Firefighters Fuller and Laurent, along with 33 others, were on the scene of a residential fire on English Hill last Wednesday. Investigators say the blaze started when glass stored outside magnified the intense sunlight, igniting combustibles against the garage.
Photo by Jeff Switzer/Woodinville Weekly.
by Jeff Switzer
WOODINVILLE--About 50 area residents watched as fire crews worked quickly to control a two-alarm house fire on English Hill last Wednesday afternoon. The blaze gutted a two-car garage and attic but left most of the two-story home standing.
Investigators say the fire, which was in the 17600 block of NE 134th Place, started accidentally and outside of the house. Sunlight became magnified through some glass stored near the garage, igniting combustible materials stored on an outside wall. The fire then spread rapidly through a window and fed on the wood-shake roof.
The teenage son living at the house was home when the fire started. He called 911 just after 2 p.m. and closed the doors between the house and the garage, preventing the fire from spreading, fire officials said. He escaped unharmed and no one was injured while fighting the fire.
Neighbors said the house had recently been refurbished. One neighbor, who was on the scene before fire crews, concentrated his efforts on hosing down the dry grass and the roof of both his and the burning house.
"It was futile [to try to stop the main fire] when a house is burning like that," he said. "It was burning real hot, real fast."
He said the firefighters arrived quickly. "Their response time was pretty good; they were all over it. Everybody was safe, it was just a matter of saving the structure."
Firefighters contained the blaze in about 20 minutes, preventing it from spreading to nearby homes.
Due to the extent of the fire and temperatures that day approaching the 90s, additional fire crews were called in as backup, filling the residential streets with six engines, two ladder trucks, an ambulance, and several command vehicles. A total of 33 personnel worked at the fire scene, including Redmond and Kirkland. An engine from Duvall and one from Snohomish County 7 were on standby in the Woodinville area until off-duty personnel could arrive and cover shifts vacated by crews at the scene.
Damage is estimated at $225,000: $150,000 to the structure and $75,000 to the contents.
Andrew Walgamott also contributed to this report.