Two-alarm fire at Kent warehouse injures one


by OWEN LEI / KING 5 News

Posted on December 30, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 30 at 11:59 PM

KENT, Wash. -- A man suffered several burns on his body during a two-alarm fire at a warehouse Friday evening.

The fire started around 5:15 p.m. at the Washington Tarp Company, located at 8618 South 228th Street near downtown Kent.

"We thought they sounded really close," said witness Tony Reavis, about the sirens, "So we walked out side to see al the fire trucks and cop cars already."

The man who was injured in the fire was transported to Harborview Medical Center.

According to Kent firefighters, a female coworker was in the building at the time of the fire and pulled the man to safety, even putting out flames that were on his body.

Kent Fire Captain Kyle Ohashi said the woman did an extraordinary job of rescuing her colleague.

"She was quick enough to see what was going on, and had the presence of mind to get him outside, extinguish the flames, and if not anything else, save him from much more serious burns," he said.

The company manufactures plastic canopies and coverings.

Firefighters reported they had the fire under control by 6:30 p.m.  Because of concerns the fire might spread to other businesses, they had called for a second alarm, but were able to waive off the additional units as they got a hold on the fire.  

Late Friday, Capt. Ohashi released the cause of the fire, saying it was a spark that ignited gasoline fumes while someone was pumping out a vehicle's fuel tank inside the building.

The fire ended up mostly contained to the concrete one-story building, and witnesses were quick to praise the woman who pulled her colleague to safety.

"It's very heroic, I mean putting your own life in danger to help someone like that," said Reavis, "You know, I look up to people like that."