Home burns to ground at difficult site for firefighters

MUKILTEO — Every fire poses its own set of challenges.

A blaze along a steep slope overlooking the Mukilteo waterfront Wednesday morning proved especially so.

The fire, which destroyed a home in the 6000 block of 88th Street SW, occurred while two Mukilteo fire crews already were out on calls.

The call came in at 9:43 a.m.

A ladder truck from the next closest station at Lake Serene was the first to arrive, but couldn’t make it around one of the hairpin turns. It had to back up to let smaller fire engines through.

“Access was definitely an issue,” Mukilteo assistant fire chief Brian McMahan said.

So was the availability of fire hydrants.

Firefighters needed to run 1,200 feet of hose — nearly a quarter mile — to bring water from the hydrant to the fire. The hose snaked down the twisty roadway to the 1,590-square-foot home.

A woman, young child and family dog were on the property when the fire started. It wasn’t immediately clear if they were inside or outside at the time. They went to stay with other family members.

More than 40 firefighters and support staff from Mukilteo, Everett, Lynnwood and Snohomish County Fire District 1 were called in to battle the blaze.

People from neighboring homes were asked to leave as a precaution.

The house burned to its foundation.

“It was a total loss,” McMahan said.

The home was built in 1948 and remodeled in the 1980s. The estimated value of the home was $256,000. Another $50,000 worth of possessions inside also were destroyed.

“It’s unusual to have access issues in a city,” McMahan said. “This area was platted prior to being annexed into the city of Mukilteo.”

McMahan said the homeowners will be allowed to rebuild, but to do so, they would be required to install sprinklers.

Firefighters stayed at the site late into the afternoon looking for hot spots.

The fire was caused by a new space heater too close to furniture and on some carpet, McMahan said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com.

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