Tacoma family shaken by Christmas Eve house fire

Staff writerDecember 24, 2013 

Three adults and four kids, ages 5 through 13, escaped from a house fire Tuesday afternoon in central Tacoma. So did the family pets -- two dogs, and a python named Trouble.

Anjanette Reeder, who lived in the house, said she was preparing to "do some last minute stuff for Christmas" when her daughter ran up to her and shouted, "Mom, we've gotta go!"

Reeder, who lived in the house with her daughter and brother, said the fire appeared to have started in the garage.

"When we came out, there was black smoke everywhere," she said.

Reeder said everyone -- including other children and adults who were visiting when the fire broke out -- escaped safely.

Once outside, the family's two dogs were herded into a car while more than 20 Tacoma firefighters worked to douse the flames and ventilate smoke through the roof of the single-story rental home.

But Reeder waited and worried about her pet python. She was certain the reptile had perished in its terrarium, which remained inside the house.

But eventually a firefighter emerged from the home with Trouble's terrarium in tow. Reeder reached in and grabbed the snake and seemed happy and relieved when it moved. A neighbor offered to take Trouble to her house.

Tacoma Fire Department spokesman Joe Meinecke said the fire, in a house near the intersection of South 25th and South State streets, was reported about 12:45 p.m. He described the interior of the house as "heavily damaged," and said damage to the building and contents were estimated at $116,000.

He said a fire investigator determined that the cause of the blaze was a child with a lighter who ignited combustible material.

He said the fire department would contact the Red Cross for relocation help for the family.

 

 

 

The News Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service