Eastside firefighters responded to a three-alarm fire in Redmond that devastated the Toketi Lakeshore Condominiums on West Lake Sammamish Parkway Monday night.
Firefighters safely evacuated all residents and nobody was harmed, according to Capt. Gary Anderson, who was the acting battalion chief who responded to the fire. The fire rapidly grew, shooting flames above the roof of the three-story building, and investigations into the cause are still ongoing.
The fire raged from around 11 p.m. and into Tuesday morning before firefighters safely snuffed it and investigated the scorched building. Three cats were found dead.
The fire displaced between 20 and 30 residents as eight condo units sustained moderate to heavy damage and eight more sustained lesser smoke and water damage. Anderson said firefighters completed their investigative field work and the building was handed back over to the owner, but the entire building remains unlivable because utilities are cut off.
Rajiv Kapoor, who said his unit was destroyed from water to control the blaze, was in Tacoma when he learned about the incident.
“We got a call from our security alarm company, saying that somebody’s gone into your unit and they’re also upstairs because the motion detector went off, so there’s a burglary or something,” he said. “We called our neighbor and they said, ‘Well, actually there’s the fire department inside because this place is in flames.’”
They rushed back to Redmond to find about 10 fire trucks from Redmond, Bellevue and other communities on the scene.
“Luckily, thank God, everybody’s safe,” said Kapoor, who added that the firefighters did a good job getting the blaze quickly under control.
Fire containment operations affected another building to the east, which temporarily displaced 50-70 more residents as Puget Sound Energy cut power to the entire complex.
The fire did not directly impact the other building and residents were able to return home after fire units cleared out and power was safely restored, Anderson said.
Redmond fire inspectors estimate the total damages to cost more than $1 million after an evaluation of the building and each condo unit.
The fire was upgraded to a three-alarm incident because multiple units were called in after the first alarm, Anderson said. Firefighters from Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland, Eastside Fire and Rescue and Woodinville cycled out with first-alarm responders who had been containing the fire for more than an hour.
“It allows for them to take a Gatorade break, get their blood pressure checked and get some nourishment to refuel (their) engine,” Anderson said.
Editor Andy Nystrom contributed to this report.