Fire destroys home on North Rose Hill in Kirkland
By MATT PHELPS
Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor
August 14, 2012 · Updated 12:57 PM
A fire destroyed a home and two vehicles Monday night on North Rose Hill in Kirkland. Firefighters were able to gain control of the blaze but the home and vehicles were completely destroyed.
A male resident in his 60s was taken to Evergreen Hospital with smoke inhalation. No firefighters were hurt and the fire’s cause is under investigation.
“We were in bed reading when I heard a crackling and I thought they were having a barbecue,” said Lyman Petersen, who lives next door. “I saw the flames in the garage.”
Rose Marie Petersen said she will never forget what she saw.
“I peaked out the window and saw these huge flames and the cars were on fire as well,” she said. “I am astonished we are sitting here this morning.
“We heard pops and they rattled the windows and that was when we got out of the house.”
Firefighters received the call at 10:06 p.m. Firefighters from Kirkland, Redmond and Bothell responded to the blaze.
“When we got there the entire structure was on fire” said Kirkland Fire Battalion Chief Joe Sanford. “We tried to protect the exposures (surrounding area) first. We were also concerned about the structural stability.”
As a result, Sanford said that firefighters used the ladder truck to get above the home in order to spray water onto the blaze in a safe manner.
Rose Marie said that a man and his two sons live in the home. One of the sons told her that he was able to get out through the front door and he thought the fire began in the garage.
“It spread amazingly fast,” said Lyman.
Adjacent homes, including the Petersen’s, are fairly close to the home where the fire began. Large fir trees, along with the dry weather, also increased the threat of the fire spreading. Firefighters worked to make sure the trees did not catch on fire as well.
“Thank God Lyman hosed down the garden last night,” said Rose Marie.
Sanford said that August can be a dangerous time of the year and many fires are started because of the dry conditions.
“The dryness is always an issue, especially when you have a couple of weeks with 80 degrees or more,” said Sanford. “The moisture level in plants is so low. We were really watching the trees. We didn’t want a Roman Candle situation.”
One of the adjacent homes had damage to the backyard grass but no other structures were damaged.
“We had a live power line drop and that may have set the grass on fire,” said Sanford.
The Petersens said that they were let back into their home at 11:30 p.m. but like many of their neighbors were cautious about going to sleep.
“The firefighters said that they would be around all night but we slept in the living room,” said Lyman.
Rose Marie said that there was another house fire about five years ago, just two blocks away.
“We don’t know how safe it is around here any more,” said Rose Marie.
The Reporter will update this story when more information is available.
Contact Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor Matt Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-822-9166 ext. 5052.