Five people narrowly escaped a raging two-alarm house fire and explosion at a residence in the 700 block of 4th Street in Aberdeen Wednesday morning.
The fire gutted the two-story residence and its basement, and two people were taken to Grays Harbor Community Hospital for treatment of injuries they sustained jumping from a third-floor window.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, but a neighbor across the street said she called 911 to report it when she saw flames and smoke shortly before noon.
“There were four kids and a mom,” the woman said of the people who escaped the blaze, which was believed to have started in the basement.
One of the females inside jumped out the window just as an explosion could be heard inside, said the witness who asked that her name not be used.
“I was standing on my porch, and the next thing I saw the girl jump out the window, and the next moment an explosion at the same time,” the witness said. “And then someone else jumped out and the rest came out the front door.”
Another witness estimated the two who jumped survived a 9- to 10-foot drop.
The first arriving fire engine company, which was dispatched at 11:44 a.m., reported a female victim lying next to the structure and another male victim walking around her, according to a news release. At the time, smoke and flames were venting from the first-floor window, threatening a nearby home.
The effort to fight the blaze included a command unit, three engine companies, three medic units, the fire chief and assistant fire chief, along with mutual aid engine companies from Hoquiam and Cosmopolis.
Firefighters arriving on the scene had just left another fire at a residence in the 1600 block of West 6th Street. Four off-duty Aberdeen firefighters already had been called in for duty because of that first fire, and responding units to the first fire were quickly able to respond to the blaze on 4th, the department news release said.
The first fire caused about $35,000 in damages to the structure, and about $80,000 in smoke damage, the department estimated. The owner and her small child were able to escape the residence prior to the arrival of firefighters, who found the blaze in the basement of the home.
Two Aberdeen firefighters sustained minor injuries while battling the second blaze.
It was not known how long the residents had been living there or the extent of injuries to the two victims who were hospitalized. The Red Cross is providing assistance to the family.
The house is assessed at $59,000 and is considered a total loss, the fire department said. The cause is under investigation.
Also rescued was a dog that reportedly was able to escape the 4th Street blaze.