Firefighters called for a second alarm when they saw flames shooting from the roof of the Newporter Apartments, 5900 119th Ave. SE, Monday evening. Quick thinking, talented firefighters are credited with stopping the fire that could have run the length the large multifamily structure.
Initial reports came from the alarm company and several residents reporting flames and smoke from the roof at 8:21 p.m. Firefighters from Bellevue, Eastside Fire & Rescue, Mercer Island and Kirkland brought the fire under control in 45 minutes.
Nearly 60 residents waited in the nearby pool house to find out if their apartment was affected by the blaze. The King County Red Cross assisted four residents with lodging and one with food and clothing. In total, 10 families were temporarily displaced; four will not be able return until the damage is repaired.
Bellevue fire investigators determined the fire was accidental, originating in a utility chase on the top floor. Workers covered the utility chase, including a fireplace flue, when they replaced the roof. Damage is estimated at $300,000. No injuries were reported. The building had a working fire alarm system, but no sprinklers.
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