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December 11, 2012 at 9:02 PM

1 dead in apartment-building fire in Seattle

Tomi Tierney holds her dog, Nathan, while waiting outside of her apartment building as police and fire investigators survey the building at 8501 12th Avenue Northwest in Seattle’s Crown Hill neighborhood.

A man was killed tonight in an apartment-building fire in the 8500 block of 12th Avenue Northwest in Seattle.

His remains were found on a hide-a-bed in the front room of the apartment, according to Kyle Moore, spokesman for the Seattle Fire Department. Calls to 911 about the fire started coming in at 7:34 p.m., he said.

Once firefighters arrived, the fire, which was in a second-floor unit, was knocked down in five minutes. Cause of the fire has not been determined, Moore said.

Neighbor Tomi Tierney said the man who died had lived in the unit for just a few years. She said he was a nice man, a war veteran, who had recently been excited about landing a new job.  She guessed he was 30 to 40 years old.

Neighbors said the victim was not known to be a smoker.

Tierney said she heard something just before the fire started, but she didn’t know what it was and wouldn’t describe it as an explosion. She said she saw smoke entering her unit, grabbed her dog, exited the building and called 911 before she heard a fire alarm go off.

As Tierney left the building, she said a man who stopped his car when he saw 10-foot flames jumping out of the building ran in. She said he tried his best to knock down the door of the burning apartment but was unable to do so. He then ran through the building trying to get other people out. Firefighters soon helped evacuate at least 30 other units in the building.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: fire, Seattle Fire Department

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