1 dead in fire at University Place apartments

A woman died in a University Place apartment fire Sunday, and a resident who tried to rescue her was injured and taken to the hospital.

Crews responded about 5:15 p.m. to the two-alarm fire at the Narrows Ridge Apartments in the 2300 block of 70th Avenue West, West Pierce Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Hallie McCurdy said.

Officials did not immediately release information about the woman. A dog also perished in the fire.

The resident taken to the hospital was a man who kicked in the door of a unit to try to rescue the woman, McCurdy said. She did not believe his injuries to be life-threatening.

The fire affected six units in one building of the complex.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were displaced, because it appeared some residents weren’t home at the time, McCurdy said.

No one else was injured.

Stephany Newman and Stan Cavers said they’re residents of the building, on the other side of a fire wall from the six units that were damaged.

Newman said a sheriff’s deputy banged on the door to tell them about the fire, and help them evacuate.

They got out safely with their husky and tabby cat.

“One good Samaritan, he only had socks on (without shoes), bless his heart,” Newman said about a man who help her get the cat carrier. “He said: ‘I’ve got the cat all locked up. You’re all right.’”

Flames were shooting from the other side of the building when they evacuated, they said.

“Pretty much fully engulfed at that point,” Cavers said. “The smoke was so thick.”

Investigators had not yet determined what caused the fire.

Eight engines, two ladder trucks, three medic units, and two battalion chiefs responded to the fire, McCurdy said. One of the engines and one of the ladder units were from Tacoma Fire.