BREMERTON — A person was burned and inhaled by smoke in a fast-moving fire Saturday night at a four-unit apartment building near downtown.
It took fire crews across much of the peninsula several hours to douse the flames, which destroyed apartments and threatened nearby homes.
All residents of the apartments survived, according to firefighters, but a cat perished in the fire.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
Firefighters were called to the 1000 block of Fourth Street, not far from the road’s intersection with Warren Avenue, at 8:44 p.m. the building when they got there, according to Bremerton Fire Battalion Chief Brad Richard.
Richard hadn’t even pulled out of the Fire Headquarters parking lot on Park Avenue when he saw the glow of flames nearby. He quickly improved the response to a second alarm, summoning crews from the central and southern departments of Kitsap and the Northwest Naval Region.
“It took off very quickly,” Richard said.
The crews’ quick actions to get water to the east side of the complex, which closely bordered a house, saved the residence, Richard said. Its stucco coating also helped keep flames from jumping past.
“They did an amazing job saving this house,” Richard said. “They pulled the (water) pipes just in time. In less than a minute, this house would have caught fire.”
Crews had to access one of its two fire hydrants across Warren Avenue, closing the roadway while the fire was fought. Downed power lines south of the building also made firefighting tricky, he said. Crews were able to use the city-scale truck to attack the flames from above above the fire.
The flames died down around 12:30 a.m., nearly four hours after the blaze was reported. The crews remained on site all night and until Sunday.
The Bremerton Fire Marshal’s Office is still investigating the cause of the fire.
Residents of the building were assisted by the American Red Cross with temporary housing and supplies.
Kitsapsun.com will post updates to this story.
Josh Farley is a reporter covering the military and Bremerton for the Kitsap Sun. He can be reached at 360-792-9227, [email protected] or on Twitter at @joshfarley.