Fire causes more than $500,000 in damage, harms two homes
November 1, 2012
By Christina Corrales-Toy
A residential fire in Newcastle destroyed a home, and damaged an adjacent property, the afternoon of Oct. 6. The homes are in the 8300 block of 128th Avenue Southeast.
Firefighters were called to the scene after a neighbor reported smoke and flames coming from the roof of the first house.
Personnel from Eastside Fire & Rescue and the Bellevue, Renton and Mercer Island fire departments arrived to heavy flames and smoke coming from the roof and the back of the house, said Lt. Troy Donlin, Bellevue Fire Department spokesman.
As they began to fight the fire, the roof partially collapsed and the firefighters were forced to temporarily abandon the structure. After an emergency roll call to ensure that everyone was safe, the firefighters continued to combat the fire, Donlin said.
“We had to abandon the structure, which is an unusual event for the Bellevue Fire Department,” he said. “In my 10 years, I’ve never heard of us doing that, so it was very unusual.”
As the firefighters continued their work, wind carried the products of the fire away from the house, and an ember made its way to a neighboring house, starting a fire on the cedar shake roof, Donlin said.
But firefighters noticed it right away and were able to extinguish that fire rather quickly, Donlin said, and the occupants, who had already been evacuated because of the fire next door, were able to return to their home that evening.
In total, 23 units responded to the fire, and firefighters worked for more than an hour to control the two fires.
Damage to the initial house was estimated at $500,000, while damage to the second house was estimated at $30,000, Donlin said.
There were no injuries.
The homeowner was not home at the time of the fire, but Donlin said that discarded smoking material — a cigarette butt in a plastic container — may have been the cause of the fire, originating on the back deck of the home.