Yakima firefighters have battled a lot of home and apartment fires so far this winter season. Many have been caused by space heaters and woodstoves. Earlier this month a 4-year-old girl was killed in a shed fire on Ahtanum. She was one of two children under the age of 5 that have died in fires this year in the state. The fire happened in a wooden shed in the backyard of a home in the 7600 block of Ahtanum Road. Firefighters arrived to find the shed engulfed in flames. After dousing the fire they found the bodies of 49-year-old Fernando Ornelas and his 4-year-old daughter, Audrey. Both died of smoke inhalation. No foul play is suspected but lots of questions remain as the investigation continues. The fire was caused by a space heater.
The deaths have prompted to Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office to remind families to take time to talk about fire safety.