Sprinkler limits damage from Lynnwood-area apartment fire Thursday

A fire at a mid-rise apartment building north of Lynnwood Thursday caused minimal damage, thanks to the sprinkler system that kept the flames in check until firefighters arrived.

South County Fire crews were dispatched at 11:36 a.m. for alarms sounding and smoke inside an apartment on the third floor of a six-story apartment building in the 15900 block of Ash Way. All residents safely evacuated. Sprinklers kept the flames under control and contained to one bedroom. Firefighters made sure the fire was completely extinguished, then cleared smoke and water from the apartment.

“This is an excellent example of how sprinklers can reduce property damage from fires and save lives. The sprinkler system reacted so quickly, it dramatically reduced the heat, flames and smoke,” said Leslie Hynes, South County Fire public information officer.

The apartment where the fire started and the apartment directly below have water damage. Two families of four are displaced and receiving assistance from Red Cross.

The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office investigated and determined the fire was started by the failure of a lithium battery in a vape pen.

Lithium batteries are also used to supply power to many other types of devices including smart phones, laptops and scooters. The National Fire Protection Association provides these tips for safe use of lithium batteries:

  • Purchase and use devices that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Only use the battery that is designed for the device.
  • Put batteries in the device the right way.
  • Only use the charging cord that came with the device.
  • Do not charge a device under your pillow, on your bed or on a couch.
  • Keep batteries at room temperature.
  • Do not place batteries in direct sunlight or keep them in hot vehicles.
  • Store batteries away from anything that can catch fire.

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