Pants tossed onto candle spark fire at South Hill apartment complex

SOUTH HILL, Wash. — A resident who was simply doing laundry in their South Hill apartment caught some pants on fire, which turned into a much bigger problem.

At 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Central Pierce Fire & Rescue crews were called to the 13000 block of Meridian Avenue for a balcony fire in a top-floor apartment.

Firefighters arrived to find the flames had spread to the roof. A second alarm was called to summon more resources and the fire was put out.

There are 16 units in the apartment complex. All residents have been forced out of their homes, some of which have smoke and water damage.

Fire officials said they believe all residents but those in five of the units should be able to return to their homes by the end of the day.

So, how did the fire start? Central Pierce Fire officials said the person who lived in the apartment where the fire started was doing laundry and accidentally tossed some pants onto a lit candle.

When the pants caught fire, the resident put out the flames and then threw the clothing onto their balcony, where the pants — which were actually still burning — caught a chair on fire.

The flames from the burning chair then spread to the deck and the roof of the unit.

Everyone in the building got out safely.

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