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Two brush fires spark in homeless encampments near I-5 within 24 hours

Both blazes were sparked by illegal cooking fires which originated from two different homeless encampments.

SEATTLE — Two brush fires sparked in homeless encampments near I-5 within 24 hours, fire officials say. 

The Seattle Fire Department was called to 80th street near the I-5 on-ramp on Thursday after a brush fire took off, threatening a home nearby. 

The on-ramp was quickly shut down along with part of 80th street as a cooking fire spread to nearby grass.

No homes were damaged, but the blaze did spread to a nearby fence. 

"Luckily the wind was going south, otherwise that flame would have been over on this side," said a homeowner who lives nearby. 

"There was a boom and a big ball of flame, and it really took off after that," said Dan Druiliner, a neighbor who was headed to the hardware store when he first saw the blaze. 

Druiliner said the fire started in a structure built by a man who has lived in the neighborhood for years, and is well known within the neighborhood. Neighbors say they've been complaining about the encampment for years. 

Several propane tanks were dragged from the fire, including one that ruptured. 

This is the second brush fire that originated in a homeless encampment within the last 24 hours. The other fire also began with a cooking incident. 

"Cooking outside, or illegal burns outside, poses a very high risk for these large brush fires in this area," said Seattle Fire spokesperson David Cuerpo.


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