Kennewick homes, cars threatened by blazing tree fire

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Kennewick homes, cars threatened by blazing tree fire

April 10, 2022 12:46 PM

Posted: April 10, 2022 12:46 PM

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Flames threatened to spread from shrubs and trees to houses on a residential block in the Tri-Cities area on Saturday afternoon, drawing emergency responders from across the city and county.

Reports confirmed by the Kennewick Fire Department and Kennewick Police Department say that fire crews were dispatched to the 4500 block of W Metaline Ave around 3:15 pm on Saturday, April 9. However, KFD fire crews aided by Richland Fire & Emergency Services, and Benton County Fire District No. 1 found the primary location to be 4514 W. Klamath Ave.

As crews arrived, it was reported that the flames threatened to spread across several homes. That’s when firefighters spotted 14-foot high arborvitaes that caught fire and threatened several surrounding homes.

Kennewick police officers also responded to the scene, reporting that they spotted several cars on fire in the surrounding area. They assisted by evacuating people from the area to give firefighters a clear space to combat the spread of these flames.

Their first point of emphasis was to attack the arborvitaes; focusing their attention on the fuel that threatened to spread across the Kennewick homes. As backup arrived, additional firefighting resources were directed to protect a shop at 4503 W. Metaline Ave and extinguish vehicle fires nearby.

Within 22 minutes of arriving, fire crews successfully brought the flames under control with only exterior fire damage to two homes on W Klamath Avenue, along with damage to several vehicles and trees. However, no one was injured as a result of the fire thanks to quick efforts from first responders across Kennewick.

Investigators from the KFD found that a fire pit was burning at one of the homes located on Klamath Ave earlier in the day. Embers from the pit spread onto the arborvitaes and ignited them, which quickly spread to nearby structures and items.

One person suffered from a bit of smoke inhalation while attempting to combat the fire before crews arrived, but they were treated by paramedics at the scene and released without needing to visit a hospital.

Kennewick fire officials want to use this incident to remind community members not to use fire pits on windy days because of risks like this. They also recommend checking out the Benton Clean Air Agency’s rules before proceeding.

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