Thirty people displaced after Lakewood apartment fire

LAKEWOOD, Wash. — More than two dozen people and several animals are without a place to live after a fire at a Lakewood apartment complex Wednesday morning.

The fire broke out at the Hidden Lake Apartments in the 5400 block of 110th Street Southwest at around 5:30 a.m., scorching the ground and a major block of apartments.

When KIRO 7 crews arrived, dozens of firefighters were on hand dealing with the aftermath of the fire. The charred frame of one building was all that was left and visible from the interior section of the apartment complex, and the roof collapsed.

By mid-morning, fire crews were still dealing with the damage and destruction, and residents and neighbors could only watch as flames torched more than a dozen units.

One resident, who was too distraught to share his name, said he lived in the building that burned and was watching from outside early Wednesday.

He says he escaped thanks to some quick thinking.

“(The) fire alarm didn’t go off yet. I heard the boom, I heard a bang, and I heard it -- sounds like it was raining. I had to grab my stuff and go!”

One of his neighbors, a man who identified himself as Sam, said he hopped in his car early in the morning and was about to head to work when he saw police arrive. He said he didn’t think much of it at first.

“I glance over to the left and I see our neighboring building is on fire – I ran inside, woke up my girlfriend, and told her, ‘You gotta get up, we gotta go, there’s … building’s on fire!’”

Sam said both he and his girlfriend grabbed what they could and ran, afraid the flames would spread.

“We got kinda ahead of it, very lucky, super lucky. If I had been parked in here and pulled out, I wouldn’t have even seen the fire,” Sam said.

West Pierce Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief and Public Information Officer, Hallie McCurdy, spoke to the media and said fire crews had their hands full once they got to the fire.

“When we arrived, it was already along the entire roofline of the structure,” she said.

McCurdy said when firefighters arrived, they went inside the building but worried the roof might collapse, so they started fighting the flames from outside the building. She says all the residents got out safely, but fire officials estimated later that morning that 23 adults, seven children, and five animals were put out of their homes.

Fire officials say parts of the building could be a total loss. Investigators are looking into what caused the fire, but there are no indications so far that it was suspicious.

Comments on this article