Investigators say an Edmonds condo fire was accidental and likely caused by a cigarette. (South County Fire)

Investigators say an Edmonds condo fire was accidental and likely caused by a cigarette. (South County Fire)

Off-duty fire chaplain helps woman escape from condo flames

The building had no fire alarms in place until 2016. On Sunday, the upgrades helped save lives.

EDMONDS — A woman and her dog made it safely out of a condo fire in Edmonds, thanks to an off-duty fire chaplain who was nearby on an evening stroll.

South County firefighters were dispatched to the four-story Carmel Condominiums at 6:10 p.m. Sunday.

Fire chaplain Josie Jones was on a walk when she spotted smoke coming out of the building on Main Street. After calling 911, she helped a woman escape.

Firefighters kept the flames to a bedroom in one unit.

“Thanks to these efforts, everyone got out safely and we had no injuries,” said Leslie Hynes, a spokeswoman for South County Fire.

The building had more than $50,000 in damage. Investigators said the fire was accidental and likely caused by a cigarette.

The Carmel, which was built in 1967, was one of six buildings identified in Edmonds as needing fire safety upgrades. It didn’t have an alarm system until 2016.

Local scrutiny around fire safety increased after the fatal Bluffs fire in Everett in 2015, when an investigation revealed the burned down apartment building had no alarm system in place. Similar problems were found around the county, and fixes continue.

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