Crews rescue man from fire at Burien auto repair shop

BURIEN, Wash. — Firefighters rescued a man from a fire at an auto repair shop in Burien Saturday morning.

The fire happened at the Kansai Collision Center in the 15200 block of First Avenue South at about 8 a.m.

“Looks like we had a car fire inside of a paint booth inside the repair shop,” said Chief Mike Marrs of King County Fire District #2.

KIRO 7 talked to a woman named Miriam who works nearby.

“Suddenly I just heard this alarm but I didn’t know where it was coming from,” said Miriam.

Miriam said she and another coworker quickly realized it was coming from the repair shop.

“I was kind of scared and she said, ‘Miriam there’s smoke coming from the collision center.’ So right away I called 911,” she added.

Firefighters arrived to heavy smoke coming from the building. Fortunately, the building had a working sprinkler system. Marrs said it not only kept the fire from spreading; it was a lifesaver.

“The activation of the sprinkler system probably saved this building as well as saving the occupant's life,” Marrs explained.

The man suffered smoke inhalation.

He was transported to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.

KIRO 7 also learned the shop was closed at the time. A manager told KIRO 7 the man did not work there but was allowed to stay there because he had no other place to go.

The cause of the fire is unknown right now.