Quick reaction by employees and a fast aggressive attack by firefighters helped limit damage from a fire at the QFC grocery store early Wednesday morning, June 23 in Kent.
Puget Sound Fire was dispatched at about 3:46 a.m. after a store employee called 911 due to the smell of smoke in an upstairs break room and smoke coming from around a light fixture in the ceiling, according to Capt. Joe Root, Puget Sound Fire public information officer.
Another employee went outside and saw flames from the roof near the back of the store, 13304 SE 240th St.
Seven units and 17 firefighters and command staff responded to the initial call, Root said. A second alarm was dispatched shortly after the arrival of the first crew due to the size of the structure and the potential for fire spread through void spaces in the roof/ceiling. In total, 20 units and 41 personnel from Puget Sound Fire, Renton Regional Fire Authority, Valley Regional Fire Authority and King County Medic One were on scene.
“A quick attack limited fire spread and confined the fire to the roof and an adjoining wall,” Root said. “And the fire was knocked down within 20 minutes after arrival of the first crew with the fire out about 10 minutes later.”
Firefighters saw flames from the rear of the roof as they first approached the store. The smoke conditions in the building were clear with the exception of the mezzanine office/break room areas. The fire did not spread to any other businesses in the strip mall.
There were no injuries to store employees or firefighters.
“The quick reaction of the employees and a fast aggressive fire attack limited fire spread/damage,” Root said.
QFC was able to reopen.
“Had the fire spread into the void spaces in the ceiling/roof the damage would have been much greater and severely impacted the reopening of the business,” Root said.
The cause of the fire remains undetermined.
“Fire investigators did a thorough investigation and in the end the cause has been listed as undetermined,” Root said. “There was not sufficient evidence to rule out one cause over another.”