A fire that destroyed two homes on July 5 in Federal Way may have been caused by fireworks, police say. South King Fire and Rescue is awaiting a final investigative report about the cause from the King County Sheriff’s Office.
At about 12:50 a.m. near the 30200 block of 8th Avenue South, crews responded to reports that a vehicle fire had spread from a carport to the nearby home, according to Capt. Brad Chaney of South King Fire and Rescue.
When firefighters arrived, they found a two-story home and a carport fully engulfed in flames, and the fire was spreading to a second home next door.
Crews pulled a large diameter hose to begin an aggressive attack on the main unit fire. Crews also shifted resources to the house next door because the home was exposed to flames and had heavy fire damage, Chaney said.
All occupants of the homes made it out safely and no injuries were reported. The Red Cross is assisting five adults and one child who were displaced, Chaney said.
A GoFundMe donation page (“Help the Luxamar family rebuild after fire”) has been started to help a family who lost their home in the July 5 fire.
The home and cars of one of the affected families were burnt after the fire started on the roof, according to the GoFundMe page. One of the cars belonged to a son in the family who had saved up money after working countless hours of overtime. About 85% of their belongings are now gone. The family moved to Federal Way from Haiti several years ago and have “worked hard to get to where they are now,” the page states.
“They are a resilient family who I consider second family,” said fundraiser organizer Isabelle Moreau. “I’m starting this fund for them to rebuild after losing so much in a matter of moments.”
So far, the page has raised a few hundred dollars of a $10,000 goal.
A GoFundMe fundraiser (“Help Thomas after devastating fire”) has also been created for the second family impacted by the fire.
A son, who was living with his father and his father’s wife, escape the fire with just a pair of shorts, a shirt, his keys and phone, according to the page.
His top floor apartment in the home was destroyed and the remainder of the couple’s residence is unlivable.
The three individuals were sleeping when the fire began and woke up to the emergency, the page reads.
So far, the page has raised $4,338 of a $5,000 goal.
Between July 2-5, South King Fire responded to 20 fire calls. Fourteen of the fires were brush/grass fires and two were dumpster fires, Chaney said.
Only six have been confirmed to be caused by fireworks, he added.
Federal Way police shared an Independence Day summary report July 6 at the Federal Way City Council meeting.
The fireworks-related incidents include the fire that destroyed two homes, said Deputy Chief Kyle Sumpter of Federal Way police.
“That right there is reason enough for everybody in the city to abstain from fireworks,” Sumpter said.
Over the period of July 1-5, police received 254 total calls related to fireworks in Federal Way.
On July 4, there were 149 fireworks calls to police, Sumpter said. This is the highest number of fireworks-related calls on the holiday in the past three years.
There were about 7-15 tickets issued by officers from June 30 through July 5, but these are early numbers, Sumpter said. An unknown number of warnings were also issued.
If you think using fireworks isn’t a big deal, go look at the charred remains where two homes once stood, said Council President Susan Honda.
“They’re out of a house. They don’t have a place to live. They lost their cars, they lost everything they had,” she said. “It isn’t an innocent act to use firecrackers and fireworks.”