At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27 a fire broke out at a Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) property, the Lam Bow apartments located at 6955 Delridge Way SW in West Seattle. All 44 residents were safely evacuated from the building.
The Red Cross established an emergency shelter site at the nearby Delridge Community Center where it continues to provide housing, food and other services to residents displaced by the fire.
SHA has had contact with all 19 households affected by the fire to assess their housing and other needs. Some families are already moved into new apartments with SHA, some are in the process and others are considering options. All families will have received offers of, or be moved into, replacement subsidized housing by the end of this week. Out of the 19 households:
- 5 households have moved into apartments
- 4 households have accepted apartments and are in the process of leasing
- 1 elderly household has decided to live with family members permanently
- 1 household has decided to permanently move out of SHA housing
- All other households have had their needs assessed and are in the process of being provided with housing options.
- All families with children are able to keep their children in the same school. School transportation is currently being provided to all children housed at the shelter.
Residents are most in need of financial contributions to help replace personal items. Information on how to donate can be found on the SHA website at seattlehousing.org. Thanks to the generosity of community members responding so far, no further donations of clothing, household items or other goods are needed at this time. The SHA website might have information next week regarding possible furniture needs after residents have been rehoused. Community members are encouraged to check back if interested in donating furniture. All financial contributions to the Lam Bow Fire Relief Fund will directly benefit the displaced residents.
In addition to thanking the Seattle Fire Department and Seattle Police Department for their outstanding response to the fire, SHA would like to acknowledge the following organizations and businesses for their support of the residents of Lam Bow affected by the fire: American Red Cross, Delridge Community Center, Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, Andersen Construction, Olympic Moving & Storage, Compass International Forwarding, West Seattle Helpline, Union Gospel Mission, Trinity West Seattle, Sanislo Elementary School, West Seattle High School, Wear A Big Smile foundation, King County Housing Authority, City of Seattle – Office of Housing, Office of Emergency Management, Human Services Department, Parks Department, and the many more schools, churches and individuals who have generously helped the families begin to rebuild their lives.
The Seattle Fire Department has concluded its investigation of the fire and has determined the fire started on the building’s exterior but were unable to determine a specific cause. The building has been assessed by a structural engineer and it has been deemed unsafe to enter. SHA has secured the perimeter of the building and is providing 24-hour security. Andersen Construction is providing pro-bono work on the building, removing damaged materials from the roof and third floor and shoring up the building for safety. It is unknown if the building is salvageable or if it will be completely rebuilt. Further structural investigation is required before anyone can enter for further assessment. It is not known at this time if or when it will be deemed safe for residents to enter to possibly retrieve any salvageable belongings.
About Seattle Housing Authority
The mission of the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) is to enhance the Seattle community by creating and sustaining decent, safe and affordable living environments that foster stability and self-sufficiency for people with low incomes. SHA provides long-term, low-income rental housing and rental assistance to more than 30,000 people in the City of Seattle. SHA owns and operates approximately 8,000 units at nearly 400 sites throughout the city. SHA also handles more than 10,000 Housing Choice Vouchers, enabling low-income residents to receive rental assistance throughout the Seattle housing market. Approximately 13,000 SHA residents are elderly or disabled and about 9,500 are children. SHA, a public corporation established in 1939, is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners, two of whom are SHA residents. Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. More information is available at seattlehousing.org.