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Firefighters rescue residents from Federal Way apartment blaze | Update

South King Fire and Rescue firefighters battled an early blaze Friday at a Federal Way apartment complex, where 91 people were displaced.  - Courtesy South King Fire and Rescue
South King Fire and Rescue firefighters battled an early blaze Friday at a Federal Way apartment complex, where 91 people were displaced.
— image credit: Courtesy South King Fire and Rescue

South King Fire and Rescue firefighters battled an early blaze today at a Federal Way apartment complex, where 91 people were displaced and many residents were rescued from their balconies.

The two-alarm fire began before 1 a.m. at the Crestview West Apartments, at 27912 Pacific Highway S.

Residents on the upper floor were forced onto their balconies by smoke and flames, said South King Fire Lt. Jeff Bellinghausen. He noted those residents could not escape via the stairwells in the apartment building because they were charged with smoke, as the stairwell’s hallway doors were left open.

Bellinghausen could not confirm how many residents were rescued via ladder trucks.

One resident suffered an asthma attack from the smoke, however there were no physical injuries, Bellinghausen said.

Crews also evacuated a nearby apartment building because the fire was so close, he added.

As of 9:30 a.m. this morning, fire crews were still on scene extinguishing hot spots.

“We’re loading 32 of those displaced residents onto a bus now and taking them to the [Federal Way] Community Center,” Bellinghausen said, noting that the American Red Cross will help those residents find lodging at nearby hotels and other places. The other displaced residents found shelter with family and friends.

American Red Cross volunteer Maggie Burke said people looking to stay at the temporary shelter are welcome to drop by, register, stash their belongings and look forward to three meals a day and a place to sleep at night.

Burke said the shelter will stay open until everyone affected by the fire has found a place to stay.

Investigators will determine the cause of the fire, which they said started in the kitchen of a third-floor apartment unit.

Bellinghausen said the entire 27-unit apartment building is a “total loss.”

 

Cots are set up at the Federal Way Community Center's gym for those who have no where else to go after an apartment fire on Friday morning. Carrie Rodriguez, the Mirror

American Red Cross volunteers set up snacks for those displaced from an apartment fire Friday morning. Carrie Rodriguez, the Mirror

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