Three-alarm fire destroys string of Ballard businesses, injures one firefighter

SEATTLE — A firefighter was injured and a string of businesses were destroyed when a three-alarm fire raged for hours Monday afternoon in Ballard.

A employee inside Supercuts reported the fire around 12 p.m., saying there was smoke coming from the building in the 2300 block of NW Market Street. Shortly after it was upgraded to two alarms. Around 12:50 p.m., it was upgraded to three alarms.

More than 150 Seattle firefighters, which is about 65% of the Seattle Fire Department's on-duty resources, responded to the scene.

Fire officials said La Isla, Kitchen N Things Coleman Jewelers and Supercuts sustained heavy damage and are a total loss. The Pho Vietnamese restaurant that borders Coleman Jewelers was damaged from smoke exposure and water.

On Tuesday, Seattle Fire Department tweeted that due to the extent of the damage and instability of the structure, the official cause of the fire is undetermined, but was likely caused by overheated electrical.

>> See photos of the fire taken from Chopper 7 here

The businesses in the building were evacuated as the fire continued to spread.

Video from Chopper 7 video embedded below shows firefighters battling flames on the roof of the building. Eventually the firefighters were called off the roof and switched to defensive operations. The roof later collapsed as crews continued to battle from below.

Residents in the area were advised to close windows and doors to avoid smoke exposure.

Due to hydrant use, Seattle Public Utilities warned Ballard residents that there may be discolored water in the homes and businesses. Discolored water comes from the internal pipe rust and sediment getting stirred up.

KIRO 7 Chief Meteorologist Morgan Palmer says wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour likely made firefighting more difficult and it's blowing smoke into nearby neighborhoods of Ballard and Greenwood north and northeast of the fire. Winds will stay strong and gusty until about 10 p.m.

One firefighter sustained minor injures and was transported to Harborview Medical Center, officials said.

SDOT tweeted that fire activity blocked all lanes of NW Market Street between Ballard Avenue NW and 24th Avenue NW.

King County Metro rerouted multiple routes Monday evening due to the fire response. Officials said the transit reroutes will continue through the evening and into the morning commute. Click here for updates.

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