At approximately 4:15 this morning University Place Fire Department responded to an apartment fire at 5614 Hanna Pierce road, Meadow Park Garden Apartments. Upon arrival of the Battalion Chief, flames were visible from the roof above a second story end apartment. As the building was burning occupants were being evacuated by University Place Police and other tenants of the complex. All tenants were eventually evacuated safely including two puppies discovered by firefighters during their primary search of the units below the fire.
Initially at the scene were units from University Place and Lakewood FD, a second alarm was called in at 4:25am for additional help from Tacoma and Gig Harbor Fire Departments.
The building has twelve units, two upper units were completely destroyed and two lower units have significant fire and water damage. The remaining eight units have varying degrees of smoke and water damage. Seventeen tenants are displaced and the Red Cross was on scene to handle temporary housing.
At one point approximately 35 fire personnel were involved with getting the fire under control.
The buildings in the complex were built in the 70’s and at the time there was no fire sprinkler system requirement. Had the building been protected with an automatic fire sprinkler system the outcome could have been significantly mitigated.
The fire appears to have started on an outside back deck. Investigators from University Place Fire and Pierce County Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating.