Edmonds woman dies in house fire Sunday

A woman died in a fire in her Edmonds home Sunday morning.

A neighbor called 9-1-1 just before 10 a.m. to report smoke coming from a house in the 19300 block of 84th Avenue W. “Edmonds Fire Station 16 is just a couple of blocks away so we had a very quick response. The house was full of smoke when firefighters arrived. They made a quick attack and had the fire under control in about 10 minutes,” said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for Snohomish County Fire District 1, which serves the City of Edmonds.

Firefighters located the fire victim, a woman in her 70s, as they conducted a search of the house as part of their firefighting effort.

“As firefighters dedicated to protecting life, we’re all deeply saddened any time we have a fire death. Our hearts go out to the family, friends and neighbors affected by this tragedy,” said Fire Chief Ed Widdis.

Fire investigators determined the fire was most likely started by a cigarette discarded in a paper trash bag. Damage to the house is estimated at $200,000.

The house was not equipped with smoke alarms. Almost two-thirds of reported home fire deaths in the 2003-2006 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

“Smoke alarms save lives by providing you with the warning you need to safely escape when fire breaks out in your home,” Hynes said. “We recommend that you have a smoke alarm on every level of your home and in every bedroom or sleeping area.”

Fire District 1 offers these smoke alarm tips:
* Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
* Replace batteries in smoke alarms twice a year. An easy way to remember is to change the batteries when you change your clocks to or from Daylight Savings Time. If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
* Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly.

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