Firefighters douse flames at Kennewick apartment

Tri-City HeraldAugust 22, 2013 

— Kennewick firefighters are investigating an apartment fire on Olympia Street.

The fire broke out about 11 a.m. Thursday at 505 S. Olympia St. at the Central Park Apartments.

A Somali refugee family lived in the apartment where the fire apparently started.

Abdul Hassan shared the home with his mother and three sisters.

Hassan said he was cooking oil on stove when it started smoking. He said he turned on a fan to clear out the smoke. He thought the fire was out but when the smoke cleared he said the fire had spread to the bathroom. That's when he evacuated his family, he said.

Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Terpenning with the Kennewick Fire Department said the fire likely originated in the kitchen fan. He said it could have been caused when the motor heated up or from the build up of oil in the fan.

He said sometimes these things happen when grease builds up in the fan so people should check them regularly.

The family will be displaced since the roof is damaged.

Neighbors Henry and Teresa Lopez smelled the smoke and called 911. They recently moved into the apartment complex after their trailer burned on June 15 under suspicious circumstances, the couple said.

"We've been chased by fire lately," Henry Lopez said.

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