BELLEVUE, Wash. — Two of four people who were hospitalized after a fire at a Bellevue condominium have died.
Firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire near 100th and Main Street before 8 p.m. Monday.
Fire officials said four people were rescued from the fire and were being treated. Two people had smoke inhalation and burns and the other two people suffered more severe injuries.
KIRO 7 learned Tuesday that two of the victims had died at Harborview Medical Center.
Lynn Calvo, 76, was inside her second-floor condo when she heard what sounded like water running down the outside of the building. When she looked out the peep hole in her door, she saw smoke and flames.
She ran to her deck, but there was smoke and flames there, too. She grabbed her phone and called 911.
"911 said, 'Stay on the phone with me. We have firefighters coming,' and in about two minutes, they broke down the door, scooped her up and rushed her out of the unit," said Gina Hasson, Calvo's daughter. Hasson said her mother was treated for smoke inhalation and released from Overlake Medical Center. She got the call last night about the fire.
"It pretty much sinks to your stomach and you're thankful she's okay. All of the belongings, clothes absolutely don't matter. We feel for the people who didn't make it," said Hasson.
Christo Fournakakis is still hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center with burns to his arms and legs. He ran back into his first floor unit to get his dog, who is blind.
His wife, Olya Fadeeva, wasn't home when the fire started. Fadeeva and her friends were back at the condo building Tuesday night to retrieve sentimental items with the help of firefighters. The couple had just remodeled their first-floor unit.
Fire investigators say the fire started on a patio of a first floor unit and spread up the outside of the building. They are still working to determine how the fire started. Flames consumed the stairs, so there was no way for residents to escape. Firefighters used ladders and broke windows to get inside and search for victims. No firefighters were injured.
The Chimneys condo building has 21 units, all of them are damaged, some are destroyed.
Evacuated residents returned on Tuesday to get essential items out of their units. Firefighters worried that the building was unstable, so they went inside to get laptops, purses and other valuables for residents.
Emery Wang waited outside for his passport and laptop. He said he won't know how much damage his unit has until Thursday, when he was told to come back.
"I'm keeping my fingers crossed," said Wang, who was at karate class Monday night when the fire started.
The building was constructed in 1971. It did not have a sprinkler system because it wasn’t required to. Multi-family residences built in Bellevue since July 2004 are required to have sprinkler systems. According to the City of Bellevue, about two-thirds of all multi-family units in Bellevue have sprinklers.
Fire investigators said the purpose of sprinklers is to help people escape, not to save property. If there had been sprinklers in condo building that burned, fire investigators say it could have prevented the flames from entering the building.
The Red Cross is helping residents. A contractor was on site Tuesday to see what needs to happen to stabilize the building.
© 2021 Cox Media Group