Kirkland Firefighters Put Out House Fire After Apparent Explosion

No major injuries were suffered Thursday afternoon when several units from the Kirkland and Redmond fire departments responded to a fire in the Norkirk neighborhood. Two workers at a job nearby were credited with rescuing a dog.


Kirkland firefighters extinguished a fire at a house in the Norkirk neighborhood Thursday afternoon, apparently after a propane tank on the back deck of the home exploded.

Two workers for a private company at a job nearby were credited for entering the home and saving a dog. They were treated at the scene for minor smoke inhalation, but no one else was injured.

Neighbors said one of three residents of the home was there at the time, and escaped unharmed.

“He said a propane tank on the deck exploded,” said neighbor Jay Henwood. “He said, ‘I used it just three days ago.’ I’m not sure certain of that, but that’s what I heard.”

The home is in the 1300 block of of Fifth Lane.

Kirkland Fire Department Capt. Bill Hoover, the acting battalion chief at the scene, said the call came in at 1:28 p.m. and crews arrived by 1:34 p.m. and found the the backside of the house and back deck fully in flames.

“Initial reports were of explosion on the back side of the house, with smoke and flames,” he said. “Engine 22 from the Houghton station was first on the scene and began an aggressive attack on the back side of the house and then in the house, fighting flames mostly in the attic.”

The fire was declared under control by 2:12 p.m. Afterward a large hole in the roof of the garage was left. Hoover said the two who rescued the dog were at a job in a home nearby.

“The two workers came out, went into the home and rescued a dog,” he said.

Hoover said it is not certain that the propane tank exploded. “The cause is under investigation, but there was propane equipment on the deck.”

The home suffered extensive damage, but no estimate of the loss was available Thursday afternoon.

Hoover said neither of the homes adjacent to the house that caught fire were in danger, but it was a significant fire. “Oh it was pretty good,” he said.

Responding to the scene were seven fire engines, two ladder trucks, two aid cars and two medic units and several support and command vehicles and crews, including some from the Redmond and Bellevue fire departments.

Neighbors outside the home comforted each other after the fire, and said the man who lives there had recently moved there with his girlfriend and her son, neither of whom were in the home at the time.

Ralph March 08, 2013 at 12:30 AM
Hats off to the two workers who put their lives at risk to save the dog. And major kudos to the firemen! Arriving just 6 minutes after the call, and then having it under control ~30 minutes is remarkable! World class.
Greg Johnston (Editor) March 08, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Ditto that WhatMeWorry!
James Banks March 08, 2013 at 06:19 AM
As a former firefighter, I suspect that the fire started elsewhere first and ignited the propane. Propane tanks next to a burning house often explode, a hazard to anyone nearby. Scary.
Greg Johnston (Editor) March 08, 2013 at 02:19 PM
That was my thought too at the scene James.


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