Woman jumps from second floor, building destroyed in suspected arson

VIDEO: Woman jumps from second floor, building destroyed in suspected arson

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. — A woman jumped from the second-floor of a University Place apartment building to escape a fire that deputies say may have been set when someone threw a Molotov cocktail at the building.

Fire crews and Pierce County deputies were called to the four-unit building on 76th Avenue West near Bridgeport Way shortly after midnight.

While deputies were on their way, they learned that the fire may have been intentionally set. Officers from Lakewood, Steilacoom and Fircrest also responded to the call.

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Crews from West Pierce Fire arrived to find the building engulfed in flames. As the building and neighboring apartments were being evacuated, witnesses said a person was trapped inside one of the apartments. As deputies ran toward the building, the woman jumped from the second floor, the sheriff’s department said.

Police say she was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

“So many people were like, you need to jump, and I was like, jump from the second story? And so we did and this guy, he caught us and he caught and me and my mom and it was amazing,” said Naomi Allison.

Allison and her mother said a good Samaritan helped save them from the fast-moving fire that sparked just after midnight Monday.

During the investigation, deputies said they discovered that a domestic violence incident happened in one of the units earlier that night, and witnesses reported seeing someone throw a Molotov cocktail at the building after the argument.

Detectives are investigating the fire as a domestic violence arson and are working to locate the female suspect.

West Pierce Fire has since put out the fire and was able to prevent the flames from spreading to surrounding apartments.

The Red Cross is helping those who were displaced, including four adults and a child.

“My mom heard them arguing and then she thought she heard glass breaking and then she checked out the window and she saw the fire starting,” said Allison.

Allison said Monday’s fire just adds to the pain her family has experienced this year.

“My dad died two years ago and I think about all the stuff I had from him that I’ll never get back,” she said. “Two of my aunts died in August and now I’m losing everything and I’ve lost my freshman year, it’s just weird, I just want a break, just a few second.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family following the fire.