Five Tukwila families displaced by fires in March are getting their lives back to some normalcy, with the help of the Tukwila community and their families.
The home where Armen Papyan, a 2015 Foster graduate and a student at the University of Washington, and his family, which includes his brother Araik, his baby brother, his mother, his grandparents and an uncle, lived is considered a total loss from a fire on March 11.
They’re now living in Sumner with a family member, Papyan said last week.
The fire destroyed all their possession, leaving little but the clothes on their backs, according to Papyan.
“We have no idea what’s going to happen to the house,” Papyan said. “We don’t know whether it will get fixed.”
The owner of the house at 5604 S. 150th St. and one of the residents, Vladimir Yasonovich Mironyuk, 39, was charged with first-degree arson.
Just days later, an apartment fire on March 14 at the Park Avenue Apartments, 3430 S. 146th St., heavily damaged several apartments units.
The American Red Cross assisted four families find temporary housing and four families waited for repairs to be made to their apartments.
Three of the families have received supplies and a fourth one is with family members. Inspirus Credit Union at 5200 Southcenter Blvd. in Tukwila continues to collect items for families.
Basic household items are needed, including bathroom towels, bedding, beds, tables, lamps, bookshelves, couches, kitchenware, blankets and food.
Katrina Dohn, a math coach at Cascade View Elementary School who knew Armen and Araik when she taught at Tukwila Elementary School, helped coordinate the donation drives.
She pointed to the efforts to Inspirus and Union Gospel Mission’s warehouse program to help the families
“Beyond that it was a totally grass-roots effort, which I love,” she said.
She received donations from former district students, former school board members, community members from all walks of life, and sometimes donations showed up anonymously on her porch, so she didn’t know who to thank.
“It’s just a great example of what Tukwila is and how they treat those in need,” she said. “One person once said to me, ‘You never want to go through a crisis, but if you do, Tukwila is the place to have it happen because of the way this community rallies around those in a crisis situation.’ I totally agree with that statement.”