A woman and her dog safely escaped a fire that caused more than $50,000 damage at an Edmonds condominium Sunday night.
According to a news release from South County Fire & Rescue, dispatchers received an alert from the alarm company and multiple 911 calls around 6:10 p.m. reporting smoke and flames on the ground floor of the 16-unit, four-story Carmel Condominiums in the 600 block of Main Street.
One of the reporting parties was fire department chaplain and Edmonds resident Josi Jones. “Josi was out for a walk when she heard glass breaking,” said Leslie Hynes, South County Fire public information officer. “She spotted smoke coming from the building and called 911. Josi then went to the fire unit to make sure everyone was out. Through the open door, she could see a woman inside. Josi entered the fire unit and helped the woman to safety.
“She then joined others in going door to door to make sure everyone else was evacuating. Thanks to these efforts, everyone got out safely and we had no injuries,” Hynes continued.
Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire and kept damage contained to a bedroom in one unit. Red Cross is assisting the two displaced residents: the woman who escaped with her dog and her mother, who was away at the time of the fire. All other building residents were able to return to their homes after about two hours.
Fire investigators determined the fire was accidental, most likely started by a cigarette. South County Fire offers these safety tips to prevent a smoking-related fire:
- Use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table.
- Before you throw out butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Dousing in water or sand is the best way to do that.
- Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
- To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you have to be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
- Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.
The Carmel is one of six older multi-family buildings in Edmonds identified for fire alarm installation or retrofitting in a code-compliance review conducted in the wake of a 2015 fatal apartment fire in Everett. All Edmonds buildings identified in the review have now been brought into compliance.
Like the building in Everett where the fatal fire occurred, the Carmel, built in 1967, had no alarm system until the code-compliance upgrades were completed in 2016. “Last night everything worked just as it should. The monitored alarm system immediately notified dispatch of the fire. After a resident pulled the fire alarm to alert all building occupants to the fire, everyone got out safely,” said Assistant Chief Kevin Zweber, Fire Marshal for South County Fire.