Near explosive apartment kitchen fire leaves family homeless

A Kirkland family was left homeless after a severe kitchen fire damaged their apartment unit Thursday morning.

Ten fire units from Kirkland, Redmond and Woodinville responded to a 911 call around 9 a.m. in the 12800 block of Northeast 120th St. in Kirkland.

An employee of the apartment's management company reported that he smelled smoke while conducting a routine maintenance inspection in an adjoining building. The employee knocked on the door of the first floor unit containing smoke and received no response. He proceeded to the upper two floors and evacuated a dog barking in a second level unit and a man asleep in a third level unit.

When fire crews arrived, they extinguished the fully involved fire that was contained to the kitchen of the first floor unit.

The fire caused no injuries.

Fire crews estimated the fire was close to exploding and spreading through the rest of the building, according to Kirkland Fire Department officials.

The apartment unit was left uninhabitable as the kitchen and living areas were severely damaged and will require significant renovation. Damage was estimated at $100,000.

The tenants of the unit - a father, son and the father's brother - returned home when contacted about the fire. Their belongings were uninsured and they will be displaced while the apartment is renovated.

The American Red Cross was called in for immediate assistance, The apartment management company will provide another, empty apartment at the complex beginning in a few days. All of the family’s belongings and furnishings will need to be replaced.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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