Over half of the on-duty firefighters were on the scene
SEATTLE — Firefighters battled a blaze in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood that destroyed several businesses.
The fire in the 2300 block of Northwest Market Street was reported just after noon Monday, according to the Seattle Fire Department.
Seattle Fire spokeswoman Kristin Tinsley told the Seattle Times that someone at Supercuts called 911 after smelling smoke.
Businesses were evacuated, and firefighters cut holes in the building’s roof to release toxic gases and smoke. La Isla and Pho Big Bowl restaurants, Supercuts, Kitchen N Things and Octo Designs & Jewelers were among the businesses burned.
A news outlet’s live video of the fire showed flames engulfing the roof and firefighters working to hold the fire to that building using ladder trucks with water hoses blasting the flames.
At the fire’s peak, 150 firefighters, or about 65% of Seattle Fire’s on-duty resources, were responding. One firefighter was taken with minor injuries to a hospital, officials said.
Duke Nguyen, who owns Pho Big Bowl, told the newspaper he had just arrived at the restaurant when he smelled smoke.
He wondered where the smell was coming from and tried turning on the kitchen fans to clear the air. Then he walked outside and saw flames and smoke pouring out of neighboring businesses. Nguyen ran back inside to the approximately four employees and 15 customers.
“I opened the door and I said, “I’m sorry but the building is on fire. Please, I don’t know what will happen, please leave.”
Nguyen then ran out of the restaurant, but once again ran back into the smoke to grab his iPad and cash inside the register. He had to hold his breath.
At 3:30 p.m. firefighters said the fire was under control and that firefighters would remain at the scene overnight to prevent the fire from restarting.
Strong winds blew smoke through the neighborhood and residents within a mile of the fire were urged to close windows and doors to avoid smoke exposure.
Standing outside while firefighters remained working at around 4 p.m., Nguyen said he was glad everyone is safe
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