INVESTIGATORS: Hot Coal May Have Caused Lakeside Apartment Fire - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

INVESTIGATORS: Hot Coal May Have Caused Lakeside Apartment Fire

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UPDATE/KENNEWICK, WA - The Kennewick Fire Department says hot coals may have caused a fire that tore through a building at Lakeside Apartments early Thursday morning.

Investigators believe the fire started when tenants were removing burning wood from a 2nd floor apartment fireplace onto their back deck. However, this has not been confirmed and further investigation is needed.

Firefighters say Building I sustained heavy fire damage to the roof and 2nd floor apartments. In total, five 2nd story apartments and the roof were heavily damaged. The five 1st story apartments sustained water damage.

Contractors were on the scene as of 4 p.m. Thursday, trying to save any household furnishings. They also focused on securing at least one area on a 2nd floor stairway that posed a safety hazard.

Firefighters say the fire may have been a result of an earlier fire at the same building hours before, but they say it could take up to a week to determine if that's the cause

The Red Cross is helping the fourteen of the people affected by the fire, supplying them with temporary housing, food, clothing and medical items. Anyone affected by the fire, who still needs help, should call 509-539-6078.

Anyone with information about the fire can call non-emergency dispatch at 509-628-0333.


PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

KENNEWICK, WA - Kennewick Firefighters are trying to figure out what started a second fire at an apartment complex Thursday morning. 

Firefighters say the second fire at the Lakeside Apartments at Clearwater and Edison started around 3:00am and shot huge flames through the attic and upstairs units in the "I" building. 

The first fire Wednesday night was in the same building around 8:45 on an outside deck. Flames from that fire extended from just one apartment to the attic. 

Thursday morning, firefighters evacuated about 10 units at the apartments. All of them were affected by fire, smoke or water damage. The Red Cross has stepped in to help the families who lost their homes. 

Luckily, no one got hurt.

While firefighters are still investigating both fires, the investigation will be delayed because of the building isn't safe enough for them to go inside. 

Firefighters say once the building is safe, they'll be able to determine the fire's origin and cause. 

Firefighters from Richland, Pasco, and Benton County Fire District 1 helped Kennewick Firefighters battle the blaze. Crews from Benton PUD, Ben Franklin Transit and the Kennewick Police Department also helped with the incident.

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KENNEWICK, WA - Firefighters in Kennewick are back at the scene of an Apartment fire that rekindled overnight.

Firefighters say the fire at the Lakeside Apartments on Edison Avenue flared up around 3:00am Thursday.

Firefighters say the roof of the building collapsed Thursday morning damaging more apartments in the I Building on the complex.

We have a reporter on the scene this morning and we will bring you live updates on NBC Right Now Local News Today from 5:00-7:00am.

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KENNEWICK, WA - The Kennewick Fire Marshal is looking into what sparked a fire at a on the back deck of second story apartment along Edison Street Wednesday night. 

Our reporter arrived to the Lakeside Apartments just before 9PM, right after the first crew of firefighters arrived and most of the fire was already out, but in that short time, there was significant damage done to the apartment.

However, if it weren't for the calls out to fire departments in Richland and Pasco, this fire could have been much worse.

"It's critical because we can put a lot of resources on the fire very quickly, which is when we need them there. If we had a few units out and it took a while to get out units there, having the mutual aid and automatic aid units available to us really does help," Kennewick Fire Battalion Chief Mikal Barnett explained. 

In total, about 40 firefighters from Kennewick, Richland, Pasco, and Benton County Fire District #1 showed up to the scene. 

Firefighters were able to save the surrounding apartments, and luckily - no one was hurt.

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