Apartment fire near Mill Creek displaces 10 people

MILL CREEK — A fire displaced 10 people from a Martha Lake-area apartment complex Sunday morning, leaving more than $200,000 in damage, Snohomish County Fire District 1 officials said.

The blaze at the Millwood Estates Apartments caused no serious injuries. One neighbor hurt a finger trying to force his way into an apartment where he thought somebody was inside, Fire District 1 spokeswoman Leslie Hynes said. A cat died in the second-floor unit where the fire started.

Investigators on Sunday were looking into the cause of the fire.

Crews rushed to the complex in the 16600 block of 6th Avenue W around 10:20 a.m. after receiving several 911 calls. The area is in unincorporated Snohomish County, west of Mill Creek.

“Heavy smoke was coming from units on the second and third floors when firefighters arrived,” Hynes said. “The fire was spreading into the attic and firefighters quickly called for a second alarm to dispatch more firefighters and equipment to help contain the blaze.”

Alarms alerted neighbors to the fire, allowing them to escape.

Firefighters spent about 20 minutes bringing the flames under control, Hynes said. They rescued a cat and a pet rat from a first-floor apartment. Crews from neighboring fire departments assisted.

The affected K building has 24 units, a quarter of which were left uninhabitable. The actual fire damaged two apartments, while smoke damaged two more, Hynes said. Water used to put out the blaze left two others uninhabitable.

The Snohomish County Chapter of the American Red Cross was helping the people forced to leave their homes, Hynes said. Most had no renters’ insurance.

In November, a fire damaged a next-door building at Millwood Estates, displacing 15 people. In that case, investigators said the cause was related to a fireplace.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

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