SEATAC, Wash. — Investigators are searching for the cause of an apartment fire that killed one person in SeaTac early Saturday.
“I just heard loud booming noises, screaming,” said Christina Jones.
Jones was two units down in the building on 22400 30th Ave South. She's visiting her family for the holidays and initially thought the noises were possible gunshots or an intruder trying to break in.
“I came outside, tons of smoke, flames everywhere on the end. So screaming everybody get out, get out,” Jones recounted.
The fire was reported at about 6:20 a.m. Most people were asleep when the fire broke out.
Crews from Puget Sound Fire and South King Fire responded within minutes. They had the fire contained 40 minutes later. Then crews made a grim discovery in the unit where the fire started.
“Initial crews I believe did not find the fatal victim. The victim was buried under some ceiling debris. The second crew into backup the first crew found the victim buried,” said Captain Joe Root with Puget Sound Fire.
Root said it didn't appear the debris came from crews ventilating the fire from the roof. He also didn't say where the victim was located in the apartment.
But for now, no one can live in the building. The neighboring units received smoke and water damage.
The Red Cross is helping the 8 families displaced. That includes Jones and her family, struggling to understand the tragic turn of events.
“We tried our best to get everybody out but there was no activity coming from there,” said Jones. “I just pray… pray for the best.”
It’s unknown whether the apartment where the fire started had a working smoke detector.
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