06/14/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley
Seattle, WA—Saturday marked one of Seattle’s deadliest fires in almost four decades when an apartment building caught fire, killing four children and a young woman. The fire ignited in a living area on the first floor of the two-story Fremont apartment building at 334 N.W. 41st St., around 10:04 a.m., as reported by the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
The massive fire killed Eyerusalem Gebregiorgis, 22; her two nieces, Nisreen Shamam, 6, and Nyella Smith, 7; and her two nephews, 13-year-old Joseph Gebregiorgis and 5-year-old Yaseen Shamam. Fire officials found them huddled together in the second-floor bathroom of apartment unit.
Officials have not determined the cause of the fire or if foul play was involved.
At around 10:09 a.m., Engine 18 arrived at the scene but was unable to pump water onto the fire because of a transmission problem. Two minutes later, another fire engine arrived to help battle the flames and heavy black smoke. Officials are trying to determine what caused the malfunction on the engine.
Fire Chief Gregory Dean said, “The fire started on the first floor in the living quarters and it proceeded upstairs to the second floor.”
Dean acknowledged that they had problems with one of the engine at the scene; but he contends even if everything gone 100 percent perfectly, he doubts they would have been able to save the aunt and four nieces and nephews.
Two women, a man, and a 5-year-old girl were transported to Harborview Medical Center for treatment. A firefighter was also taken to Harborview for treatment of a minor back injury.
Seattle Police Arson/Bomb Squad members were involved in the investigation, which is a standard procedure in all fatality fires.
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