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Fire guts historic Fall City home

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FALL CITY — A fire broke out last Thursday morning in a

historic home near Fall City that once belonged to the Boeing family,

causing an estimated $300,000 in damage. No one was injured in the blaze.

Firefighters from Fall City's Fire Protection District 27 were alerted

to the fire at 28902 S.E. Duthie Hill Road shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday,

said Chief Chris Connor. Upon their arrival, they found flames reaching

from the basement to the attic.

The former Boeing family home currently serves as the offices for

The Members Club at Aldarra, a golf course that is being built by

Wisconson-based Oliphant Golf Construction Inc.

Connor said the fire started in the basement, near a boiler, and

worked its way up through the house, reaching all the way to the attic.

Firefighters were hampered in their efforts by the home's "balloon

construction." Connor said unlike newer homes,

the house's studs ran from the bottom floor to the top floor, which

allowed the fire to travel up through the house.

"It probably took at least 45 minutes before we were reasonably

confident that we had it [under control]," Connor said.

He said the Fire Marshall's office originally estimated damaged

caused by the fire at $200,000, but because of the ornate fixtures in the home,

he believes damages total $300,000 or more.

A message left at The Members Club at Aldarra seeking comment

was not returned by the time the Valley Record went to press Tuesday.

According to Bud Abbott, who worked for the Boeing family for

more than 50 years and lived in the house for 34 years, W.E. Boeing Jr. sold

the house to The Members Club at Aldarra. Connor said the sale

occurred about two years ago.

Abbott recently moved out of the house and said that he learned of

the fire from a friend.

"He said, `Bud, do you know your old house is on fire?'" Abbott said,

as firefighters worked to control the flames.

The house was built by the Duthie family, which owned a shipyard

in Seattle. It was completed in 1919. Connor said the Boeing family

bought the property in 1942.

An employee with Crescent Vinyl Systems of Sammamish, who

identified himself as Paz, said he could see flames and smoke coming from

the house when his work crew arrived north of the house to build a fence

at about 8:30 a.m. last Thursday.

"We thought the inside of the house would be all burned out,"

he recalled thinking as smoke poured from the house.

King County sheriff's officers were called out to direct traffic

along Duthie Hill Road, and neighboring fire departments from Redmond,

Eastside Fire and Rescue and Duvall sent engines, water tenders and manpower.

"We ended up with 31 firefighters at the scene," Connor said.

The fire is the second major incident in the past seven months to

occur at the golf course. On May 7, Jose F. Galdamez, 53, was killed while

trying to save his son, Michael, after a trench collapsed on the unfinished

golf course.

After completing a subsequent investigation into the accident,

Oliphant Golf Construction was fined $17,480 in October by the state Department

of Labor and Industries for several "serious" violations.

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