Lynnwood woman killed in Christmas Eve townhouse fire; dozens displaced

South Snohomish County Fire says one person has died in a Lynnwood apartment complex fire on Christmas Eve.

Crews were called to the Lynnwood Townhouse Apartments on 196th Street SW on Saturday morning. 

Firefighters started receiving reports of smoke, and then flames, that were coming from the townhouses just before 11 a.m.  

When crews were able to get the fire under control, they learned a woman in her mid-30s had died. 

A 36-year-old and a 7-year-old in that unit were able to escape and were taken to Harborview Medical Center. South Snohomish County Fire spokesperson Shawneri Guzman told FOX 13 that the injuries are serious, but they are in stable condition. 

The fire displaced 25 people, who were living in six units. 

Brian Swiggum says he was getting breakfast ready when he heard loud bangs and screams coming from outside.

"We could see smoke billowing out from the front of the unit," Swiggum said. "The back porch was completely ablaze and so it's almost completely opened up and ashes and very charred." 

The flames quickly intensified a unit 407, one of the townhomes at the complex.

At least two dozen people, including children and pets, are now displaced on Christmas Eve.

"You wouldn't expect something like that to happen on a day like today," Swiggum said.

Blake Smith, who moved into his home in April after moving from Minnesota with his fiancee, is one of the residents displaced.

"This was not how I want to spend my first Christmas in Washington," Smith said.

He, like many others, was distraught and in disbelief, but hopeful.

"Just stunned, thankful honestly," Smith said. "It could’ve been our unit just totally gutted, it could’ve been anybody’s."

Fire crews and police remained on scene hours after the flames were out.

"Just hope that everybody lands on their feet and just finds some joy this time of year," Smith said.

Displaced residents say they've been told the building will be boarded up and possibly demolished. 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

In November 2019, two children were killed in an apartment fire in the same complex. A 15-year-old girl and her 7-year-old brother died from smoke inhalation. Guzman said the cause of the 2019 fire is undetermined. 

This is a developing story. FOX 13 will have updates as they become available.