SFD: Massive Fremont fire’s cause undetermined

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Courtesy Colin Reedy

SEATTLE — Fire investigators could not find the cause of a 2-alarm fire at an industrial plant that sent black pillows of smoke into the air above Seattle.

Flames and thick, black smoke from the fire at ASKO Processing, Inc. in the 400 block of North 35th Street were spotted around 1 p.m. Tuesday. Firefighters rushed to the scene to put out one of the largest structural fires in recent memories in Seattle, lucikily getting to it before anyone was injured in the blaze.

But the fight against the blaze just began Tuesday, as firefighters spent all night Tuesday putting water on hot spots and monitoring flare ups, Seattle Fire Department Spokesman Kyle Moore said.

The building was severely damaged, Moore said, and the fire department is monitoring the structural integrity of the building until the city’s department of planning could assume control.

Firefighters cannot enter the building until it’s integrity is approved, Moore said.

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The fire department is working with the Seattle Department of Transportation to open up one lane of North 35th street, which remained closed following the fire.

The environmental impact of the blaze — which featured potentially toxic chemicals going up in flames — was not yet known, Moore said. The Washington State Department of Ecology will work to monitor the impact. Until then, ASKO has hired a national spill response team to handle the waste water runoff, Moore said.

Many residents in the area noticed a change in their water color following the blaze. But residents should not be concerned, Moore said, as massive amounts of water were pumped through the system, unsettling the normally clear color.

“It’s not unusual,” he said. “The department has to pump all the amount of water they did on that fire.”

The water should return to normal color shortly, the Seattle Public Utilities website says.

 

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