All of the residents evacuated safely before firefighters arrived. The two occupants of the fire unit woke up to smoke and ran from door-to-door to help evacuate their neighbors.
It took 40 minutes to completely extinguish the flames. The fire started in the living room and extended into the ceiling, out into the balcony and up into the apartment above.
A 62-year-old firefighter was injured when the ceiling of a balcony collapsed on him while he was overhauling the fire. Medics transported the firefighter to Harborview Medical Center where he was treated for a minor knee injury and released.
Fire Investigators are calling the fire accidental and estimate damage loss at $300,000 to the structure and $100,000 to the content.
Residents were not allowed back in the 6 units of the complex due to smoke and fire damage. The Red Cross is finding shelter for 12 displaced residents.
The Seattle Fire Department Public Education Unit states heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires during the months of December, January and February.
Baseboard heaters are very efficient, but they can be a serious fire hazard if used carelessly. Common sense can prevent a baseboard heater fire. Any time a flammable object comes in contact with a heater, a fire could result.
Here is a Checklist for Baseboard Heaters:
• Check baseboard heaters often and remove objects that have fallen on top or near the heater.
• Keep all furniture a safe distance from your heaters. Never block the flow of heat.
• Never permit electrical cords to drape across heaters.
• Always hire an experienced electrician to do any necessary repair work on your baseboard heaters.