Two fires keep crews busy in Yakima Sunday morning

Firefighters responded around 3:30 a.m. to a report of smoke on the second floor of the Cascade Apartments, located on the 20 block of East A Street.

When firefighters arrived, they found occupants evacuating and smoke in the stairwells leading to the second floors.  Officers from the Yakima Police Department assisted with evacuation.

There were no injuries.

It was determined that the fire was intentionally set by an occupant of a room on the second floor. It was reported to investigators that an occupant suffering from mental health issues was involved in the fire and has not been seen since the evacuation.

Damage is estimated at $500 to $1,000.

Then, as firefighters were clearing the previous fire, they were called again to the 1100 block of Garfield Avenue to a report of a structure fire just before 5 a.m.

When firefighters arrived, they found a heavy involved fire at a 15'x 30' structure that was initially thought to be storage units. It was soon determined that it was a living space and neighbors reported that occupants should be inside, one being wheelchair bound.

Downed power lines prevented firefighters from gaining access to various parts of the structure.  A utility crew was called to disconnect power to the building.

A bystander, who was later determined to be one of the occupants was acting erratically and taken into Police custody. The second occupant was reportedly taken to an adult care.

There were no injuries.  Investigators were unable to determine if there were working smoke detectors in the unit due to the extent of damage.
The cause is under investigation, but is suspicious in nature. The occupant is under investigaon.

The structure suffered significant damage and is probably a total loss.  Loss is estimated at $35,000.