One dead in Tukwila house fire


by KING 5 News

Posted on October 4, 2010 at 6:18 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 4 at 10:28 AM

Fatal Tukwila house fire

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TUKWILA, Wash. – The homeowner of a single-family home in Tukwila apparently died when the house caught fire early Monday morning.

Firefighters were called to the home at 5415 S. 150th Street, near Southcenter Mall, at about 4:20 a.m.

Firefighters were concerned there may have been several people in the home. Neighbors said the homeowner was known to have three or four people often staying in the house.

When fire units arrived on the scene flames racing through the home.

"Crews arrived to find the house over 50 percent fully involved," said Tukwila Fire Dept. Fire Marshal Don Tomaso.  At least three or four rooms were in flames. The fire had also gone up into the attic.

At first firefighters were able to search the basement area before having to back out due to the flames. They found no one there.

It took more than an hour to battle the fire.

The fire marshal says fire crews had been  to the house before.

Tomaso said the home was cluttered and had holes cut in the floor, possibly as a deterent for intruders. Tomaso said firefighters were aware of the holes.

"We've been here before at this house for aid calls and that," said Tomaso. "The crews know the gentleman who lives here. He's in his late 50s to early 60s."

At around 5:30 a.m. firefighters reported they had found one victim. They say it is a male in his 50s.

"The victim was located in the bedroom," Tomaso said. "He was found partially on the bed, partially on the floor."

People who live in the neighborhood say the homeowner is a Vietnam war veteran who has had numerous attempts to help him clean out debris.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.