July 23—An early morning fire heavily damages three north Seattle homes in the Maple Leaf neighborhood.At 3 a.m., firefighters responded to a report of a fire at a home under construction located in the 8500 block of 8th Avenue NE. When Engine Company 16 arrived, flames were shooting 30-40 feet into the air from the vacant home. The flames exposed to the homes to the north and south of the construction house catching both homes on fire.
The incident commander called for a two-alarm fire, doubling the number of firefighters responding to the scene. The extra firefighters were needed to battle the three burning homes and protect the neighboring properties. At the height of the fire there were 99 firefighters and 29 fire apparatus on the scene.
Two families of four safely evacuated the homes to the north and to the south of the burning structure. Firefighters rescued a bearded dragon pet lizard in its terrarium from the top floor of the burning home to the north. A cat is still missing from the home to the south.
Heavy smoke from the fire forced the evacuation of an 86th Street home located just to the west of the north house. Flying embers from the fire landed on a garage/work-shed in the back of the burning homes causing a fence and the shed to catch fire.
The heat of the fire caused about a half dozen second floor windows to break at the Saint Catherine’s School across the street from the burning houses. The school did not suffer any fire or smoke damage.
The under construction home and the south home are total losses. The north home damage is extensive and is still being assessed. Fire investigator estimate the damage will be more than a million dollars to property and contents.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Seattle Police Arson Bomb Squad and the ATF are assisting in the investigation.
There were no injuries.