Fire disaster averted by Island fire fighters

Occupants of a home in the 3400 block of 81st Place S.E. were evacuated early Friday morning from a smoke-filled residence that could have become a house fire, if not for the quick response of Mercer Island firefighters .

The fire began at about 12:14 a.m., Oct. 7, in the furnace. A resident told officials she woke because she heard a loud bang, and discovered smoke coming from the downstairs furnace. The woman turned off thermostats and a switch near the furnace. When firefighters arrived they found the lower level of the home already filled with smoke, according to Mercer Island Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Tubbs. Firefighters used a thermal imager and found several areas of high heat, and a small fire burning inside the furnace housing. Firefighters extinguished the fire and were able to cancel responding Bellevue fire units. Firefighters made sure there was no power to the furnace and ventilated the home. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

2005-06 PTA Reflections Arts Contest

The annual all-school PTA-sponsored Reflections Art Program is once again underway. This cultural arts competition provides an opportunity for students from kindergarten though grade 12 to use their creative talents and express themselves through various art forms. This year's theme is, ``I Wonder Why?''

Competition categories include: literature, musical composition, photography, film/video and choreography/dance and visual arts.

The deadline for entry is Monday, Dec. 5. Entries may be turned in at the student's school office.

Artists may download the complete list of rules and an entry form from or you may pick up a complete list of the rules and an entry form in your school's office in late October.

Contestants may enter in more than one category and you may enter more than once.

State PTA adopts Mercer Island legislative priority

At a state PTA legislative assembly last week, participants adopted a legislative priority authored by Mercer Island resident Michele Murburg.

The priority calls for the PTA and the state legislature to support improving science and math education in schools. It will be one of 10 priorities that participants voted to advocate in the coming legislative session. .

Local PTAs offer their own priorities which are reviewed by statewide committees and voted on.

``It's been quite a while since Mercer Island has authored a priority issued for the PTA,'' said PTA member Lori Hughes.

Murburg was one of 11 delegates who represented Mercer Island at the conference, Oct. 7-8 in Olympia.

Islander joins

Millionair Club Charity

Islander Deborah Pitcock Crawley has been named director of marketing and public relations for the Seattle-based Millionair Club Charity.

In her new role, she will oversee planning and implementation of all marketing and public relations activities for the organization and assist with fund development strategies.The club does not accept government aid and operates solely on individual, organization and company contributions.

Crawley has spent much of her professional career in nonprofit marketing. She holds a degree in economics and international relations from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and has served on a number of volunteer committees including the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Board.

Founded in 1921, the Millionair Club is Seattle's oldest non-profit organization serving the needs of the homeless. The charity is dedicated to providing opportunities for Seattle's homeless to obtain independence by providing basic needs such as jobs, meals, an eye clinic and a hygiene center.

The organization was named the Millionair Club by businessman Martin Johanson because helping others he said, ``made him feel like a millionaire.''

For information visit

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