South King Fire & Rescue snuff homeless encampment fire over weekend

South King Fire & Rescue extinguished a fire that occurred at a homeless encampment over the weekend.

According to Capt. Jeff Bellinghausen, it took crews 500 feet of hose to reach the fire, which was near 2000 S. 301st St.

A resident whose home abuts the greenbelt saw the fire and called 911 at approximately 11:21 p.m Saturday. At first, crews couldn’t access the fire from the water tower route, so the 911 caller let them “chop a trail” from their back yard.

Two separate fires burned about 20-by-20 feet of woodland in the greenbelt off of Pacific Highway South. Bellinghausen said there’s been an ongoing series of homeless encampments that get cleared out only to reform again in that area.

“They’re getting pretty sophisticated with encampments,” Bellinghausen said, adding that the fire occurred in the “living room area” and in the “bathroom area.”

He said there is no way to tell what caused the fire, but added crews did take caution when handling three propane tanks at the camp.

Bellinghausen said no one was injured and estimates whoever was living there fled after the fire began, as there was no one at the scene.