NEW DETAILS: Apartment fire forces tenants to evacuate

Posted By: Veronica Ortega
vortega@klkntv.com

It was a scary night for residents of an apartment building near 19th and G Streets Sunday after they were forced to evacuate because of a fire.

Rebecca Ramirez, a tenant who lives on the third floor says her son smelled smoke.

“One we opened the door, the second floor was entirely smoke. We just had to evacuate quickly,” says Rebecca Ramirez. “I was just cautious about my kids getting out safe, getting the important things out of the house. All that stuff is replaceable, life is not.”

When crews arrived on scene around 9 p.m., they saw smoke coming from the inside. Officials say the fire started in a first floor bathroom and spread to the third floor bathroom.

They say the fire was contained to each of the bathrooms, but there’s heavy smoke damage throughout all six apartments.

“It’s bad enough that they won’t be able to stay. It’s not going to be a total loss by any means, but there’s significant damage,” says Battalion Chief Pat Borer.

Tenants were not allowed back inside Sunday night. Red Cross was on the scene to help relocate the families.

Officials say some repair work is to blame for the fire. Crews were using a fire torch to fuse copper piping together when the area around the pipes accidentally caught on fire.

The damage is estimated to be about 80,000 dollars.