Cause of Bothell apartment fire remains undetermined

Somehow, combustible material caught fire while atop a couch on the third-story balcony.

Firefighters from five departments work fast to contain the apartment fire to one unit. Photo courtesy of the Bothell Fire Department
                                Crews from five fire departments worked to put out the fire. (Bothell Fire Department)

Firefighters from five departments work fast to contain the apartment fire to one unit. Photo courtesy of the Bothell Fire Department Crews from five fire departments worked to put out the fire. (Bothell Fire Department)

By Kailan Manandic / Bothell-Kenmore Reporter

Bothell fire marshals have closed the case on an apartment fire that left one resident without a home.

The Bothell Fire Department reports that the cause of the Sept. 26 fire cannot be determined, but the source was combustible material that caught fire while atop a couch on the third-story balcony of an apartment on the 20200 block of Bothell-Everett Highway. The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office assisted in investigating the fire.

At about 2:50 p.m., firefighters from Bothell and other cities responded to the two-alarm apartment fire. Firefighter crews from the Bothell, Shoreline, Northshore, Woodinville and Kirkland fire departments arrived on the scene to find smoke and fire coming from the porch area of a third-floor unit that extended into the attic space.

Firefighters were able to evacuate all occupants without injury. A total of six units were affected, but only one was damaged directly by the fire. The others sustained water and smoke damage or had doors kicked in as firefighters evacuated the building.

Firefighters made a fast attack and contained the flames to the single unit that was the source of the fire.

According to Kirsten Clemens, BFD public information officer, the department estimates that firefighters were able to save about $4 million in fire damages by containing the fire so quickly.

“We don’t talk in loss anymore, we talk in how much they saved,” Clemens said. “The estimated $4 million was saved by just not allowing the fire to spread.”

The building is still stable and livable, so most tenants were able to return home. The third-story unit was the most impacted and the Red Cross is assisting the tenants in finding a temporary place to stay.

The unit directly below the incinerated apartment was the most impacted by water damages.

BFD strongly urges people to practice home escape routes frequently and to identify a safe outside meeting area.

The cause will remain undetermined because investigators could not determine a heat source that started the fire.

This story originally appeared in the Bothell-Kenmore Reporter, a sibling paper of The Daily Herald.

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