Flames roar in 2-alarm Easter fire that displaced 18

KENT, Wash. — Firefighters said 18 people were displaced in a 2-alarm Easter Sunday fire at the Summerwalk apartments in Kent’s East Hill neighborhood.

Everyone made it out of the building safely, according to firefighters, who said they could see the fire’s rising smoke for several miles before arriving around 6:30 p.m. to the complex along Benson Road SE near 224th Street. No injuries were reported.

“All of a sudden the fire alarms, all over the place, started going off,” said Lila Payton, who was on the balcony when she heard someone yell fire.

“That scared the crap out of me, because I’ve got two kids and I immediately ran inside and grabbed them,” said Payton.

Witness cellphone video showed flames roaring from the ground floor to the roof and into the air.

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“It did start getting to the unit next to us,” said Payton. “Just so glad that it, that the fire department got here before it spread too bad.”

Firefighters said the fire started on the ground floor and damaged four units. The cause of the fire was still under investigation Sunday night.

“The managers confirmed that they have apartments that are empty in the complex and they’re going to be able to rehouse people relatively quickly,” said Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority Captain Kyle Ohashi.

The Red Cross has offered assistance to those who were displaced by the fire.