South Sound fire leaves two apartment residents hurt, displaces 13

TACOMA, Wash. — A devastating early-morning fire has left 13 people homeless at the 12-02 Pearl Apartment complex on North Pearl Street in Tacoma.

Two people were injured and sent to a local hospital.

The fire has been ruled accidental. Fire investigators said that the fire started in the kitchen in the first-floor unit.

The fire left three units in ruins and nerves on edge.

It is easy to see just how destructive this fire was at the 12-02 on Pearl. Flames consumed three units in the same stack.

“So they banged on the door,” said Eileen Terpstra. “She said fire, ‘get out, get out.’”

That was the moment Terpstra knew that there was a fire at the complex where she has lived for five years.

She said she never heard an alarm, as no smoke filled her unit.

“And we went outside,” said Terpstra. “And there was already tons of fire trucks and everything.”

“I looked out the backdoor, and the whole building was engulfed in flames, all three floors,” said Anthony Passanante, who has lived here for 28 years.

He could clearly see the flames from his unit in the back. He was worried about those who lived there.

“It’s shocking,” said Passanante. “They’re lucky. They’re lucky they got out.”

“I walk out and this building is thoroughly engulfed,” said Bill McDaniel, a longtime neighbor who recorded this video.

He said the family of four that lived in the unit got out, wearing nothing on their feet. He recalled a man from the family saying he had left something on the stove before seeing flames.

“He probably fell asleep,” said McDaniel. “And it was fully engulfed.”

Now McDaniel, his family and nine of his neighbors must find another place to stay.

McDaniel’s neighbors are now wondering about the consequences if the fire had been worse.

“I mean it still doesn’t make us feel any better knowing it was the kitchen,” said Donicha Harrison, a five-year resident. “I mean kitchen fire because we’re, we’re so close to it.”

This fire has concerned a lot of people around here. The Red Cross is providing shelter to those who need it.

Two people were injured and went to the hospital.

But most are grateful the fire, as bad as it was, wasn’t any worse.