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Three injured in Federal Way apartment fire

A fire at 4:30 a.m. Thursday at an apartment complex in the 1900 block of Southwest 311th Street in Federal Way resulted in three injuries, according to news reports. - Courtesy of Todd Dearinger
A fire at 4:30 a.m. Thursday at an apartment complex in the 1900 block of Southwest 311th Street in Federal Way resulted in three injuries, according to news reports.
— image credit: Courtesy of Todd Dearinger

A fire early Thursday at an apartment complex off 21st Avenue Southwest that sent three people to the hospital with burns and other injuries and displaced at least 12 residents was likely caused by smoking materials.

South King Fire and Rescue responded to the fire at a standalone building at the Forest Cove complex, 31004 19th Place SW, about 4:30 a.m. Thursday. The fire started and was contained to a second floor apartment where five residents, all in their 20s, lived.

Two of the five in the apartment suffered burns and smoke inhalation. One resident, a woman, suffered burns and an injury related to her jumping from the second floor to safety. All three were taken to St. Francis Hospital.

The two other residents escaped uninjured.

There are three other apartment units in the building: one containing a family of five, another two adults. Maggie Osorio, Forest Cove’s assistant manager, said that all displaced residents were moved to vacant apartments elsewhere in the complex.

South King spokeswoman Kirsti Weaver reported Thursday that smoking materials, likely cigarettes, caused the fire. She said the damage was estimated at $250,000. Weaver witnessed the fire and termed it a “working fire,” and said that the building was engulfed in flames and smoke.

Weaver said that firefighters extinguished the blaze quickly, though some “hot spots” required further work. She said the Red Cross was called to the scene to assist the displaced residents.

On Thursday afternoon, the yellow and beige apartment building had large black stains on exterior walls and some paint was melted off. Burned and soggy possessions of the former residents were scattered on the lawn.

Osorio said that the building would be reconstructed, after which the former residents could move back in. She said the complex was built in 1979 and contains 388 total units. The complex is a warren of one- and two-story buildings near the intersection of Southwest Dash Point Road and 21st Avenue Southwest. The complex is owned by the Bellevue-based Longwell Company, which owns or manages properties in the Seattle and Dallas areas.


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