An apartment complex fire in Tukwila on Tuesday, Aug. 17 caused the deaths of two adults and a child. Authorities also had to issue a landslide warning in the wake of the response.
The three-alarm fire broke out at the Maple Crest Apartments at South 151st Street and 65th Avenue South. The Tukwila Fire Department reportedly responded to the fire around 6 a.m. As of Aug. 17, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office had not yet identified the victims. Initial reports said the fire killed two people.
First responders fought the fire and helped escaping residents with their injuries for hours. Eventually, the complex’s roof collapsed from the damage.
According to a tweet from the Tukwila Children’s Foundation, 31 families were displaced by the fire. The tweet requested donations of items like toiletries, hygiene products, phone chargers, towels, socks, underwear and sweats to be donated to Riverton Methodist Church on behalf of the families.
Other residents were directed to the Tukwila Community Center after responders became worried about the possibility of the structure sliding down the hill after the water used to fight the fire may have weakened the structural integrity of the hill.
Structural engineers and surveillance drones were brought to the scene to monitor the potential landslide. The portion of Interurban Avenue South nearing the bottom of the hillside was kept clear for safety.
Due to precautionary measures, residents in another apartment building near the hillside was also evacuated.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.