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4 injured in jump from 2nd floor of burning Federal Way apartment building

Crews battle the fire at a Federal Way apartment building. (Photo credit: South King Fire Dist.)

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - At least four people were injured as they jumped from a second-story balcony Friday to escape a raging fire at a Federal Way apartment building.

Fire officials said the four are suffering from fractures to the arms and legs after making the leap.

The incident unfolded at about 6:30 a.m. Friday as flames swept through the apartment building in the 100 block of South 339th Circle in Federal Way.

It started in a ground floor apartment and spread into the outdoor staircase blocking the escape route for the family and one man in the other upstairs apartment - and the only way out was to jump from the balcony to the ground below.

"Yes, I had to jump from that place," said Moses Gitau. "I survived. I hope my neighbors recover because they got injuries, you know."

His neighbors were two parents and their two kids who also had to jump. All of them had broken legs, arms and back.

"So, it was scary for them," said downstairs neighbor Nora Tiai. "It was sad to see them having to jump off their balcony just to escape from the fire and make sure everyone was OK."

Tiai and her family were sleeping in the other downstairs apartment when there was frantic knocking at the door.

"When I looked through the peep hole, I could see flames coming from the neighbor's house and she's just yelling 'fire!' trying to warn everyone."

Tiai got out okay with her husband and his brother.

The elderly woman who lives in the apartment where it started was taken to the hospital to be checked, but she's now out and okay.

South King Fire & Rescue says the fire was started by food left cooking too long on her stove.

"I was just frightened," said Gitau. "First things first was to save myself and other things can come later. I was just sleeping and the first thing I woke up was smoke. I couldn't believe. I thought I was still sleeping or dreaming or something, but it was real."

The fact that the smoke alarm wasn't going off is alarming to fire crews.

"I just woke up," said Tiai. "I heard knocking on the door."

No smoke alarm going off either. The fire department wants to know why those detectors weren't sounding.

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