Valley Regional Fire Authority crews began 2021 with two early morning residential fires. The first fire, located in Algona, was reported at 2:55 am. The second, in Auburn, was called in to 911 by neighbors at approximately 4:01 am.
Both homes sustained heavy damage. In total 14 people were displaced.
According to a release from VRFA, a resident of the Algona home called 911 “to report smoke coming from the second floor.” VRFA crews responded to the home in the 200 block of 6th Ave. N, finding flames and smoke.
Firefighters successfully extinguished the fire in under an hour. The home sustained heavy damage. According to the release, “VRFA Investigators determined the cause of the fire to be accidental in nature. It began in the chimney.”
All residents evacuated the dwelling safely and are staying with family and friends. VRFA did not report any injuries.
One hour and two miles away, neighbors called 911 to report flames coming from a home in the 100 block of G St SE in Auburn. A VRFA press release states fire crews from VRFA, Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority, and South King Fire and Rescue responded, finding the front of the home in flames.
Like the Algona fire, residents had safely evacuated the home. The family, a father and two sons, were alerted to the fire by working smoke alarms.
The front porch of the 3,400sqft home shared a wall and window with the bedroom of a six-year-old boy. Fire Investigators say the fire began on the porch. “The fire extended from the porch into the home by breaching the boy’s bedroom window. If not for the smoke alarms alerting the father, we could have had a tragic outcome,” said Deputy Fire Marshal John Monsebroten.
“The cause of the fire is undetermined, though most probably originated in a plastic trash bag located on the front porch. The contents of the bag included discarded smoking materials, spent fireworks, an aerosol can, and other combustible materials,” states the press release.
The home sustained approximately $200,000 in damage to the structure and $80,000 in contents. The American Red Cross assisted the family of three with immediate needs. Neighbors have also begun a GoFundMe campaign to assist the family.
The VRFA’s press release concluded with a safety reminder “to check their smoke alarms, practice a family fire escape plan, and dispose of smoking materials and spent fireworks in a closed metal container after thoroughly soaking them in water.”
To write this story, the Auburn Examiner utilized two press releases issued by the Valley Regional Fire Department.