Preston home destroyed in early morning fire
By CAROL LADWIG
Snoqualmie Valley Record Staff Reporter
December 22, 2011 · Updated 3:15 PM
One firefighter was injured while battling an early-morning blaze in the 8300 block of 293 Avenue Southeast in Preston Thursday, Dec. 22. The injury, burns to the face, was the only one reported in the incident, which began at 2:45 a.m. when the couple living there called 9-1-1 to report their garage and carport were on fire.
The fire quickly spread from the garage to the two-story home, but the couple, estimated to be in their 50s, was able to escape without injury.
Firefighters faced several challenges in stopping the blaze, which was contained to the property. However, the fire destroyed the home and nearby buildings, and damaged some of the large trees around the home.
Heavy smoke and flames poured out of the garage as the first units from Eastside Fire & Rescue arrived on the scene, but because the home wasn't located near any hydrants, they had to call for mutual aid water tankers. Departments from Fall City, Duvall, Snoqualmie and Maple Valley also responded, bringing a total of four tanker trucks.
Flames and smoke pour out of the two-story Preston home. Firefighters had to truck water in from a gas station on High Point Way, because there were no hydrants near the home.
The trucks ran a relay from the Shell station on Southeast High Point Way to the home, across the freeway overpass and down 293rd. Icy road conditions at that time of night made battling the fire more difficult, said fire investigator Craig Muller, with the King County Fire Marshal.
"It heavily damaged the house. It took it to the foundation, literally," Muller said. "Makes a really good reminder… if you want to live out in the natural areas of King County, install fire sprinklers."
Muller was one of three fire investigators to inspect the home, and said they suspect that a short in an electrical appliance or wiring in the garage started the fire. "From what we can see, it was energized at the time of the fire," he said, adding that it was most likely an accident, but the final cause would be determined after further testing of the items.
The couple was believed to be staying with nearby family members.
Contact Snoqualmie Valley Record Staff Reporter Carol Ladwig at firstname.lastname@example.org.