by: Joanna Small Updated:
RENTON, Wash. - Fire officials and people are still cleaning up today after a devastating fire at an apartment complex in Renton. It burned two buildings to the ground, heavily damaged two others, and more than 24 hours later firefighters are concerned the area is not in the clear.
Melissa Briceno and her husband came back to their apartment today but the closest they could get was the burned out front window.
"We come in this morning to see if we can take clothes for my son, my daughter, me -- we don't have nothing,” she told us, fighting back tears.
PHOTOS: Crews battle Renton apartment, brush fire
Most of the family's things have been destroyed by fire or water -- the rest of the firefighters are helping them load up because their building is too dangerous for the Bricenos to enter themselves. Still — it is still standing, as is the one next to it. Two others at the Regency Woods Apartments partially collapsed then were torn down today by fire officials for safety reasons and in hopes of finding the cause of this massive four-alarm fire continuing to raise concerns today.
Yesterday the fear spread two miles through the nearby woods, and today firefighters are still searching for embers. They blame high winds and recent heat.
"There's still some little hot spots,” Dave Basco told us. He has been watching them all day; he lives near this park about a half mile from the apartments, and the fire evacuated his neighborhood yesterday.
“It was just adjacent to our park,” Basco said of the flames. “You could definitely throw a rock and hit it, a couple hundred feet."
Basco's home wasn't touched.
"We feel lucky for sure. This family is not so lucky,” he said, watching the Bricenos. “Thankfully everyone is safe.”
We asked the apartment complex if they'll rebuild -- they told us they can't answer that question yet. The American Red Cross is assisting people in the 30 units either destroyed or unlivable.