A house fire killed an elderly Auburn woman early Friday morning in the 1200 block of 24th Street Southeast.
The fire, reported by a neighbor at 3:48 a.m., also killed two and possibly four cats.
Valley Regional Fire Authority Battalion Chief Kevin Olson said he expected investigators to be on scene throughout Friday, sifting the charred remnants to determine the cause.
“We have some preliminary idea of where it started, but the extent of damage is overwhelming,” said Olson. “It will be very challenging to determine what caused this fire, but they’ll be out here all day to nail it down.”
The 1,500-square-foot rambler at 1210 24th St. S.E., built in 1959, is a total loss. The Auburn Reporter is withholding the woman’s name pending notification of relatives.
“Not all of the relatives have been notified, but some have,” said VRFA Spokeswoman Kimberly McDonald.
Olson said firefighters from Station 32 arrived at the site within four minutes to find heavy fire involvement on the rear of the structure and the fire self-venting through several windows and a sliding glass door.
Firefighters had a good report that an elderly resident lived at the home. The neighbor who spotted the fire called 911 and pounded on the windows of the burning house to rouse the woman, apparently without success.
“The fire was challenging because it had already made its way into the attic,” Olson said. “Once we started to have a partial ceiling collapse in the back of the structure, the crew pulled out. We transitioned to the back of the house and made a defensive fire attack to knock the fire down so we could safely reenter. After about 15 minutes, we transitioned back inside to try and locate the resident, and we found her shortly after that in the kitchen.”
Firefighters needed about 30 minutes to get the fire under control.
Fifteen firefighters in three engines, a ladder truck and an aid unit responded to the scene. King County Medic One and Seatac Fire Explorers provided rehabilitation services to firefighters, and South King Fire and Rescue provided mutual aid.
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