Just after 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, members of the Mercer Island Fire Department responded to a fire in an apartment at Newell Court, located on 78th Avenue S.E.
Firefighters at the station across the street first noticed the fire alarm sounding, and self-dispatched to the apartment complex. The alarm was dispatched as an automatic fire alarm, but was quickly upgraded to a structure fire. The owner was not home. Firefighters saved two cats from the apartment.
The fire was located in a second-floor apartment, but the automatic sprinkler system activated and contained the fire to the kitchen. Firefighting crews were able to extinguish the fire with a single attack line, according to the department. The apartment, along with the unit below it, sustained water damage from the sprinkler system. The fire was out in minutes.
Crews from Bellevue and Eastside Fire Departments were also at the scene. A total of nine fire apparatus were used, with approximately 24 firefighters.
The cause of the fire appears to be accidental, according to the MIFD, but the incident is still being investigated. Damage is estimated to be around $100,000.