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EVERETT, Wash. - One resident has died and 36 are now displaced following a two-alarm fire that torched an apartment complex in downtown Everett.
Fire crews arrived to1804 Hewitt Ave at 6:40 a.m. Sunday to find flames raging in the upper floors of the building.
Stephanie Dixon managed to escape the fire with her cat. She said people were running through the building, banging on doors, and shouting that there was a fire.
Another resident, David Hutch, saw someone try to use a fire extinguisher on the fourth-floor. The fire was out-of-control at that point, so they fled down the back stairs, he said.
After extinguishing the fire, a body was discovered by firefighters. The body is in custody of the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office and Everett police is not releasing the identity or sex of the deceased.
No other injuries were reported, and the American Red Cross is providing aid to least 36 residents who are unable to return to their units.
Once detectives finish processing the scene for evidence, the building will be turned over to its management team who will be allowed to escort residents in. However, residents are not allowed to stay in their apartments until repairs are made to ensure their safety.
The Hodges Building was condemned, and there had been structural problems prior to the fire, resident David Sours said.
"We were told by the owner not to worry about it, to go ahead and pay your rent for the month of December," he said.
A city spokeswoman later clarified the condemnation is unrelated to the fire, and that the building was condemned because of vertical shaft issues. Police also made clear that the condemnation of the building is separate from the fire and death investigation
Arson detectives are investigating the cause of fire and manner of death, which is standard procedure for a fatal fire.
Story provided by: komonews.com