At 6:15 a.m. today, Tacoma Firefighters responded to a reported commercial structure fire at an independent living facility at 1601 S. Union St.
Crews found heavy flames and smoke showing from a dining room facility next to the Life Manor independent living building on campus. Crews began an aggressive fire attack, and called a second alarm to bring in additional resources to assist with evacuating the occupants of the seven-story apartment.
Heavy smoke had traveled from the building of origin through an enclosed breezeway that connected the two buildings and required the first two floors of the independent living facility to be evacuated.
Initially, occupants on the upper four floors sheltered in place, but were evacuated once the smoke was removed. They have been moved to one of the facilities gymnasiums, where they are being reunited with family members or awaiting relocation to other area facilities.
Twelve occupants were transported to area hospitals as a result of the fire, and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation, although preliminary findings indicate that the fire appears to have been caused by an electrical malfunction in a room adjacent to the dining room.