At approximately 11:55 am on Monday a fire gutted an apartment unit at the Boulder Park apartment complex in University Place. Fire units from Lakewood, Tacoma and Gig Harbor responded to the scene. The unit involved was one of four apartments in a two story building. All four apartment units were occupied at the time.
The fire started in a second story apartment which quickly spread to the exterior deck area and into a portion of the attic space. The unit was a total loss and the adjoining second story apartment suffered some minor collateral damage. Firefighters kept the fire in check and confined to the building, managing to keep the fire from spreading to other nearby apartments. The fire was accidental and confirmed by investigators that combustibles had been too close or fallen on top of a baseboard heater behind the couch.
One of the tenants in the burned out apartment was treated and released at the scene and then later transported to an area hospital for smoke inhalation. All other tenants had evacuated safely prior to the fire department arrival. Two firefighters were rehabilitated at the scene and released back to duty for minor heat exhaustion.
The two lower units were not affected by fire damage however, the tenants will remain displaced until the power and other utilities can be repaired. The Complex was built in the mid 70’s and was not required to have an automatic fire sprinkler system installed. The Red Cross was on hand to help residents take care of food and lodging.
Damage to the building and contents is estimated at $150,000 dollars.
The unfortunate end to this story is that a fire sprinkler system would have saved this unit from total destruction and the rest of the residents would be home today.
Submitted by Asst. Chief Dave Dupille