The King County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified a man, a woman and a 3-year-old boy who were found dead following an early-morning apartment fire in Tukwila last week that gutted their four-story building.
Killed were Roberto Sellem, 41; Alixzandra Chalcraft, 22; and 3-year-old Elliott Chalcraft: All three died from smoke inhalation, though Sellem and Alixzandra Chalcraft also suffered thermal burns that contributed to their deaths, according to the medical examiner. The medical examiner ruled the manner of death was undetermined in each case.
Tukwila Police Officer Victor Masters, a department spokesperson, said Monday the investigation into the Aug. 17 fatal fire at the Maple Crest Apartments is ongoing and a cause for the blaze has not yet been determined. Masters said investigators had to wait for the site to cool off before they could begin collecting evidence.
“It’s going to be a little longer than normal because of the fire and structural damage,” said Masters, noting the back of the four-story building is gone and the middle section caved in.
He said the couple and child who died were residents of a bottom floor unit in the middle of the four-story building, which is considered a total loss.
King County property records show the 32-unit apartment building at 15100 65th Ave. South sits on just under 2 acres. Built in 1967, it did not have a sprinkler system.
A GoFundMe campaign was started Friday by Sellem’s niece and has so far raised $4,500 for funeral expenses, with any leftover funds to be donated to the other 30 families displaced by the fire. The campaign refers to Sellem as “Bear.”
“Every ounce of love that my uncle Bear and his beloved family have given away has returned to us and let me tell you … it is overwhelming and beautiful,” Sellem’s niece wrote.
Efforts to reach her Monday were unsuccessful and another relative contacted by phone declined to comment.
Smoke and flames were seen rising from the roof by the time firefighters arrived at the apartment building at 5:08 a.m. on Aug. 17, the Tukwila Fire Department said at the time.
Access to the fire was hampered by the building’s location on a steep hill and water from fire hoses unleashed mud and debris down the hill, causing a landslide risk to the hill and structures below, officials said.