BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Four apartments were heavily damaged by fire Monday afternoon, forcing an entire building of tenants to find homes for the night, authorities said.
Smoke was first reported at the Sunset Pond Apartments just after 1 p.m. Witnesses saw smoke pouring from the third story attic and bits of the roof falling down.
“It kind of happened in slow motion,” said Kashia Demerit, “Then you hear sirens and people yelling and the smell of smoke. It was crazy.”
Demerit lives in the burned building two floors below the apartment where the fire is believed to have started. She escaped with her six-month old child.
“I just knew we had to get out of there,” said Demerit.
Neighbor Tony Zapien was not as lucky. His third floor apartment appeared almost completely destroyed. The roof had caved in and he could see the sky through his front door.
Zapien did however receive good news. His cat survived the fire.
“I can’t believe it,” said Zapien, “She was in there the whole time.”
Zapien's cat “Kiki” had been hiding underneath his bed and escaped unharmed.
Bellingham Fire said no one was injured in the fire. A cause was still being investigated Monday night, but witnesses believed it started on a deck.
The Red Cross was helping the twelve tenants find shelter and food for the evening.