FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - A 2-year-old girl is safe thanks to the heroic actions of her father who jumped into a burning apartment when seconds mattered.
He helped three other children get out, too.
The fire started at the Pavilion Apartment Complex on Southwest Campus Drive just before midnight Tuesday.
The family of 6 was asleep inside one of the units.
Tabitha Beale lives in a nearby unit.
“There was a lot of commotion and a lot of smoke,” Beale said. “I know there’s a lot of children, a lot people who live in this unit.”
Fire officials say there were two adults and four children, all under the age of 7.
They say the parents woke up when they smelled the smoke. Everyone made it outside except the 2-year-old girl who was in the master bedroom.
The father, with the help of neighbors, then broke the window to get inside.
“There was a real heroic efforts to save that kid,” says Gordon Goosell with South King County Fire & Rescue. “The father broke the window and crawled into the master bedroom to get the 20-year-old out of the crib and handed her to the neighbor.”
Fire officials say there was a fire alarm in the apartment, but it didn’t appear to be working.
“That’s a $10 piece of equipment that is easy to install and maintain and should be inspected once a month,” says Goodsell.
Investigators say the door to the master bedroom was closed at the time and that may have kept the flames out, potentially saving the little girl’s life.
The family was transported to the hospital for minor injuries and smoke inhalation.
South King Fire & Rescue said the cause of the fire was food accidentally left on the stove.
Damage is estimated at $175,000.
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