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Firefighters battle large fire next to 1st Avenue Bridge in Georgetown neighborhood

SEATTLE — A large brush fire halted traffic on State Route 99 as it burned next to the First Avenue bridge on Tuesday.

According to the Seattle Fire Department, the flame sparked around 4:30 p.m. on First Avenue South and East Marginal Way South in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle.

Seattle Fire told KIRO 7 that the gusty winds caused the brush fire to spread to an RV and several semi-trucks with attached trailers.

“Just a thick black plume of smoke that was coming out,” said witness Marino Correia. “And then all the trucks showed up instantly and they were just, everybody was putting water on it.”

The plume of smoke could be seen from miles away.

KIRO 7 spoke with a witness who works in the area and wanted to remain anonymous. She says she saw it from the very beginning and called 911.

“There was a car that was going by and they flipped a cigarette out their window. And then it lit the brush on fire and then the brush started going and moving down the hill,” said the eyewitness.

She said it only took about 10 minutes for everything to be fully engulfed.

Seattle Fire said the flames took out at least three power poles, making it difficult for crews to get close. Seattle City Light shut off power to buildings within a half-mile radius for hours.

“Then all of a sudden two power lines snapped. One pulled the other one and all these wires above us went back and forth and it was kind of, a little it made your heart skip,” Correia added.

Firefighters quickly got the fire under control, but it had already charred everything in its path.

“That something as little as just that little tiny piece of flame can cause such a disaster and in every aspect. It’s ruining people’s lives now, there was RVs that people were living in. There were truck drivers that had parked their trucks here while they were enjoying time with their family just waiting for their next assignment,” said a witness.

The First Ave S exit was still closed as of 11 p.m. Tuesday night as Seattle City Light crews worked to restore power in the area.

The Seattle Department of Transportation and the Washington State Department of Transportation shared the fire, asking drivers to seek alternate routes and expect delays.

Traffic is being diverted off to the Michigan Street exit.

Seattle Fire is still investigating the exact cause of the fire.

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