Morning home fire ends quiet weekend

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The long Thanksgiving holiday weekend ended with a stubborn house fire in Prairie Ridge early Monday morning.

The single-family residence, in the 13000 block of Cedar Court East, was fully involved in flames when firefighters arrived.

“It was an extremely difficult fire to fight,” East Pierce Fire and Rescue Chief Dan Packer said.

What appeared to be a two-story wood home was actually a mobile home with wood exterior and false ceilings. The fire was trapped between metal walls within the wood walls and a metal roof under the wood roof.

More than 25 firefighters from Buckley, East Pierce, the Tri-District, Sumner and Puyallup battled the blaze.

The sole occupant, who was asleep when the fire started, escaped without injury. She told firefighters that she awoke to the sound of the fire, not a smoke alarm. Although there was a single smoke alarm on the ground floor, there was no unit in or near the second-floor bedroom where the occupant was sleeping. It was not clear if the ground floor smoke alarm was working at the time.

Packer said the home was a substantial, if not total, loss.

The Red Cross and the East Pierce chaplain secured housing for the woman.

Until the Monday morning fire, the Thanksgiving weekend had been mostly quiet for area fire and emergency crews.

“We've been busy, but not with anything out of the ordinary,” East Pierce firefighter and paramedic Jeff Moore said.

Most of the calls received last weekend were for motor vehicle accidents. The sunny weather and warmer temperatures on Sunday inspired a number of residents to decorate their exterior of their homes for the holidays. As a result, emergency crews responded to calls for several homeowners who fell from ladders while hanging lights. The majority of the falls resulted in fractures, but one critically injured patient was transported to the trauma center at Harborview Medical Center.

East Pierce crews reported a typical upsurge in domestic violence and drug-related calls over the weekend. The day after Thanksgiving, there are also a number of calls to assist people with psychiatric problems.

“The holidays can be a stressful time for some people,” Moore said.

Captain Mike Shiner said the department tends to see an increase in cardiac arrest patients during Thanksgiving and Christmas. He said they often see an increase in these types of calls because older adults leave their familiar surroundings to visit the homes of families and friends.

As the holidays progress, firefighters expect to see more fires related to Christmas trees. They ask that all residents make sure to keep trees well watered and away from potential heat sources.

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