BELLEVUE – When fire started in the basement of a Northwest Bellevue home early Wednesday morning, a family of five managed to escape without injury. Bellevue firefighters were quickly able to put the fire out, and damages totalled about $5,000. It could easily have been much worse.
There were no working smoke alarms in the home. A woman on the second floor woke up to the smell of smoke and alerted the rest of her family. They left the house on the 700 block of 96th Avenue Northeast and called 911.
"This was a near miss," Battalion Chief Jim Dorney said. "Had the adult occupant not woke up, this fire may have caused serious injury or loss of life. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of having working smoke detectors in your home."
The fire apparently started when clothing left on an electric sump pump caused it to overheat. When firefighters arrived at 4:20 a.m., they saw smoke coming from the home. Firefighters quickly found the small fire in the basement and extinguished it in about 10 minutes.
Bellevue Fire Investigator Scott Gerard determined the fire to be accidental in nature.
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