BREMERTON – Firefighters responded to an explosion and fire at a Manette apartment complex overnight Tuesday.
Reports of a blaze came in around 1:17 a.m. according to emergency scanner records. The Bremerton Fire Department, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue and at least one firefighting unit from the Navy shipyard responded to the scene at the Thunderbird Apartments at 1142 Wheaton Way.
“You could see the fire as we were coming over the Manette bridge,” BFD Capt. Mike Six said. “It was moving up from the first floor to the top floor.”
At least eight apartments were damaged in the blaze, whose cause was being investigated Tuesday. Puget Sound Energy was on scene Tuesday morning, but had left as of around 9:30 a.m., Six said.
Six, a fire marshal, was reluctant to draw any conclusions as to the cause of the fire before a full investigation was completed.
“I hesitate to say that it was electrical, but boy it seems that way,” he told the Kitsap Sun.
A few people were transported to the hospital with nonserious injuries, Six said.
He mentioned the efforts of one apartment resident, who pulled the fire alarm and went unit-to-unit banging on doors to wake residents up, which probably saved lives.
Residents whose apartments were damaged were taken to a nearby hotel, BFD said.
Firefighters have been stretched thin in recent days, responding to downed power lines and other emergencies caused by a record snowfall in Bremerton and throughout Kitsap County. Six had been working for over 24 hours, he said, and recently-appointed BFD Chief Pat McGanney was responding to calls himself.
Gabe Stutman is a reporter with the Kitsap News Group. Follow him on Twitter @kitsapgabe.