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Federal Way apartment fire displaces 36 families

A firefighter was taken to the hospital for heat-related injuries.

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Firefighters rescued two people as a three-alarm fire tore through a Federal Way apartment building Wednesday afternoon.

One of those rescued was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries. A firefighter was also taken to the hospital for heat-related injuries, according to South King Fire.

A dog was also treated after being rescued.

The 911 call came in just before 4:30 p.m. for people trapped in one of the apartment units in the 35200 block of 21st Avenue SW.

Patricia Flores lives in the complex and was getting ready for work when she saw smoke and heard screams. 

“I got outside and saw smoke getting worse, then I heard our friend Jordan screaming for help and by the time I got to the other side his whole window was in flames,” said Flores.

People who live there quickly jumped into action. Lamour Burke rescued a woman trapped on her second-floor balcony.

“I ran over I could see her on the balcony frantically trying to go back in and I think to save her pets and I was screaming up to her do not go back in,” said Burke. 

“I was encouraging her to jump to me but she was afraid on the second floor so I guided her down and helped her make a soft landing and not get hurt,” said Burke.

Burke said the only thing he was thinking about was what he could do to help.

“It’s about being a part of the community. I live here and I would want someone to do the same for me. It’s about leading by example,” said Burke.

Neighbors now are stepping in to start a GoFundMe for those who lost everything.

“Being so close to them and seeing all the tears and the crying and the begging for help broke my heart. So anything I can do to help them,” said Flores.

Sixteen units were directly impacted, with residents from a total of 36 units that were deemed uninhabitable working with the Red Cross. 

The City of Federal Way is working with the Red Cross to open the community center in order to provide temporary shelter for 36 families who were displaced, according to South King Fire.

The fire appears to have started on the second floor and spread from there. However, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.  

WATCH: Aerials of Federal Way apartment fire

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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