LYNNWOOD, Wash. – Dozens of people are homeless after a multiple-alarm fire damaged or destroyed 30 units at an apartment building Monday afternoon.
Flames and heavy smoke poured from the wood facade of the building at 5823 200th Street starting at about 4:30 p.m. Firefighters took a defensive stance in battling the blaze. They had some difficulty because of the old building's construction.
By 11 p.m., firefighters were still pouring water on the building.
There are 66 units in the building and more than 30 were involved. Lynnwood Police believe the fire started with a faulty French fry fryer on the first floor.
Resident Ryan McDowell said the alarm sounded and he went outside to see if it was a false alarm.
"There was a whole bunch of smoke and within a matter of 10 minutes the whole place was engulfed in flames and the fire spread really fast," he said.
"It was so fast," said resident Nancy Garcia, "it all happened so fast."
The building was safely evacuated.
The Lynnwood Fire Department says at least three dozen families have been affected by the fire. The Red Cross has set up a temporary shelter at Trinity Lutheran Church, at 6215 196th Street Southwest, in Lynnwood.
There are no reports of injuries. Damage is estimated at $3 million.