Seattle firefighters were battling a large garbage fire that broke out in a homeless encampment under Interstate 5 near the Spokane Street exit Monday afternoon, according to a Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman.
Firefighters had to hike up a steep embankment and laid down 900 feet of hose just to reach the fire, which covers an area about 100 feet by 50 feet, spokeswoman Kristin Tinsley said by phone from the scene off Airport Way South. She said a bunch of garbage caught fire and spread to nearby grass and bushes.
Fire trucks were blocking northbound lanes of Airport Way South.
Some firefighters are battling the blaze from below the freeway while others are aiming water from atop the interstate, she said. A crash truck from Boeing Field, which holds 5,000 gallons of water, was called in to help alongside crews from eight fire engines and a couple of ladder trucks, Tinsley said. Each engine holds 500 gallons of water.
“We’re hitting it with water from a couple different angles … It’s definitely a hazardous situation,” said Tinsley, more than an hour after the first 911 call was received at 2:19 p.m.
Though there were people present at the encampment when firefighters arrived, Tinsley said there have been no injuries.
Heavy smoke was visible on both Airport Way South, where northbound lanes are now blocked by firetrucks, and from the freeway, she said.