Village Green residents evacuated after vape pen sparks fire

KINGSTON — Residents of a seniors’ apartment complex in Kingston have been evacuated after a fire broke out in a room on Thursday.

It appears the fire was started by a vape pen that was charged, North Kitsap Fire and Rescue spokeswoman Michèle Laboda said. No injuries were reported in the incident, which happened at the Village Green Senior Apartments near West Kingston Road.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene around 2 p.m. by the building‘s alarm system. Around the same time, Toffee, a dog belonging to a resident of the building, became agitated and alerted his owner that something was wrong, Laboda said. When she investigated, she smelled smoke in the hallway and heard an alarm sound in one of the apartments and called 911.

Firefighters discovered a “small but smoldering” fire in a first-floor apartment, which they extinguished.

Most residents were evacuated and taken to the nearby Village Green community center, while others sheltered in place in their apartments, Laboda said, noting that residents were never in danger.

The facility’s sprinkler system was not working at the time of the fire.

“We are confident that had he been charged, the extent of the damage to the room where the fire started and the smoke damage to the rest of the building would have been less,” Laboda said. “Like so many sprinkler systems, it had ruptured during the cold spell, and they were waiting for repairs.”

A company was working on site to fix the sprinkler problem, Laboda said Friday morning.

The occupant of the apartment where the fire broke out had moved and was staying with his family. There was water damage in another unit and smoke damage in common areas near where the fire started.

Nathan Pilling is a reporter covering Bainbridge Island, North Kitsap and Washington State Ferries for the Kitsap Sun. He can be reached at 360-792-5242, [email protected] or on Twitter at @KSNatePilling.

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