Fire in kitchen causes $30,000 in damages to Mercer Island home

A fire burned through the wall of a home in the 3400 block of 80th Avenue S.E. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011. - Rebecca Mar/Staff Photo
A fire burned through the wall of a home in the 3400 block of 80th Avenue S.E. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011.
— image credit: Rebecca Mar/Staff Photo

Mercer Island, Bellevue and Eastside Fire Departments responded to a fire at the residence of Harinderpal Hanspal at 4:23 p.m. on Nov. 30 in the 3400 block of 80th Avenue S.E.

The fire started in the kitchen of the single-story house, in the wall behind the kitchen stove. It spread quickly within the wall into the garage. Hanspal was home at the time.

Firefighters contained the fire to the wall between the kitchen and garage, extinguishing it at 4:50 p.m. Smoke and water damaged the first floor and daylight basement. There were no injuries. The couple, their two children and a puppy are safe.

Hanspal and his family moved into the house in 2009. They did some remodeling in the kitchen. A plumber had been at the home earlier in the day and had moved the stove away from the wall to do some work. The fire started after the worker left. Firefighters told Hanspal that the wiring in the 50-year-old house was not adequate and had not been modified correctly during subsequent remodeling projects.

Hanspal said that the inspection on his home when he bought it did not reveal problems with the wiring. He also noted that the fire extinguisher that the family had on hand was not adequate. He is thankful that the family was not asleep at the time and that both he and his wife were home at the time. He praised the response by firefighters.

The first fire units arrived at the scene within four minutes of the dispatch. A total of 26 firefighters were at the scene, using eight fire apparatus. Firefighters had originally thought there was an attic over the garage and broke through a skylight over the garage, where the fire was burning below.

Damage from the fire is estimated at $30,000.


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