Fire on Market Street damages apartment building in downtown Kirkland
By MATT PHELPS
Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor
August 17, 2012 · Updated 8:56 AM
For the second time in a week the Kirkland Fire Department was called to a residential structure fire. This time the blaze was in the 800 block of Market Street in downtown Kirkland early Friday morning and damaged six apartment units. No residents or firefighters were injured.
"The damage is mostly to the exterior but there is some on the interior," said Kirkland Fire Department Battalion Chief Greg Picinich.
Firefighters received the call at 3:14 a.m. but a Kirkland police officer was the first on scene. The officer evacuated numerous tenants from the building.
First arriving Kirkland Fire Department units found a large volume of fire on the exterior of the three story building. Firefighters from Redmond, Bellevue and Bothell also responded to the blaze.
Market Street was closed in both directions for about two-and-a-half hours early Friday morning. The North-bound lanes remained closed while investigators searched through the damaged building for a cause.
Four of the units had fire damage on the inside and the other two had smoke damage, said KFD officials.
Picinich said that all of the residents of the apartment building have found family or friends to stay with while the fire department conducts the investigation.
The Puget Sound region has recently been in an excessive heat warning. Temperatures were expected to reach the 90s for the second consecutive day on Friday.
"Clearly when it is hot like this everything is more susceptible," said Picinich. "The heat is always a factor."
Fire officials said that the high temperatures can fuel structure fires but mostly dry out plants and trees making them more susceptible to catching fire and spreading the damage. Firefighters were able to contain the fire, keeping it from spreading through the surrounding foliage.
The fire comes just four days after a home on North Rose Hill, along with two cars, was destroyed late Monday night. Firefighters were also able to keep that fire contained to the one house by watering down huge trees that surround the home.
Contact Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor Matt Phelps at email@example.com or 425-822-9166 ext. 5052.