Updated:BREMERTON, Wash. —
A man was killed in a house fire in Bremerton early Sunday morning, fire officials said.
Crews responded to a report of a structure fire in the 6600 block of Northeast Wellsly Place just before 5 a.m.
When firefighters arrived, they found a single-family home in flames.
Autumn Kreifels was one of the seven people who escaped the fire.
Family members screamed and pounded on her bedroom door.
“When I opened my door I could smell the smoke, and we made our way out the garage and outside,” she said.
She, her mother and twin sister crawled their way out.
Autumn’s father, Shawn Kreifels, arrived quickly when neighbors called him to the scene.
He said he was grateful his daughter is alive.
“By describing the scene, it sounds like she was this close to dying. That would have been hard on me,” he said.
Autumn, her mother, siblings and friends made it out. But they realized one family friend was still inside.
The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, Deputy Scott Wilson, said the firefighters had to attack the flames defensively. When they were finally able to go inside, they found a man in his 30s dead in the living room area.
Firefighters told Autumn Kreifel’s family that their three-year-old St. Bernard named Chevy was found next to the man.
“Chevy did try. We’re very proud of him for that. But of course we wish he could have gotten out and tried to run at least. That’s what a dog does, what a St. Bernard does, is he tries to save the people that he can,” Autumn said.
She said the family is upset at not getting to their friend in time. They are also overwhelmed with the loss of so much of their belongings, including photos and heirlooms.
Still, she said they are extremely grateful for what they have and the support they have received from neighbors and friends.
The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, the county fire marshal, and the county coroner will continue the investigation. The cause of the fire is unknown.