Washington Fire Displaces 19 Public Housing Residents

March 31, 2008

Flames swept through a public housing complex in Kent, Washington forcing 19 people from their apartments. There were no injuries.

It took firefighters about 45 minutes to contain the two-alarm blaze at the Valli Kee Apartments. The blaze was reported at 10 a.m.

Kent Fire Department Capt. Kyle Ohashi says flames were coming through the roof and one of the apartments when firefighters arrived. He says half of the roof is missing from the building.

The fire destroyed two apartments.

The fire apparently began in one of the apartments. The fire department says the cause of the blaze is undetermined, which means investigators know the general location of the fire’s start, but are unable to determine the exact cause due to the amount of fire damage.

Six people, including five children, were in the apartment, where the fire started. The mother of the children says she knows the fire started in the back of the apartment, but is not sure how it started.

The fire spread to an adjoining apartment where six people lived. Three were home at the time.

The Red Cross is assisting three of the families, and the fourth is staying with relatives.

The King County Public Housing complex is largely home to Somali and Eastern European families.

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