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Lone occupant rescued from apartment fire
MARYSVILLE — The cause of an apartment fire on the morning of Friday, Feb. 7, appears likely to have been a lit cigarette on a sofa.
A 911 call was placed at 10:22 a.m. after a passerby either saw smoke or heard a fire alarm from one of the upper-floor apartments at 1350 Cedar Ave., according to Assistant Fire Marshal David VanBeek, who reported that fire crews had arrived on the scene by 10:26 a.m.
"A police officer actually got there first, and was trying to get into the apartment by the time our first fire unit arrived," VanBeek said. "One of our fire officers got the door open, at which point a light white smoke started coming out, and he could hear someone inside, so he went in without an air-pack and dragged the person outside."
VanBeek explained that the apartment's occupant was an elderly male who lives by himself, and who was "dazed and incoherent" when he was found. Because the Marysville fire officer who rescued the man had also inhaled some of the same smoke inside the apartment, both he and the elderly male were sent to the Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett.
"With the fire officer, it was primarily a precautionary measure, since he didn't seem much affected," VanBeek said. "It wasn't really much of a fire. The sofa was smoldering, and there were a lot of cigarette butts around it, so I suspect it was due to some smoking material. Our firefighters pitched the sofa out the back window of the apartment."
The fire was extinguished by 10:38 a.m., and VanBeek emphasized how fortunate everyone involved was, under the circumstances.
"It could have been a lot worse," VanBeek said. "Without that passerby, the occupant could have gone unconscious, or even died."