Four people, including a child and infant, were found dead inside a home that was engulfed in flames with the front door blocked, local police said.
An 11-year-old child called police around 8:40 a.m. PDT on Saturday to report that there was a dead person inside her house in Seattle, Washington’s Wallingford neighborhood, according to the Seattle Police Department (SPD).
The child reportedly told police that she escaped from a home on North 48th Street by climbing through a window and running to a neighbor’s house to call for help, Seattle police Chief Adrian Diaz said during a news conference with local media shortly after the incident.
The SPD posted on X, formerly Twitter, that officers were responding to a reported shooting Saturday morning, but after arriving at the scene, police found the residence engulfed in flames. Diaz said he could not confirm if anyone at the home was shot.
Newsweek reached out via email Saturday evening to the SPD and Seattle Fire Department for comment.
Police arrived at the home within five minutes of the child’s 911 call but were unable to open the front door and realized the house was on fire, Diaz said.
“We do know that the front door was barricaded with some sort of object that officers were trying to kick down to try and open up the front door,” Diaz said. “There also was the fire going on. So, they were overcome by smoke, so they ended up retreating and that’s when we started working in conjunction with the fire department.”
Firefighters with the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) were called in and upgraded the incident to a two-alarm fire, SFD Chief Harold Scoggins said during the news briefing, which was shared online by local station Fox 13 Seattle. Scoggins said the fire was under control shortly before 9:40 a.m. and crews were able to make entry into the home.
Scoggins said once inside, police and firefighters conducted a “thorough” search and discovered the bodies of two adults, one in the front of the home and one in the back. The bodies of an infant, child and dog were also found in the house located near Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, the fire chief said.
Diaz said the four people found dead appeared to have lived in the burned residence but said he could not confirm any other details, including names or ages. The police chief the cause of death for the adults and children will be determined once the medical examiner completes the autopsies.
The 11-year-old child who called 911 also appears to be a resident of the home, Diaz said, adding that he was unable to provide any additional information about the child, including if she is related to those found dead.
The police chief said they are also trying to find family members to care for the child and said while she is “safe,” the SPD is working to help provide resources for the child to cope with the ordeal.
“It’s traumatizing for anybody to call 911 say that you know, there’s potentially somebody deceased inside the house,” Diaz said, adding that the SPD is “working with that child to determine what happened.”
Scroggins said the fire heavily damaged the front of the house and it took firefighters roughly 45 minutes to get the blaze under control. The fire chief said that arson investigators and the bomb unit are on the scene to uncover the cause of the fire.
The SFD shared a timeline of events to X on Saturday afternoon, which included an image of the home engulfed in flames.
Brandy Wakayama, a reporter for KING 5 Seattle, shared a video clip on X showing the roof of the home on fire as firefighters work to extinguish the blaze.
“2 adults, 2 children and a dog are dead after a reported shooting & house fire in Wallingford, according to @SeattlePD,” Wakayama posted. “Police said an 11-year-old escaped the home & called 911. This is video of the scene from a neighbor shortly after 9am.”