UPDATE: Fire investigators ruled the fire as accidental and determined the cause was from faulty electrical equipment. The fire started in a kitchen on the second floor of the north side of the building. Estimated loss is $4 million to structure, and $2 million to contents, Seattle Fire says.
SEATTLE: Kaleni Ramirez lives across the street from a north Seattle apartment building where a 3-alarm fire broke out around 2:20 p.m. Saturday.
Ramirez, who lives across the street, said he walked outside, saw the fire and people jumping off a second-floor balcony to escape smoke and flames.
"They told me the hallway was on fire," she said. "It was smoky, so that was the only way out."
Ramirez also said that at one point firefighters thought the fire had been put out, but that it flared up again and quickly engulfed the entire complex.
"We tried to get my phone and wallet," resident Janet Harris said, "and then we ran away." Harris also said she had to wake her husband, who is deaf, so that they could leave their third-floor apartment.
"With the hot weather conditions and the type of complex, it being an apartment building, the number of units impacted, will bring a bigger response from us," Kristin Tinsley, spokeswoman for the Seattle Fire Department said.
One firefighter was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
The building's roof collapsed and debris from the complex set at least three vehicles on fire.
The cause of the fire is not known, but fire investigators spoke to a resident who said the fire started in his second-floor apartment.
The Red Cross is providing shelter for those that do not have any place to go. Firefighters said they will remain on the scene to extinguish any hot spots as well as investigate the cause of the fire.
ORIGINAL STORY: Firefighters are responding to a three-alarm fire at Meridian Ave North and North 113th Street in north Seattle.
Apartment fire at Meridian Ave. N. / N. 113th St. now upgraded to 3-alarm fire. PIO enroute to scene.— Seattle Fire Dept. (@SeattleFire) August 5, 2017
The apartments complex is near the southeast corner Evergreen Washeli Cemetery, and the southeast corner of Northwest Hospital & Medical Center.
KIRO 7 has a crew headed to the scene, and we will continue to update this post as more information becomes available.
Firefighters continue to work to extinguish apartment fire pic.twitter.com/Dew1hdUUoy— Seattle Fire Dept. (@SeattleFire) August 5, 2017
The Seattle Police Department is assisting with the scene. Streets around the scene will be closed for hours, and people are asked to avoid the area if possible.
SPD assisting with scene as SFD works to control apt. fire. Streets around scene will be closed for hours, avoid area if possible. https://t.co/dW3e2oRakt— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) August 5, 2017
If you are in the immediate area, you are asked to close your windows and doors to avoid exposure to smoke.
AlertSeattle: Fire response at N. 113th St and Meridian Ave N. If in immediate area close windows and doors to avoid exposure to smoke— AlertSeattle (@AlertSeattle) August 5, 2017
Approximately 30 units have been impacted and the Red Cross is helping displaced residents, Seattle Fire Said.
3-alarm apartment fire is extinguished. Fire investigators responding. Approx. 30 units impacted. Red Cross helping displaced residents. pic.twitter.com/cQeV2JtnfM— Seattle Fire Dept. (@SeattleFire) August 6, 2017
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