Asbestos Concerns Shut Down Tapteal Apartment Fire Investigation
In the wake of the tragic fire that left 22 people or families homeless in Kennewick, now officials say concerns over possible asbestos are delaying the investigation. The building in question, Unit D, has 24 total apartment units, 22 were occupied. No one was seriously injured in the fire.
According to the latest reports from our news partner KNDU-TV, officials say some of the families who utilized an emergency shelter at Kamiakin High school have been relocated. The Red Cross says all the people displaced have been able to find other accomodations.
However, KNDU reports the Benton County Clean Air Authority says concern over possible asbestos exposure has kept investigators from continuing their search for sources of the fire and how it spread.
They hope to access the building either Thursday or Friday. According to a source close to Newstalk870, it's possible an electrical issue related to a computer was the trigger for the blaze, but that has not been confirmed by officials.
The buildings have been in use for some years, as evidenced by the possible presence of asbestos, which is no longer used in construction due to it's health hazards.
Multiple sources do say however, the entire D building will have to be demolished and rebuilt, once the investigation is complete.