SEATTLE — Smoke billowed from the top floor of the Bell Tower Apartments in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood on Monday afternoon.
The Seattle Fire Department responded to the 2200 block of 1st to fight a fire on the 16th floor. Crews had the fire under control shortly after 2:30 p.m. Monday.
The fire department said no one was inside the unit where the fire broke out and there are no reports of injuries. Three units sustained damage.
The Bell Tower building is part of the Seattle Housing Authority, low-income public housing.
Residents say the fire alarm goes off in the building on a regular basis and some people didn’t evacuate on Monday. Scott Pyryembida walked down the stairs from the 10th floor and saw flames.
"There's people two apartments over on the same floor looking out their window, we are screaming at them ‘you need to leave it's actually on fire,'” he said.
Jim Wakeland said he waited several minutes but realized it was serious when he saw all the firetrucks. “I could see the glass hitting the ground, I said yeah there might be something else going on. Might be a good idea for me to go ahead and get out of here.”
Seattle Fire Department Public Information Officer David Cuerpo said it’s critical that people always respond when they hear an alarm.
"If you do hear a fire alarm, in your building, please safely evacuate.” Cuerpo said residents should use stairways. “Now, if you're unable because of physical disability or poor health, please shelter in place while our fire crews arrive on scene to help put out the fire and rescue anyone who is in danger.”
Cuerpo said anyone who can’t get out of their apartment should call 911 and let dispatchers know what unit they’re in so fire crews can come and help them, if they are in imminent danger. During Monday’s fire at the building in Belltown, one resident who was unable to get down the stairs did shelter in place while firefighters put out the fire.