A fire, apparently started by hot fireplace ashes in a garbage can, destroyed a detached garage and a car in the Somerset neighborhood Tuesday afternoon.
The blaze, on the 14000 block of Southeast 47th Street on one of the highest hilltops in Bellevue, challenged firefighters as the snow and ice stopped fire trucks 300 yards away down a steep hill. Crews resorted to carrying bundles of hose uphill to a nearby hydrant that served as the only firefighting water source.
Firefighters were able to control the fire before it damaged the house.
The fire was first reported at 4:18 p.m. The homeowner stated that he had placed some fireplace ashes in a bag and then put it in a safe spot outside. But, his wife later picked up the bag not knowing the contents, and disposed of it in the garbage can in the garage.
Later on, a neighbor alerted the homeowner that his garage was on fire. An effort was made to back a car to safety in the street, but it too was on fire and burnt up at the curb.
The steep dead-end street, still packed with snow from the Monday night storm, stopped fully-chained fire trucks. The dark smoke coming from high on the hill was visible even 10 miles away, and 911 reports were made from Seattle.
Damage estimates will easily top $100,000.
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