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Harrington Square Apartment Fire Determined to be Accidental

July 2, 2009

For more information contact:

Bill Flora, Deputy Fire Chief/Fire Marshal, 425 430-7061
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director, 425-430-6569

Renton Fire & Emergency Services were dispatched to a multi-family structure fire at NE 9th St and Harrington Ave in Renton Tuesday evening, June 30, at 8:01 p.m.  The first responding units found a five story apartment building, currently under construction, with heavy smoke and flames visible from the roof.

The fire grew rapidly, forcing the firefighters to increase the response to five alarms with approximately 10 engines, 9 ladder trucks, aid and medic units, along with several command staff/officers on location.  Over 85 firefighters battled the fire for nearly 3-1/2 hours.

Renton Police evacuated an estimated 8 to 10 homes in the 800 block of Index Place northeast after a report of a roof fire.  Firefighters were successful in preventing additional structural damage to neighboring homes from falling embers by providing exposure protection.

Fire/Suppression support was provided by Tukwila, Maple Valley, Kent, Fire District 20, North Highline, Burien, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Woodinville, Seattle and Eastside Fire and Rescue fire departments.

Once the fire was completely extinguished fire investigators from Renton Fire & Emergency Services conducted an investigation and determined the fire was accidental. Investigators determined that the fire was started as a result of work being done on the roof of the building earlier in the day.  The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was contacted early in the investigation, however it was jointly determined their assistance would not be necessary.

The damage is being estimated at over $11 million to the apartment building, $250 thousand to an adjoining apartment building and another $12 thousand to various structures located downwind of the fire. At the conclusion of the investigation, the building was turned back over to the developer, DRK Development Inc. 

One lane of Harrington Ave NE will be closed until late Monday or Tuesday to allow for clearing of debris.