YAKIMA, Wash. — Back-to-back fires kept Yakima firefighters busy early Sunday.
A fire at the Cascade Apartments in downtown Yakima had just been extinguished when a second blaze was reported in the 1100 block of Garfield Avenue.
Neither fire resulted in injuries.
One fire was declared intentionally set while the other is being called suspicious, according to a news release from the Yakima Fire Department.
At 3 a.m., firefighters went to the Cascade Apartments and found smoke in the stairwells leading to the second floor. Occupants were evacuating with the assistance of Yakima police officers.
The fire was located in a single room and was extinguished with materials at hand, according to the news release. Firefighters used high-powered fans to remove smoke from the building.
The news release said the fire was intentionally set by an occupant of a room on the second floor. Fire damage was limited to carpeting, papers and bedding in the room, but there was smoke damage throughout the entire floor. The loss was estimated between $500 and $1,000.
Firefighters were then called to Garfield Avenue, where they found a 15-by-30-foot structure on fire that they initially thought was storage units. A department news release said firefighters determined that it was a living space, and neighbors reported that occupants should have been inside, including one in a wheelchair.
Firefighters began an aggressive, risky effort to enter the building to save potential victims, Battalion Chief Tom Sevigny said. He said the rescue was impeded by a large amount of debris and obstacles in the building.
It was unclear, however, whether anyone was found inside the structure.
Downed power lines prevented firefighters from gaining access to various parts of the structure. Pacific Power was called to disconnect power to the building.
The news release said a bystander, later determined to be one of the occupants, was acting erratically and taken into police custody.
A second occupant was reportedly taken to an adult care facility.
Investigators were unable to determine if there was a working smoke detector in the unit.
The cause is under investigation, but is suspicious in nature, the release said. The occupant is under investigation.
The structure suffered significant damage and may be a total loss, worth an estimated $35,000.