Two people died and two were hospitalized after a fire ripped through The Chimneys condominium building in Bellevue, WA on Monday night. The three-story, 20-unit building, located blocks south of Bellevue Square on 100th Avenue Northeast, did not have a sprinkler system.
The fire broke out around 8 p.m. on Monday and spread quickly. Flames in the stairwells blocked escape routes for residents, some of whom were rescued when firefighters broke through their windows to take them to safety.
Lynn Calvo, 76, told KIRO 7 that she was inside her second-floor condo when she heard a strange sound, looked out the peephole of her door and saw smoke and flames. She ran to her deck and saw smoke and flames there, too. She called 911 and the dispatcher told her to stay on the phone and that firefighters were on the way. Minutes later, they broke down the door, picked her up and rushed her outside. She was treated for smoke inhalation and released from Overlake Medical Center.
Christo Fournakakis sustained burns to his arms and legs and remains hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center.
The two other victims were alive but in cardiac arrest when firefighters rescued them. They were admitted to Harborview where they later died. Their names have not been released.
Investigators believe the fire started on a patio outside a first-floor unit and spread up the outside of the building. They have not yet determined how the fire started.