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June 10, 2013 at 5:47 AM

Fire burns 18-unit Des Moines apartment building

A two-alarm fire at a Des Moines apartment complex broke out early Monday morning, leaving more than 60 people displaced and 18 apartments damaged.

Only one minor injury was reported after a man jumped from a third-story balcony to escape the flames.

South King County Fire and Rescue said the call came in at 3:27 a.m., and by the time firefighters from four departments arrived at the Sea Fox Apartments on the 2600 block of South 224th Street, four units were in flames and residents had already began evacuating.

The fire destroyed much of the top floor of the building and caused part of the roof to collapse.

Gordie Olson, assistant chief with South King Fire and Rescue, said the blaze could have been much worse and serious injuries would have been more likely had the apartment not been outfitted with a fire alarm system.

“We really give kudos to the management and owners of the apartments for retroactively installing that fire alarm system,” Olson said.

Olson said The Red Cross has been on the scene helping coordinate alternate housing for the displaced residents. He said that while the bulk of the fire damage was contained to the third floor, all of the units have smoke and water damage.

Olson said South King County Fire and Rescue will be assisting fire investigators with the King County Sheriff’s Office in the coming days. He said the scene is still too hot for investigators to get to work at the moment, but added that there was nothing to indicate the fire is suspicious.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: apartment building fire, Des Moines

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