Sunday morning fire leaves 1 dead, 36 displaced
Building order was told before fire to meet safety standards
EVERETT - One resident was killed and dozens more were displaced in a downtown apartment fire Sunday, Dec. 15.
The early morning fire happened in the five-story Hodges Building, 1804 Hewitt Ave., at the corner of Hewitt and Rockefeller avenues. The building, owned by Pete Sikov, was facing condemnation before the fire broke out because of safety code violations.The two-alarm fire was contained inside the apartment unit where it started, city spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke said. The cause of the fire was yet to be determined as of early this week.
The identity of the body found after the fire was put out has not been confirmed. Neighbors told media the victim was a middle-aged woman.
The American Red Cross is assisting 36 people displaced by the fire. They will not be allowed to move back into the building until improvements are made.
Sikov had been given a Dec. 20 deadline from city building officials to meet safety codes or the building would be condemned.
Sikov was warned to enclose the stairwells to make it safer in the event of a fire. The fight to get Sikov to comply apparently had dragged out over several months, Pembroke said.
If Sikov would have missed the Dec. 20 deadline, he would have had to evict all of his tenants, Pembroke said.
The Hodges is located on the other end of the block of the McCrossen Building, where a fatal fire happened there last November. A man was killed in that fire.
Sikov owns both the Hodges and the McCrossen under different company names.
Combined with the McCrossen Building fire, this is the third apartment fire in Everett in the past three years.
The former Strand Hotel, which was a low-rent apartment building, had a nonfatal fire in 2011.
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