3-Alarm Fire Engulfs Apartment Complex in Burien Monday; At Least 88 Displaced

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Burien fire official looks over the scene of Monday's apartment fire in Burien. Photo courtesy Dave Nelson.

Burien fire official looks over the scene of Monday’s apartment fire in Burien. Photo courtesy Dave Nelson, Skyway Fire Dept. Public Information Officer.

UPDATE TUESDAY 1/29/13 10 a.m.: The cause of Monday’s blaze at the Tra-Lee apartment complex in Burien has been determined to be a faulty baseboard heater, according to Doug Luedeman of the Burien/Normandy Park Fire Department.

“The apartment complex was recently retrofitted with an alarm system that gave residents an early alert,” Fire Chief Mike Marrs told The B-Town Blog. “That everyone evacuated the building safely can probably be attributed to it.”

There were no injuries to apartment residents or firefighters.

“While all 24 units are totally unoccupiable, it is possible that about half of the apartments, on the north end of the building, can be reoccupied later this week,” Marrs added.

A Red Cross shelter has been set up at Lake Burien Presbyterian Church, and 37 displaced victims of the fire stayed there Monday night, and will be for the next few days. If you’re interested in helping, right now the best method would be to donate online here to the Seattle Red Cross, and earmark your donation to the Tra-Lee Burien Apartment Fire so it gets channeled to these local victims.

The 3-alarm fire engulfed three floors of the apartment complex on Ambaum Blvd. SW near SW 124th in Burien Monday afternoon (Jan. 28) around 4:30 p.m.

Here are some photos taken by Scott Schaefer on scene Tuesday morning (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):


UPDATE 9:30 p.m.: Pastor Tobin Wilson reports that 88 people that were displaced by the fire are spending the night at Lake Burien Presbyterian Church.

Here are the basics from Skyway F.D. PIO Dave Nelson:

  • 3-alarm fire started at the Tra-Lee Apartments around 4:30 p.m.
  • Apartment complex is located on Ambaum Blvd. SW at SW 124th
  • Ambaum Blvd. remained open but was a mess with occasional blockings; SW 124th was closed west of Ambaum with numerous emergency vehicles
  • Three floors were burned; unknown how many apartments were damaged
  • No known injuries at this time
  • UPDATE: at least 88 were displaced by the fire
  • Cause remains unknown at this time but is already being investigated
  • N. Highline, Burien/Normandy Park & SeaTac fire departments responded

We’ll update this post as we learn more…

VIDEO: Here’s a video courtesy our friends at KING5:

Here are some iPhone photos taken on scene by Scott Schaefer:

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6 Responses to “3-Alarm Fire Engulfs Apartment Complex in Burien Monday; At Least 88 Displaced”
  1. Kari says:

    Not sure but it looks like where we used to live years ago.. Summerset West..or very close..

  2. wile.e says:

    didn`t the apartments shown in the upper picture called the view ridge used to called the mark manor? Or is it the old Juanita because I don`t remember a set of apartments there called the view ridge when I was growing up around there.

  3. nancy says:

    Formerly “View Ridge Park Villa” apts. This is just terrible. I really feel for all these tenants that are now misplaced. We lived here (5) years ago. Thank god there were no injuries. God bless them all.

    • FYI the fire actually happened in a 24-unit building behind the View Ridge Park Villa apartments, called the “Tra-Lee.” All residents there are displaced, and 37 stayed at the Red Cross shelter at Lake Burien Presbyterian Church Monday night. thanks, scott

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