Man pulled from burning Tacoma house, taken to hospital

A man was taken to the hospital with serious injuries Tuesday after firefighters rescued him from a burning house in Tacoma.

The two-story home near East 61st and M streets had been converted into six apartments, and five people were inside when the fire was reported just after 4 p.m., Tacoma Fire Battalion Chief Dave McRoberts said.

“It was frightening,” said Frank Gandy, who identified himself as the owner of the house. “At one point I didn’t know how big the fire was, because I was too busy trying to drag a lady out. I didn’t know what to do. The smoke was bad.”

One of the women inside reported that her electronic cigarette exploded, spilling liquid that ignited and set the couch on fire, McRoberts said. Investigators were still working to determine exactly what caused the fire.

Four of the people were not seriously injured. Two were able to get out of the house on their own, and two others were helped down ladders by firefighters, Tacoma Fire said.

The condition of the man carried out and taken to the hospital was not immediately available. He suffered smoke inhalation and burns, according to Tacoma Fire.