A firefighter from Valley Regional Fire Authority is bravely battling a fire at night.

Three-alarm apartment fire in Auburn displaces sixty residents

A three-alarm apartment fire displaced approximately sixty residents from Riverfront Apartments, 1608 8th St. NE in Auburn last night.   Although the fire grew quickly and blocked one escape route, all residents safely evacuated.

The first call to 9-1-1 came from a passerby who spotted smoke and flames coming from an unknown source at approximately 9:30 p.m. Initially, one fire engine was dispatched, but upon the receipt of additional information from residents calling 9-1-1, the incident was upgraded to a commercial fire response.  The first arriving VRFA fire engine witnessed heavy fire involvement and called for a second alarm to bring in additional firefighting resources. A third alarm was dispatched at 10:09 p.m.  In total, eleven fire engines, three ladder trucks, two medical aid units, four command personnel, and six incident support units responded from Valley Regional Fire Authority, Puget Sound Fire Authority, South King Fire and Rescue, East Pierce Fire and Rescue, King County Medic One, and Zone Three.

VRFA Fire Investigators say the fire began in a carport area connected to the apartment building and quickly spread through an enclosed stairwell to all three floors, blocking the primary exit pathway for five apartments.  Fortunately, a building fire alarm system activated by a pull station alerted residents to the fire.  Apartment residents are credited with pulling the fire alarm and assisting multiple people evacuate, including a woman who jumped from a third-floor balcony to the second floor.

Twenty of the 36 apartment units received damage ranging from light smoke to heavy fire damage and roof collapse.  Seven apartments are considered a total loss. Auburn Police and a Metro bus assisted in transporting displaced residents to Auburn High School where they met with representatives from the American Red Cross.  The property management group that owns Riverside Village has stated they will work to find residents housing while the building is uninhabitable.

At the time of this release, there are no confirmed injuries to residents or firefighters, although a litter of puppies sadly perished in the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.