Unattended cooking may have been the cause of an apartment fire in Aberdeen Wednesday. No injuries were reported, two pet cats were saved, one was treated for smoke inhalation. Captain Jr. Streifel with the Aberdeen Fire Department tells us they responded to a fire in an Apartment complex in the 1200 block of Arthur Street at 1:05 Wednesday afternoon. Initial reports were that an occupant was trapped inside the apartment. Upon arrival initial crews found a single unit with significant smoke and flames coming from the front and rear of the second story. The alarm was escalated to a 2nd Alarm response for additional personnel. Due to the reports of a victim, initial actions taken included search and rescue, it was later reported that the apartment was unoccupied.
A total of 22 firefighters were used to extinguish the fire including 2 firefighters and 1 Engine from Hoquiam Fire Department and the Chief and Assistant Chief of the Aberdeen Fire Department. A total of 3 Engines, 1 ladder truck, 1 command unit, 3 medic units and two Chief vehicles were used to manage the incident. The first units on scene arrived at 1:11PM.
The fire was contained to the apartment where the fire originated with minor smoke and water damage to adjacent units and two units on the first floor. The Fire Department was successful in limiting the fire damage to the rest of the apartment complex. Firefighters were also successful in placing salvage tarps throughout the first floor of the lower exposure units to prevent further damage from water. Efforts were also made to salvage personal belongings of affected occupants. Fire was declared knocked down at 1:36.
The affected occupants of the complex were able to safely evacuate. Two pet cats were rescued from the Apartment with one treated on scene for smoke inhalation injuries. There were no civilian or Firefighter injuries from this fire. The origin and cause of the fire are believed to have originated from a pan of oil on the stove left unattended.
Lessons Learned: Never leave cooking and heating elements unattended.