Families survey damage, loss after fire displaces 100, kills 1

EVERETT, Wash. -- Firefighters are still mopping up hot spots at the Bluffs on Evergreen apartments.

An entire building burst into flames on New Year’s Eve. The fire killed 1 person and sent 15 more to the hospital.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation; officials said they got a call to 911 from a resident who told them a mattress caught fire.

The entire building is a total loss and more than 100 people have been forced out of their homes.

Families were allowed to enter only a handful of apartments. People were sorting and bagging whatever they could from the ashes.

“It’s scary to think of especially to see the building has collapsed and everything,” said Anthony Dina who spent Friday looking to connect with a close friend. He worries his buddy might be recovering in a hospital.

“All I can do right now is pray,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll get phone call soon.”

On Friday officials located the body of a resident inside a second floor apartment where the fire likely started. So far firefighters aren’t calling the blaze suspicious.

Flames leaped into the sky after 7pm on New Year’s Eve. Officials said the building did not have sprinklers and the fire spread quickly through the attic. Some neighbors were forced to jump off of balconies to safety.

John Guihan with the Snohomish County Crime and Community Facebook page sent out an alert to help displaced families – and by Friday morning, an entire room overflowed with donations.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “Snohomish County comes together for families in need.”

But for those who have lost everything they own, many are praying their neighbors can somehow overcome the tragedy.

The Red Cross will keep open a shelter for displaced neighbors who need a meal or a place to sleep.