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Renton, Washington – One Person Found Dead Following Brush Fire in a Homeless Camp

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Posted on August 28, 2019

Renton, Washington (August 27, 2019) – One person was found dead in a brush fire in a homeless camp at the 2700 block of Oakesdale Avenue Southwest on Tuesday afternoon. The victim’s identity and cause of death is yet to be confirmed by the Medical Examiner, and it is unknown if the death was due to the fire.

Crews from the Renton Fire Department were dispatched to the scene around 5 p.m. The fire was said to cover a relatively small area of 40 by 30 feet, but firefighters still had difficult gaining access to the location. The body was found shortly after the fire was extinguished by crews. Investigation is ongoing.

About Fire

We offer our sympathies and compassion for the friends and loved ones of the victim. While it is not yet known if the fire is connected to the victim’s death, it is important to keep in mind brush fires are very dangerous. Washington counts as the 5th state most prone to wildfire from 2017 wildfire risk analysis, and ranks 8th in a 2018 study by number of fires that happened. The US Fire Administration has recorded 15 home fire fatalities this year within Washington, showing the destruction fire is capable of doing. Even within city areas, one must be wary of fires that can happen near residential areas.

If your home is near an area with risk of brush fire, there are few safety reminders to keep in mind. Homeowners are urged to complete their spring cleaning, and to create a defensible space around the home by clearing trees and brush. Additionally, the limbs of trees should be cut to at least 15 feet off the ground. Any object that send out fires should be handled with absolute care. Common objects such as lit matches and cigarette butts can also easily cause a fire within dry brush. Should fire be used in an outdoor space, one must assess the surroundings to make sure fire would not have a possibility to spread out. While the fire is burning, it is imperative that it must be attended to and ensure that the blaze does not go out of control. Finally, before leaving an area where fire was used, one must ensure that any fires must be extinguished completely. Preventing brush fires from happening is everyone’s responsibility, and careful use of fire can ensure the safety of not only one’s self, but hundreds of others.

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