the Police Department’s arson/bomb squad and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.