Fire destroys two area homes

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East Pierce Fire and Rescue crews responded to a house fire early Sunday morning on the 25000 block of 159th Street near Wilkeson. No one was injured in the blaze that caused an estimated $300,000 in damage to the house and its contents.

Initial reports suggest improperly disposed cigarette butts caused the fire. Investigators believed front porch flower boxes were being used as ashtrays and the peat moss in the boxes may have ignited, setting the front porch a blaze. When fire crews arrived, the fire had engulfed the siding and burned into the attic.

House sitters staying at the home called 9-1-1. The homeowners were out of the country at the time of the fire. Fire District No. 18, outside of Orting, also responded to the fire.

In other East Pierce news, crews were called to an apartment fire early Saturday morning on 183rd Avenue between 58th and 56th streets. Neighbors called 9-1-1 after hearing the smoke alarm in a nearby unit. Fire crews arrived in time to save the occupant from the smoke-filled apartment. He was transporting him to the hospital for further treatment. Fire officials determined a pot left on the stove started the fire. No other units were damage.

State Route 162 East was closed for about two hours during rush hour Friday as fire crews from East Pierce, Orting, Puyallup, Graham, Central Pierce and District 18 battled a two-alarm fire on the 14000 block of state Route 162 East. The four-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot home was destroyed in the blaze that could be seen throughout the valley.

According to fire officials, the homeowner was at the residence with three dogs when the fire started. A smoke detector alerted him to the fire. When he investigated, flames were climbing the north exterior wall of the home.

One of the dogs was injured and the blaze remains under investigation.

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