KENT, Wash. — An early-morning apartment fire in Kent has forced 30 people out of their homes.
Several people suffered minor injuries, but the Kent Fire Department’s spokesman said no one was hospitalized.
KIRO 7 found one man who ran into the burning building to get people out.
Before firefighters got to the Rock Creek Landing apartments, as flames crawled up the three-story building, a neighbor felt he had no choice but to run in.
"I need to save life, you know,” said Tinson Luey. “Because I heard the scream."
Luey said those screams came from two children inside.
"I just pictured my kids, so that's why I went in," he said.
Luey banged on doors in the smoke-filled building. When neither the kids nor their father answered, Luey used his boot to smash a window.
"When I took the kids out they were like, ‘Ow, ow, ow,’ just because it was really hot," he said.
The fire was reported at 2:05 a.m.
Kent RFA, Renton, Tukwila, and South King Fire and Rescue all responded.
Several corner units were badly burned.
Kent investigators concluded the fire started on the first floor when sparks from a charcoal barbecue ignited combustibles on the deck.
Firefighters rescued several people trapped on their balconies on the side of the building including a mother and her baby.
Luey credits his 11-year-old daughter, Mary, who had stayed up late with her cousins who are visiting from Hawaii, for alerting him to the fire in the building across from theirs.
"I was like, ‘It was because of you that I saved two kids tonight,’" said Luey.
The Red Cross is helping the families in all 12 units displaced because of the damage to the building.
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Cox Media Group