Investigators have not yet confirmed what started a fire this week that burned several units at a West Kennewick Avenue apartment complex.
The fire Tuesday displaced more than a dozen residents and destroyed at least three apartments in the 14-unit complex, fire officials said. It started in a bottom floor apartment and spread into other units.
A fourth apartment was damaged mostly by smoke.
Kennewick police are helping fire officials determine what sparked the two-alarm blaze. Fire officials have photographed the scene and pored through debris.
Investigators may be able to release a cause by next week.
“We just don’t have enough yet to give us a clear enough picture to call it one way or the other,” said Brian Ellis, Kennewick fire inspector.
Donna Robinson came home Tuesday and discovered smoke coming from her bottom-floor apartment, she said. The fire, which officials say caused between $200,000 and $300,000 in damage, destroyed everything in the apartment.
Robinson lived in the complex with her two grandsons. Her daughter, Erica Peoples, a single mother of two, also lived in the building and lost everything, according to a GoFundMe account set up for the family.
The Tri-Cities chapter of the American Red Cross stepped in to help those left homeless.
Robinson has been staying at hotel for the past couple of days and plans on moving into a house soon, she said. She told the Herald her family has faith in God that they will get back on their feet.
“The memories are still (at the apartment),” she said. “We just don’t have the physical stuff. The main thing is that everyone is OK.”
The family is need of clothes for the four children, furniture and other donations, the website said.
To donate to the family go to http://bit.ly/peoplesfundme.