A woman who jumped from the third floor of a burning building in Seattle was taken to Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries, according to the Seattle Fire Department.
The building fire happened on the 100 block of Etruria Street not far from the Fremont Bridge at about 7:37 p.m. Improperly discarded smoking materials ignited the fire, said department spokesman Kyle Moore.
One man who lived in the building grabbed a garden hose, ran up the stairs and tried to put a dent in the blaze, Moore said. He said a garden hose often can’t make a significant impact on an apartment fire though and advises people to leave the firefighting to firefighters.
A woman in her 30s sustained a serious leg fracture from the fall but no life-threatening injuries, Moore said. Two men and two females were displaced by the fire and the Red Cross is helping them find a place to stay.
The woman’s third-story apartment was not connected to a fire escape and it was unclear whether the fire cut her off from an escape path.
Moore advises people to make sure they have working smoke detectors at home that will help give them ample time to escape a fire. If you’re ever stuck in a building near a fire and can’t see past the smoke, Moore recommends crawling low to see past the thickest layer of smoke to try to spot an escape path.
“Crawl as low as you can and close the door behind you,” Moore said, adding that closing the door behind you helps cut off oxygen that can end up fueling the fire.
Those who live in apartment buildings without fire escapes can also buy escape ladders, he said.