Renton firefighters met with the community Saturday morning to discuss a devastating apartment fire that displaced several families. The 4-alarm fire on July 19 tore through a complex and then triggered a brush fire.
Renton's fire chief says the fire at the Regency Woods Apartment Homes was a unique situation - a combination of strong winds and dry conditions turned a structure fire into a brush fire.
Two firefighters and two others were injured and since it happened, fire officials have been studying the fire to see if they can improve their response to this sort of incident and give some answers to the families that lost everything.
Firefighters say video and photos gathered the day of the incident showcase how fast the flames moved.
A nearby surveillance camera captured smoke rising from the corner of one building and then less than a minute later flames were shooting up the side of the entire unit. At the meeting, firefighters played radio traffic from dispatchers and firefighters on the scene paint a picture of how quickly the fire spread.
Eric Laney still remembers the call he got from his wife that day
I said what are you talking about, she said everything s gone, there s a fire I got out. I m OK, the cats are okay but everything we have is gone, said Laney
The family came to the meeting looking for answers
Fire Chief Mark Peterson said despite an exhaustive investigation they may never know the cause of the fire.
We have an idea but we can t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, he said.
It's frustrating news for Laney, but he says at this point they've got to move forward.
We re trying to piece things together, he said. We got a couch a bed, small things we got a place two days ago so we re just trying to keep it together.