A large, out of control fire burning in a three-story building in Seattle’s International District has forced more than 20 people living nearby to evacuate, reports The Associated Press.
The fire began around 4 p.m. and sent plumes of smoke over downtown Seattle and Interstate 5. Aerial news footage showed flames shooting out of the building’s roof.
The top two floors have been vacant, but the bottom floor houses businesses whose staff and customers were evacuated, officials said. Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said there were no reports of injuries but that there was a “real potential” for collapse due to the building’s age.
Fire crews have had a near-constant stream of water on the building, which makes the already unstable structure even weaker. ”There’s the concern that the longer we put water on this building that the walls may collapse out,” said Fire Chief Gregory Dean
Moore said the fire is not spreading, but heavy smoke and the department’s need to cut power prompted the precautionary evacuation of two buildings across an alleyway.