The Fire Department rushes to rescue the house engulfed in flames, with a garage in front.

VRFA responds to multiple residential and brush fires in six-day period

Six residential fires and 15 brush fires kept VRFA firefighters quite busy in the beginning of September.

The streak began on Friday, Sept. 4, at 12:48 p.m., with a fire at the Gentry Walk Apartments, 12700 block of SE 312th St. in Auburn. Three adults, including one disabled female were displaced after a fire began in their apartment. The disabled female was not able to evacuate on her own and was carried out by firefighters. Fortunately, the building sprinkler system controlled this fire, limiting damage to approximately $5,000 in the affected unit.  An adjacent unit suffered a small amount of water damage. The cause is undetermined at this time.

Saturday, Sept. 5 at 2:32 a.m. a passerby called 9-1-1 upon seeing flames and smoke coming from a detached garage in the 900 block of K St. NE in Auburn. The fire destroyed the garage, a work truck, car, and spread to the two-story home, causing heavy damage. Two adults and a newborn evacuated safely, but were displaced. The American Red Cross was called to assist with housing and other needs. Investigators estimate damage at approximately $235,000. The cause is undetermined at this time.

A Lea Hill home in the 31700 block of 124th Pl. SE suffered approximately $10,000 damage on Sunday, Sept. 6, 7:54 p.m., after a fire began in a bedroom. A smoke alarm alerted the family of four and they evacuated safely. Fire damage was limited to the bedroom and the family was not displaced. The cause is undetermined.

The afternoon and early evening of Tuesday, September 8 was a particularly busy period for VRFA firefighters. The first residential fire call came in at 3:40 p.m. in the 29200 block of 132nd Ave. SE. A kitchen fire displaced an adult and a child and caused approximately $50,000 damage.  The residents were not home at the time of the fire and are now being assisted by the American Red Cross. Fire investigators determined the fire began after power was restored to a burner that had been left on before a power outage when the resident was cooking.

Just five minutes later on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 3:45 p.m., VRFA firefighters responded to a mobile home fire in the White River Estates in Auburn, located in the 4200 block of A St. SE. A neighbor spotted flames coming from the home and called 9-1-1.  The fire destroyed the mobile home, a truck and a watercraft with damage estimated at approximately $200,000. A family of four was not at home when the fire began and has been displaced. They are being assisted with temporary housing and other needs by the American Red Cross. The cause of this fire is undetermined at this time.

Four minutes after the mobile home fire, a neighbor called 9-1-1 to report a two-story home on fire in the 300 block of White River Drive in Pacific. Three adults were displaced as a result of this fire and damage was estimated at $200,000. The cause of this fire is undetermined at this time.

In addition to the residential fires, the VRFA worked to extinguish 15 brush fires from Sept. 4 – Sept. 8.  Two of the most significant caused by downed power lines on the sports fields at Mt. Baker Middle School and at SE 312th Way and Eastbound State Route 18. The fire at Mt. Baker damaged an area approximately 1000’x500’ within the sports fields but did not damage any structures. The SE 312th Way fire burned approximately 1000 feet of brush along the roadway.

We are grateful for the mutual aid help from our neighboring agencies with many of these incidents. We received assistance from Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority, South King Fire & Rescue and Mountain View Fire and Rescue.

We encourage everyone to practice fire safety during these hot and dry conditions and be sure your smoke alarms are working. You can find information on preventing fires on our website