• At least 11 people, 3 dogs escape fire near Tacoma

    By: Patranya Bhoolsuwan


    TACOMA, Wash. - A family in the South Sound that includes disabled adults, grandparents and a baby is now looking for a new place to live after their house burned down early Thursday morning.

    It happened just after 3 a.m. in the 5000 block of 68th Street East in unincorporated Pierce County.

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    About two dozen firefighters responded and found the fire started in the basement of the home.

    Everyone got out safely. The family living in the house told KIRO 7 there were 11 people and three dogs inside.

    Bonnie Heyden was sleeping when friends staying there woke her up.

    “Thank God they were awake or we would all be dead,” says Heyden.

    Heyden, who also has two disabled adult children in the house, said the firefighters could have done more to get down to the basement where the fire started.

    Reporter Patranya Bhoolsuwan talked to a distraught woman who lived in the home, who said firefighters let the home burn. She'll have the interviews tonight on KIRO 7 News at 5 p.m. >>http://kiro.tv/LiveNews

    “They wouldn't go in. I told them to go in through the garage, they wouldn't cut in through the garage,” says Heyden. They stood around and let it burn," said Heyden.

    We spoke with Pat Donovan with Central Pierce Fire & Rescue.

    He said with the intensity of the flames burning in the basement, it was very challenging for the firefighters who had to work for hours battling the flames from the outside.

    “Going down into the fire with one way back -- trying to support that is a very difficult, time consuming thing,” said Donovan. “Not knowing what to deal with there's a very narrow staircase.”

    No injuries were reported.

    The investigation is now in the hands of the Pierce County Fire Marshal.

    The Red Cross is also helping the family.

    Watch an interview with a man who lived in the home below.

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