One person was found dead in a fire at a Bremerton condominium complex overlooking Oyster Bay on Tuesday afternoon, one firefighter was taken to the hospital after being injured at the scene and three police officers were evaluated for smoke inhalation.
The blaze at Southridge Condominiums, 923 Pershing Ave., drew a massive, two-alarm response from local fire agencies when it was reported shortly after 11 a.m.
The fire in the 11-unit building started in a unit overlooking the water, said Bremerton Fire Marshal Mike Six, but five other neighboring units were also blocked off. He did not know the extent of damage to those units but said they were uninhabitable.
The Kitsap County Coroner’s Office is working to identify the deceased person, Coroner Jeff Wallis said, a process that may not be completed until early next week.
Firefighters from the Bremerton Fire Department, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, South Kitsap Fire and Rescue and Navy Region Northwest responded to the blaze at the complex off Kitsap Way.
Six said a battalion chief from Central Kitsap was injured and was taken to the hospital. He was not sure of the firefighter’s injuries but believed they were not life-threatening.
Three Bremerton police officers searching for residents in the non-involved end of the building were evaluated for smoke inhalation, Six said.
The position of the building on the slope above the water made battling the blaze a challenge for firefighters, Six said Tuesday evening as he began the investigation into the cause.
He described the unit as having large picture windows, which posed another challenge for investigators trying to determine the cause of the fire. When the window glass breaks it lets in oxygen which increases the heat and speed of the fire.
“It was really hot and really fast, and it kind of burns away the burn patterns, makes them a little more difficult to see,” Six said. “The patterns are still there, it’s just more difficult to get to them.”