Federal agents assisting in suspicious apartment fire in Bellevue

by: David Ham Updated:

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BELLEVUE, Wash. —

ATF agents were on the scene of a 2 alarm fire that started at the Hampton Greens Apartment complex on 148th Avenue Northeast in Bellevue.

 Eyewitnesses said they saw and heard an explosion around 6 a.m. Tuesday.

 "My wife told me, 'I saw a giant explosion by the window, a big light shining,'" said Peyman Vazifeh.

 Crews arrived and put the fire out.

 "It was extremely scary.  It was very bad," said Vazifeh who lives next to the building that burned. The heat from the flames cracked his window and melted his blinds.

 Ten units were destroyed and seven people were rushed to the hospital.

 One of the injured is a firefighter who suffered lacerations to her hand.

 "It was determined there was enough suspiciousness about the fire that it would be turned over as a criminal investigation," said Officer Carla Iafrate of Bellevue Police.

 Bellevue police is taking the lead on the investigation and is getting assistance from Bellevue fire and ATF agents.

 The Red Cross and the complex property management company is helping with displaced residents.

 Firefighters estimate about $1.5 million in structural damages and $150,000 of losses from inside the building.