Two women sustained minor injuries in a duplex fire that claimed the lives of a dog, two cats and a pet lizard south of Everett on Jan. 17.
The residents – a man and a woman -- called 9-1-1 to report the fire in the 11600 block of Admiralty Way around 8:35 p.m. “The couple went out to dinner with friends and returned to find their townhouse full of smoke,” said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for Snohomish County Fire District 1.
“The residents and their friends tried to enter the duplex to rescue their pets, but the smoke was too thick,” she said. Two boa constrictors were rescued by firefighters after the fire was extinguished.
The female resident and a female neighbor were transported to Swedish/Edmonds Hospital for treatment of minor injuries related to the fire.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire. Fire damage was contained to the kitchen, but there was heavy smoke damage throughout the townhouse. The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s office estimates the loss at $80,000 and determined the fire was started by a pot of food that had been left cooking on the stovetop.
The fire and smoke damage left the townhouse uninhabitable. The Red Cross is assisting the residents.
The neighboring unit in the duplex was not damaged.
Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Fire District 1 offers these tips to avoid cooking fires:
* Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.
* If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
* If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
* Be on alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
* Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.