Sergio Godinas was asleep early Monday morning in his family’s first-floor apartment just off Tukwila International Boulevard when he heard people outside yelling “fire.”
He screamed to his wife and their three children, “The apartment is on fire, so let’s go.” They made it to safety outside, as did other families who were rousted by the fire at about 4 a.m. Monday.
The fire at the Park Avenue Apartments at 3430 S. 146th St. was the second at the complex in less than 24 hours. Tukwila fire crews extinguished a fire in a second-floor apartment late Sunday afternoon.
“We are trying to determine whether the two fires are connected,” Marty Grisham, a spokesman for the Tukwila Fire Department, said Monday.
Both fires appear to be accidental; the investigation is continuing, he said.
The American Red Cross is helping four families, including the Godinases, find places to live until their apartments are repaired. Right now the Godinas family is staying with friends; their bathroom received extensive damage.
Four other families could return to their apartments as early as Tuesday, according to apartment manager Dawa Tamang.
No one was injured in the fire.
Fire units from Burien, King County Fire District 20, North Highline Fire Department and the Kent Fire Authority assisted the Tukwila Fire Department in fighting the fire.
Smoke and flames were coming from windows on the second floor when fire crews arrived, according to Grisham.
“Crews did an excellent quick attack on the fire and were able to prevent it from spreading to the adjoining apartments on either side,” he said.
Tamang, the apartment manager who lives in the complex, was wakened from his sleep at about 4 a.m. by a pounding on his door.
“I wake up. I was a little bit scared. I thought there was something wrong,” he said.
He figured out there was another fire and called 911, like he did at about 4:45 p.m. Sunday for the first fire.
Two apartment units received extensive damage, according to Grisham. The loss is expected to be more than $50,000, he said.
The complex is insured, according to owner Dhan Sunar, who was at the scene Monday morning.
“The fire department did a good job here,” Sunar said.