Flames engulf roof of Newcastle home

September 14, 2012

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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NEW — 3:10 p.m. Sept. 14, 2012

Contributed by the Bellevue Fire Department
Smoke billows from the roof of a Newcastle home, as a house fire erupted on Sept. 14.

The Bellevue Fire Department responded to a house fire in the 14300 block of Southeast 77th Street at around 10 a.m. Friday, said Lt. Troy Donlin, Bellevue Fire Department spokesman.

Donlin said landscapers in the area found smoke and flames on the side of the house, called 911, and seven minutes later, the Bellevue Fire Department arrived on scene to find smoke and flames coming from the attic of the two-story house.

There was no one inside at the time, Donlin said, but the homeowners arrived about 25 minutes into the incident.

Donlin described the fire as “stubborn” because of the cedar roof shingles. It took the firefighters about 53 minutes to contain the fire.

“It was a stubborn fire because it’s a cedar shake home,” he said. “So we had a lot of little individual spot fires throughout the roof.”

On the scene, there was visible damage to the roof and Donlin added that the second story was damaged from water and ceiling material as a result of firefighting activities.

In addition to the water that the firefighters aimed at the house, the home also had an indoor sprinkler system that went off, Donlin said.

Donlin said investigators determined that the fire started on the exterior of the home, though the cause has yet to be determined.

“Initial reports were on the exterior,” he said. “So we’re just reminding people that we’re still in a spot, with the relative humidity and the temperature outside, where exterior fires are a real challenge and it’s totally possible that this started in bark.”

The couple and their two children who live in the house have asked for help from the Red Cross, Donlin said. He added that the homeowners are insured.

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