Firefighters: Generator caused blaze at Issaquah home

March 8, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

Fire caused $350,000 in damage, minor injuries

Firefighters said a generator sparked a blaze inside the garage at a South Cove home late last week.

The fire started at about 5:50 p.m. March 3 inside a garage in the 18200 block of Southeast 43rd Court, a neighborhood along Lake Sammamish’s southern shore. Residents in the neighborhood near Timberlake Park reported explosions and black smoke billowing into the air.

Fire roared through a South Cove house March 3 after the homeowner set up a generator in the garage. Contributed

Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighters raced to extinguish the garage fire. The blaze had reached the attached house and threatened another home nearby. Firefighting units from neighboring Bellevue assisted the EFR team.

Investigators said the fire started after a portable generator inside the garage caught fire. The homeowner said he started the generator due to a weather-related power outage in the neighborhood.

Fire Marshal Bud Backer said the homeowner had attempted to set up a system to vent exhaust from the generator to the outside.

The homeowner and a family member in the house at the time the fire started escaped the structure. Firefighters treated a resident for a minor injury at the scene, and the patient later sought further care at a medical facility in Issaquah.

The damage to the home is estimated at $350,000.

EFR officials used the incident as a reminder to residents not to use powered equipment, and similar devices using gasoline, flammable liquid or open flame, inside a home. In addition to fire risk, the equipment can give off dangerous fumes or carbon monoxide.

“You don’t run generators or any power equipment inside your home,” Backer said. “Granted, it’s inside a garage where your car sits and idles, so that could make folks look at things a little differently.”

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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