‘Overwhelming and unreal:’ Kennewick father recounts harrowing experience following Friday apartment fire

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Codie Fraker was up late feeding his two-month-old daughter when his roommate came barging through the door of their Kennewick apartment.

According to Fraker, his roommate had gone onto the balcony, hearing what he thought was a car alarm around 3:45 a.m. Friday when he saw smoke filling the air outside of the apartment.

That’s when he ran back inside and began yelling for all the occupants inside of the quadplex to evacuate immediately.

ORIGINAL STORY: Early morning apartment fire prompts large response

Fraker said the only thing on his mind was getting his fiancée Marisa and their two young children — who also lived in the apartment — out to safety.

“We grabbed all the kids and came out,” Fraker said. “We started banging on doors, trying to get everyone else out.”

Soon, the place he’d called home for nearly seven years was engulfed in flames.

Officials with the Kennewick Fire Department (KFD) and the Kennewick Police Department (KPD) had rushed to the scene on the 200 block of S. Johnson St. and were attempting to put out the fire.

“As soon as [KFD] turned on the lights inside the bedroom you could just see the darkness inside the bedrooms,” Fraker said. “It was bad.”

The police also rescued the family of four living next door after they became trapped on their balcony due to the fire.

“The stairwell was on fire and so the officers went around, found a table, and used that to evacuate the occupants of that apartment,” said KFD Fire Chief Chad Michael. “[The occupants] were able to lower their two children down to the officers and then also lower themselves down.”

Officials said about 10 people were displaced as a result of the fire. No one was injured, although one woman was examined for smoke inhalation. She declined further treatment.

KPD Officer Roman Trujillo said he was glad the community’s efforts resulted in the prevention of a tragedy.

“That’s what we want to do as your police department, is to help in emergency situations,” Ofc. Trujillo said.

Now the Fraker’s are trying to recoup their losses as what remains is broken glass and charred memories.

“It’s pretty tough. Especially with seeing all the broken glass and watching the police help down the people from the balcony and then all the fire department guys helping out. I’m really thankful for everyone that’s helped out and that’s been stepping up.,” Fraker said. “I’m just really glad everyone got out.”

Officials said this serves as a good reminder to the community to stay alert.

“If you hear something or see something that doesn’t seem right, pay attention to it,” Chief Michael said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

To donate to the Fraker family’s GoFundMe, click here.

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