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Kent firefighters rescue disabled man from house fire

Kent firefighters rescued a physically disabled man from a house fire in the 10500 block of Southeast 211th Street at about 8:54 p.m. Aug. 1 in what was first reported to be an outdoor smoke investigation.

One Kent fire engine was dispatched to investigate smoke in the area of the old Panther Lake Elementary School in the 10800 block of Southeast 208th Street, according to a Kent Fire Department media release.

After searching the area extensively the crew found smoke coming from a two-story building located next to a home. The owner called the building a cabana that contained both a sauna and an outdoor pool. Both buildings were located at the end of a driveway approximately 400 feet long.

After requesting additional assistance, firefighters discovered a man who was unable to escape the smoke-filled building on his own. Quickly entering the structure, the firefighters found the physically disabled man on a bed approximately 10 feet from the entrance to the building.

Firefighters and King County paramedics treated the man for smoke inhalation before transporting him to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

“It was fortunate someone noticed the smoke and called 911," said Battalion Chief Eric Tomlinson. "The occupant could have died from smoke inhalation if help had not arrived when it did."

After rescuing the lone occupant, firefighters were able to concentrate on extinguishing the fire and limited the damage to where the fire started.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but the fire started in the area of the sauna.

There were no smoke alarms installed in the building to warn the occupant about the fire. Fire investigators estimated the damage at about $25,000.

The house adjacent to the fire was unoccupied and undamaged.

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