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Tukwila apartment fire ruled accidental

For the Reporter

Fire officials ruled an apartment fire in the 3400 block of South 144 Street in Tukwila accidental after a worker sweating (soldering) copper pipes apparently ignited insulation.

The worker had been doing plumbing earlier in the day and was not in the apartment when the fire was reported at approximately 8 p.m. Saturday.

Firefighters from the Tukwila Fire Department and the Kent Fire Department RFA responded to the two-story complex. When they arrived, they found a first floor apartment with a fire in the wall space of one bathroom. The fire was quickly extinguished and did not spread to any other units.

There were no reports of injuries. Initially, Red Cross was requested to assist the residents of an adjoining apartment, but were not needed.

According to the Tukwila Fire Department investigator, whenever soldering pipes it is a good idea to remove any combustible materials near the flame of the torch. Although insulation is not combustible, the paper backing and adhesive are. Wetting down the area where the torch is used with a spray bottle is also recommended.

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