EVERETT — A 76-year-old woman who was rescued last week from her burning apartment building died Monday.
She had been hospitalized with smoke inhalation after Thursday’s fire at the Colby Square Apartments, according to the Everett Fire Department. Investigators still are working to determine what started the blaze that caused $800,000 in damage.
The Everett Police Department has joined the investigation. Sgt. Maryjane Hacker declined to comment Monday.
She refused to clarify whether police are investigating the fire, the woman’s death or both.
Everett Assistant Fire Marshal Steve Goforth said law enforcement often is brought into fire investigations if an injury or death is involved. Police detectives are responsible for finding out what happened to the woman.
A death in an arson is typically treated as a homicide. So far, police and fire investigators have not said whether they consider the fire suspicious.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is lending a hand to Everett fire investigators. Goforth said it is common for the federal agency to share its resources with local districts. The bureau has been working to recover video footage that was damaged by heat.
The late-night blaze appeared to have started near the only exit for tenants living on the second floor. People jumped from the balcony to escape the flames. One person suffered minor injuries from the fall, according to the Everett Fire Department.
Many of the tenants were elderly. A neighbor and a police officer rescued the woman in a wheelchair from the first floor. She was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, where she later died.
Another 19 people were displaced from their homes. They have been coordinating with the property owner to retrieve their belongings, Goforth said.
Meanwhile, a construction company has stepped in to address asbestos-related concerns caused by the age of the apartment building.
Update continued: Due to the age of the building, the construction company is addressing asbestos related concerns. There will be no further updates regarding this fire over the weekend and Christmas Holiday. https://t.co/3u8PrTNGRq
— Everett Fire WA (@EverettFire) December 23, 2017