Update, Monday, 4:45 p.m.: The Renton Fire & Emergency Services are now calling the nature of the fire "suspicious", and have sent evidence samples from the fire damaged residence for analysis at a crime lab.
"It appears that gasoline was used" as an accelerant the fire, said Renton Deputy Fire Chief Erik Wallgren.
The following news release update follows:
"At approximately 6:50 a.m. on Monday, April 15th, Renton firefighters responded to a residential fire on Jefferson Avenue NE near NE 8th Place and arrived within five minutes of receiving the call.
The first arriving fire engine found a single-family residence with smoke and fire coming from the second floor. Crews removed one victim who was still inside the structure. He was treated at the scene and released.
Five adults and three children were displaced by the fire -- one of them after being rescued by firefighters. Firefighters rescued numerous pets, although several other pets perished in the fire.
Fire investigators are labeling the fire as suspicious and continuing their investigation. No other injuries are reported. The estimated dollar loss of the fire is $250,000.
Investigators report that smoke detectors in the residence were not functioning properly. It’s important to check your detectors regularly to ensure they have charged batteries and are working properly."
Original Story: Five adults and three children were displaced by a fire at a Renton house Monday morning--one of them after being rescued by firefighters--and a female resident says she believes the fire was intentionally set.
Renton firefighters reached the house in the Highlands Park neighborhood on Jefferson Avenue Northeast near 8th Place within five minutes of being called at about 6:50 a.m., said Renton Deputy Fire Chief Erik Wallgren.
“They found a single-family residence with both smoke and fire coming from one floor,” he said. “They did find a victim on the first floor and helped that person out. He was treated at the scene and released.”
That person was an adult male. Wallgren said five adults and three children were living in the house, but fire investigators are not sure of their relationships. The investigation continues, with fire crews still on the scene at 1 p.m. Monday.
KIRO television quoted an adult female resident as saying she knows the fire was set on purpose because of a gas can left at the scene. She said she believes it was set by a person obsessed with her granddaughter.
Wallgren said investigators received the same information, but so far have not ruled the fire as arson. “All we can say is that we are still investigating.
Several animals in the house did not survive the fire. “We did rescue a number of animals, but some others did not survive,” Wallgren said, “We rescued four dogs, a cat and a parakeet.”
The home was a split-level and firefighters found most of the flames in the second floor, which is at ground level on some sides. The structure suffered extensive damage to the interior, exterior and attic and was not habitable after the fire.
The Red Cross arrived on the scene to assist the residents.
For the KIRO story, click here.