Kennewick fire forces several people from their homes

FRIDAY UPDATE:

Kennewick Fire Chief Chad Michael shared new details about the incident:

  • Nine apartment units affected
  • Six people were inside at the time; all got out safely
  • Nine people who lived there were displaced

The chief reports that the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

KENNEWICK, Wash. — A fire broke out Thursday morning in a building housing several people in Kennewick, forcing them and their neighbors out into the street.

The units at 703 S Fir St caught fire shortly after 8 a.m. The Kennewick Fire Department, ambulances and police officers were dispatched seconds later and set up on E 7th Ave between S Fir and S Gum streets, shutting down the block.

“Officers arrived and started evacuating the tenants as the firemen were suppressing the fire,” Kennewick PD said in a Facebook post, adding that the fire and smoke affected multiple apartment units and everyone inside got out safely.

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KAPP-KVEW was on the scene, streaming video of the burning apartment units as Benton PUD came out to cut power to the building, allowing safer access for firefighters.

Neighbors gathered on sidewalks during the firefight; some were seen talking with fire officials, others said they awoke to firefighters pounding on their door. They smelled the smoke and evacuated. KAPP-KVEW did not witness any first aid being rendered or any ambulances leaving the scene with any patients. Kennewick police confirm everyone got out without injury.

“The Kennewick Fire Department will work with the American Red Cross to help those that are impacted by situations like these,” police said. “The American Red Cross provides many programs to support our community and its members.”

It was unclear as of 10 a.m. exactly how much damage was done to the units inside the building but they did experience smoke and water damage, and firefighters did break through the ceiling within at least one of the units in order to access the attic.

The Kennewick Fire Department may release some preliminary information on this incident later in the day, although the exact cause of the fire may not be determined until a full investigation is completed. This article will be updated accordingly.

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