BELLEVUE – A fire possibly caused by candles left burning overnight tore through a single-family home in the Lake Hills neighborhood early this morning. The residents escaped without serious injury, but the structure sustained about $500,000 worth of damage.
The fire, on the 5700 block of 111th Avenue Southeast, was reported at 5:38 a.m. Fire crews arrived quickly to find flames coming from half of the top floor.
The first crews had to knock the flames down from outside the house with large hose streams before going inside. Four Bellevue fire engines and one ladder truck responded. An additional fire engine responded from Mercer Island Fire Department.
Both homeowners were at the house at the time of the fire. A smoke detector woke them, and they could see a fire in their living room. They were able to call 911 and exit the house. Both were taken to Overlake Hospital for evaluation of possible smoke inhalation.
Fire investigators spent the morning going over the fire scene to determine a cause. The origin appears to be in the living room area where a candelabra was placed. The candles were lit the prior evening and may have been left burning, according to the homeowner.
The cause of the fire appears accidental. The homeowners collected oriental art and the amount of that loss has not been determined, but appears to be substantial.
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