Arson Cause of Fire at Auburn, Wash., Self-Storage Facility

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A four-alarm fire that ignited last week at Auburn Way Self-Storage in Auburn, Wash., was determined to be arson by the Valley Regional Fire Authority. Officials said someone intentionally lit the fire in a storage unit but declined to say the method or source, citing the ongoing investigation. No suspects have been arrested.

Between 70 and 80 units were damaged or destroyed, with just 20 vacant. The units were confined to just one of 11 buildings at the facility, which was not equipped with sprinklers. The building was constructed prior to sprinkler code requirements, officials said. No financial estimate of the damage was released.

The first firefighters on the scene tried to douse the flames by hacking their way into each storage unit, but the blaze quickly escalated from one to three alarms. A fourth alarm was added because of the need to rotate fire crews. Personnel from seven jurisdictions, including 11 fire engines and three ladder trucks, were on hand to put out the fire and assist other firefighters. One minor injury to a crewmember was reported.

Firefighters battled the blaze for more than nine hours.

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