Fire District 1 debriefs with neighbors on propane leak-fueled house fire

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Fire District 1 Assistant Chief Brad Reading points out the area that the Fire District services in South Snohomish County; assisting him is the district's Fire and Life Safety Education Specialist Kim Schroeder.
Fire District 1 Assistant Chief Brad Reading points out the area that the Fire District services in South Snohomish County; assisting him is the district’s Fire and Life Safety Education Specialist Kim Schroeder.

A small group of neighbors turned out for a community meeting Wednesday night, hosted by personnel from Snohomish County Fire District 1, to discuss the fire that destroyed a Mountlake Terrace house on Oct. 10. The meeting was held at Fire Station 19 in Mountlake Terrace.

The blaze caused more than $260,000 damage to a split-level home in the 22800 block of 41st Place West. No one was injured in the incident, but members of an extended family are currently displaced as the structure is no longer habitable.

Fire District 1 personnel described how the fire was reported to them, how they responded, and the results of an investigation into the fire’s cause.

“It was pretty impressive when we first got there,” said Battalion Chief Don White.

Firefighters from Mountlake Terrace Station 19 arrived at the fire six minutes after the first 911 call came in to dispatchers. The fire took more than 30 minutes to put out; firefighters remained on the scene for hours looking for hot spots to extinguish.

The fire originated with a faulty line of a backyard propane barbecue; the line detached, leaking propane that somehow ignited and caught exterior siding of the house on fire. “The back of the house is pretty heavily damaged, all the way up to the roof,” said Fire District 1 Public Information Officer Leslie Hynes.

Multiple calls were made to 911 to report the fire just before 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 10. Flames and smoke from the fire could be seen throughout the residential area and from stores and restaurants in the Cedar Plaza shopping center. An initial 911 call reported the fire was in the rear of the Bartells’ store; the information was updated as firefighters were on their way to the scene.

Wednesday’s meeting also included general information about Fire District 1, resources available to the agency for firefighting and public education, and safety tips for using, handling and storing propane tanks.

— Story and photo by Doug Petrowski

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