Fire destroys Tiger Mountain home, dogs perish

January 24, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Flames sparked by a generator in a garage caused a blaze and destroyed a Tiger Mountain house near Issaquah.

Firefighters raced to a house fire in the 24600 block of Southeast Mirrormont Boulevard at about 8:30 p.m. Jan. 19. Investigators said the fire started in a garage as a generator operated.

What to know

Eastside Fire & Rescue offered residents safety preparedness tips for winter:

Keep a battery-powered radio and flashlights — and extra batteries — on hand.

Have coats, hats, gloves and blankets on hand to stay warm during power outages.

Keep a minimum of three days of food, water, medications or other necessary medical needs on hand.

Cold weather conditions can be harmful, so bring pets indoors or into a protected area when possible. Make sure to have pet food and water on hand.

Keep charcoal and gas grills, heaters and generators outside and away from windows and vents to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Wrap pipes and outdoor faucets to prevent ruptured pipes and flooding inside homes.

When snow is on the ground, do not drive unless necessary, and stay on main roads.

Stay tuned to the radio or television for any updates to weather conditions or emergency information..

Neighbors reported heavy smoke billowing from the single-story home and flames spreading to the outside deck and nearby trees.

Though the occupants evacuated the home safely, officials said the residents’ dogs perished in the blaze. The fire destroyed the home.

Firefighters faced another challenge: a long, steep driveway to the structure — a particular hazard in the cold, slick conditions. Trucks became stuck on the slick road and firefighters could not start spraying water on the fire for about 20 minutes after reaching the scene.

Eastside Fire & Rescue crews needed a water tanker to battle the blaze, but the vehicle could not reach the site.

“Being on a road with a slope and then with that much snow, you just couldn’t do it,” EFR Assistant Chief Bud Backer said.

King County Sheriff’s Office personnel helped shuttle firefighters to the scene. Sgt. Cindi West, sheriff’s office spokeswoman, said a deputy in the dive unit unloaded gear from a truck and hauled firefighters and equipment to the blaze.

King County Road Services Division crews also cleared access to Mirrormont as much as possible, though the conditions posed a challenge.

“Roads responded quickly to get the road cleared so that the fire truck could make it up to the top,” West said.

The occupants and firefighters did not sustain serious injuries, although a firefighter suffered a minor knee injury.

“Just like anybody else, we fall down and go boom at times,” Backer said.

Mirrormont and other Tiger Mountain communities bore the brunt of debilitating winter weather. The neighborhoods lost power as snow and ice clobbered the region.

EFR units remained on the scene until 5 a.m. Jan. 20.

Officials said EFR receives common fire calls related to kitchen fires, chimney fires and unattended candles each winter. The season also marks a spike in the number of responses to possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

However, due to icy or snowy road conditions, EFR personnel often need more time to reach trouble spots, particularly calls in higher-elevation or rural areas.

Such conditions also bring more motor vehicle car crashes, downed power lines, fallen trees on roadways, house fires, power surges and outages.

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