Kent firefighters use ladder to rescue apartment resident trapped by fire

Kent firefighters used a ladder to rescue a resident trapped on a balcony by an apartment fire early Thursday in the 23900 block of 111th Place Southeast.

Firefighters also responded to a kitchen fire Wednesday afternoon that displaced four residents at an apartment complex in the 500 block of Fourth Avenue South.

In the 12:17 a.m. Thursday fire, emergency units responded to a report of a stairwell fire trapping upper-floor residents, according to a Kent Fire Department media release.

The first arriving units found the common exterior stairwell shared by four apartments fully involved in fire with a second-floor resident trapped on the balcony by the blaze. Kent Firefighters quickly rescued the trapped resident using a ladder and then extinguished the fire.

The fire was contained to the exterior stairwell of the building. Fire department search crews found no smoke or fire damage to the interiors of the apartments sharing the stairwell. The cause of the fire is under investigation. No damage estimate has been provided at this time.

No residents of the apartments were displaced by the fire and no injuries to residents or firefighters were reported.

In the 4:33 p.m. Wednesday fire reported by a passerby, the fire caused extensive damage in the kitchen and dining room area of the single-story apartment. One adult and two children were home at the time of the fire, but were not inside.

A fast-fire attack by firefighters kept the flames from getting into the attic space and spreading to other units. While the apartment where the fire started is uninhabitable, none of the other units in the complex were affected. One pet cat is unaccounted for.

Kent fire investigators have confirmed that the fire started on the stovetop when unattended cooking oil overheated. The incident is considered accidental.

The two adults and two young children who were living in the unit are being assisted by Red Cross. The apartment complex itself is operated by King County Housing and the YWCA.

Unattended cooking is the most common cause of fires in U.S. homes. Follow the National Fire Protection Association’s recommendation to “Keep an eye on what you fry.” Never leave cooking unattended and heat oil slowly on a medium heat.

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