• E-cigarette explosion caused Tacoma house fire

    By: Natasha Chen


    TACOMA, Wash. - A Tacoma Fire Department spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that a fire Tuesday night was caused by an electronic cigarette.

    One person was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and burns. He was transported first to St. Joseph's hospital in critical condition, then moved to Harborview Medical Center late Tuesday night.

    The fire happened in the 1300 block of East 61st Street at about 4 p.m.

    When crews arrived, flames were seen through the upper floor.

    Fire officials told KIRO 7 that five people were evacuated from structure. The cause of fire is under investigation.

    A woman living on the bottom floor of the building told her neighbors an e-cigarette exploded and caught her couch on fire. Fire investigators told KIRO 7 she had burns on her hand.

    Eli Rivera, a passer-by, saw the woman laying by the front door.

    "I said we got to get her away from there, because something might blow," Rivera said.

    The woman told Rivera she could not walk and needed a walker.

    Rivera said he and another man picked her up and moved her to safety.

    Meanwhile, other residents in the six-unit house escaped.

    Wendi Price said she had to throw her small dog out the window for someone to catch before climbing onto the roof. Price said three people ended up grabbing her feet and pulling her down to the ground.

    Price said, "Everything I own is in that house. I've been there almost four years. It's been a long time. I was not planning on having to move for the holidays. That's for sure."

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