Generator used during power outage causes fire

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Just before 8:00 p.m. on Saturday night, neighbors looked out and saw flames at a home in the 16800 block of 167 Ave NE. They rushed to alert the family inside who were not aware of the fire that was burning along side the garage of the home. Everyone in the home got out safely and fire crews arrived to find the garage portion of the home fully involved with fire. The fire spread to the upstairs of the home and into the attic space. Fire units from Woodinville Fire & Rescue, Bothell Fire Department, Redmond Fire Department, and Kirkland Fire Department spent 30 minutes to bring the blaze under control. The fire damaged the garage and the second floor of the home. A King County fire investigator looked into the cause of the fire and determined a generator running to power the house during a power outage caught fire and ignited the side of the home.

Damages to the home were estimated at $300,000 and another $200,000 in damages to the contents of the home including 3 cars. David Weed, PIO for Woodinville Fire & Rescue said: "Generators are a great convenience during a power outage but also carry some potential hazards." Weed emphasized following proper generator safety including keeping a generator away from the side of a house and other combustibles, never operating a generator inside a structure such as a garage or shed, and making sure the generator is in safe operating condition each year. It is also important to have a generator connected to the house through a professionally installed transfer switch often times referred to as a Gentran. Weed noted, "This family took all the necessary steps to assure proper wiring between the generator and the home. It appears the generator itself caught fire and spread to the house."

The family was displaced from the house and had arrangements to stay with friends.

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