UPDATE & PHOTOS: 20 Evacuated From Early Morning Burien Apartment Fire

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Story & Photos by Scott Schaefer

1/6/10 UPDATE: We were on the scene at the English Garden Apartments (515 South 152nd, near Highline High School) this morning around 9am, where we spoke to a few of the 20 or so residents who were displaced by a fire that began on a third floor balcony and burned up through the attic (see our pics below).

“The first thing I heard were two very loud cracking sounds,” said Marcus Pitre, who lives in an adjoining building. “Then the fire alarm went off, which luckily was very loud. Everyone got out okay, and at first I didn’t see any flames. But by the time the Fire Department showed up, flames were shooting up all over the roof.”

“There’s this much water in my apartment,” said a female resident as she held her hands apart by about a foot. “I live on the first floor, and all the water from the sprinklers and firefighters ended up in my unit.”

Doug Leudeman of the Burien/Normandy Park Fire Department said that 13 residents have been displaced by smoke and water damage, and that investigators and firefighters would be on the scene most of the day today. The cause of the fire has not been determined, although a resident who lives in the unit where the fire started claimed she left a candle burning on her balcony.

Leudeman added that the unit where the damage occurred will likely be uninhabitable for a month or two. He also speculated that the estimated loss will be “around $200,000.

Metro Transit provided a bus as a sort of temporary shelter for displaced residents, and we found out that Burien Fire has a deal where they can call Metro for a bus from any fire if one is needed (we think that’s pretty cool…).

The Seattle Red Cross was also on the scene while we were there, working to help those displaced by the blaze to find temporary housing as well as other essentials like food or clothing. According to Media Relations Officer Katherine Boury:

“I just wanted to let you know that the Red Cross has been responding to this morning’s fire at 515 S. 152nd Street.

The Red Cross will provide assistance such as housing, clothing and food to six units (13 individuals).”

Here are some photos we took this morning:

Metro Transit provided a bus on the scene for displaced residents.

The fire, which started on a third floor balcony, burned entirely through the attic.

Remnants of fire-fighting foam were still in the parking lot as firefighters and investigators talked.

The team from Seattle Red Cross was on the scene, ready to help.


Twenty residents were evacuated around 5am Wednesday morning (Jan. 6th) from a fire at the 12-unit English Garden Apartments at 515 South 152nd in Burien.

The fire apparently began on a third floor balcony and burned up into the attic and roof.

No injuries were reported.

According to a KING-TV report:

A woman who lives in the apartment unit that caught fire told KING 5 she had fallen asleep and left a candle burning. She thinks that’s how the fire may have started. She awoke to hear crackling and saw the fire starting. She went into the hallway and grabbed a fire extinguisher, but when she re-entered her apartment, there was too much smoke and heat. She called 911.

Approximately 20 people were evacuated from the 12-unit building. About six units had water damage. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Here’a KING’s video:

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