Kids playing outside likely cause for Renton wildfire

RENTON, Wash. -- Residents at the Sunset Pointe Apartments are thankful that a brush fire outside their complex didn't leave them homeless.

Renton firefighters were called to the complex about 5 p.m. Saturday after reports of flames in the front lawn. Neighbors sprung into action to help fight fire that was quickly spreading.

Christopher Wright watched the flames move towards the building, and didn't hesitate to help put the fire out. Wright ran down to find a fire extinguisher so he could help his community. Other neighbors couldn't help but think if their home was going to be lost.

Terry Stone was one of those residents who feared the worst.

"I watched the fire come right up the hill," said Stone. "I thought my house was going to burn down."

The fire blew a transformer in the neighborhood, but many people we spoke with felt it was a small price to pay considering things could have been much worse.

"A lot of people don’t even have an alarm system, so we had no idea it was on fire," said Wright.  The apartment complex doesn't have sprinklers, according to Renton Fire.

"This apartment, in particular, does not have sprinklers and would’ve moved quickly up the side of the building and on the roof," said Deputy Fire Chief Chuck DeSmith. "The cement proved to be a lifeline for firefighters, as it helped crews contain the flames."

Renton Fire said the hot and dry brush could have caught the building on fire.

From his balcony, Christopher Wright told Q13 that he could see kids running from the bushes, and another neighbor, Terry Stone, suggested the kids were playing with fireworks. The consensus around the community was that kids often like to set things on fire in the  lawn.

Today's fire is a good reminder to keep vegetation trimmed and away from any structures. Firefighters encourage parents to teach their kids about fire safety, and the dangers associated with fireworks.

Officials with the Renton Fire Department aren't placing the blame on the kids just yet, but tell us the investigation is ongoing.