RICHLAND — A maintenance job on a Richland condominium got a lot bigger after a fire broke out Thursday inside the walls of two units.
The fire remains under investigation but is believed to have been accidentally started by a maintenance man working on an outside wall, said Richland fire Capt. Dean Reents.
Fire crews were dispatched to 503 Wright Ave. at 10:30 a.m. Thursday and found smoke billowing out of the building's roof when they arrived, Reents said.
The building is a five-plex, and the fire was between the walls of two units. It extended up through the second floor of both units and into the attic.
About 25 to 30 firefighters from Richland, Kennewick, Pasco and Hanford fire departments and Benton fire districts 1 and 4 responded to the blaze.
Crews had to tear open the walls and ceilings of two units and cut holes in the roof to extinguish the fire, Reents said.
"The biggest challenge was just getting access to the fire," he said. "Once we got it opened up and access to it, we were able to put it out."
Firefighters were at the scene for about three hours.
One resident was home when the fire started, but police were able to help get her out safely before firefighters arrived.
It's not clear how many people were displaced by the fire, but they are being helped by the Red Cross, Reents said.
Two units were heavily damaged. Another unit likely has smoke damage, he said. Power had been shut off to the entire building.
No injuries were reported other than the maintenance worker suffered a small burn on his hand. He was treated at the scene.