Old, overheated recliner chars Hoquiam duplex

Herald staff

HOQUIAM — An old recliner with built-in heat and massage action sparked a fire at a Hoquiam duplex, a fire official says.

No injuries were reported. The fire, which burned through the building’s roof Sunday, caused an estimated $40,000 in damage.

Fifteen firefighters from Aberdeen and Hoquiam battled the blaze.

After an investigation, the Hoquiam Fire Department blamed the chair.

"The chair was completely consumed," Assistant Fire Chief Ray Pumphrey said. "And when we dug down, the carpet under the chair was charred worse than anywhere else in the room."

Resident Larry Everett had bought the chair from a relative. Pumphrey estimated the chair was made in the 1970s.

A friend of Everett’s had recently commented on how hot the chair got and noted the smell of smoke.

  • Teen killed in crosswalk: A 15-year-old Kirkland boy was hit by a car and killed as he crossed a busy intersection at a crosswalk on his way to school. Todd Evans, a sophomore at Juanita High School, was killed about 6:45 a.m. Monday at the intersection of NE 143rd Street and Juanita-Woodinville Way. The King County Sheriff’s Office was investigating but officers said there was no indication the driver was intoxicated, reckless or speeding. There have been no arrests. The speed limit in the area is 40 mph.

  • Driver in double-fatal accident arrested, then hospitalized: A man who was driving a van when it slammed into a roadside signpost, killing two passengers, was arrested for investigation of driving while intoxicated and vehicular homicide, police said Monday. Witnesses reported seeing the southbound van pass several slower cars Sunday night while crossing the Highway 395 bridge and heading over the Columbia River from Pasco to Kennewick, Kennewick police said. The van struck some curbing along an outside lane near the end of the bridge’s guard railing before hitting a large signpost off the roadway, police said. A 17-year-old girl who was one of the van’s five passengers died at the scene, and a 5-year-old girl was pronounced dead at a hospital. Their identities were being withheld. The driver, age, 34, was arrested at the accident scene, police said. He was then taken to Lourdes Medical Center in Pasco. Melanie Enger, a hospital spokeswoman, said the driver was listed in serious but stable condition Monday night.

  • Mormons donate to Northwest Harvest: Mormons in Utah sent a truck with 20 tons of food from Salt Lake City to Northwest Harvest, which runs a food bank in Seattle. With winter weather coming, the organization welcomed the hefty donation. Each month Northwest Harvest sends more than 1.5 million pounds of food, or about a half-million meals, to 283 programs statewide, spokeswoman Ellen Hansen said.

  • Woman charged with torching home: King County prosecutors have charged a 32-year-old Auburn woman with arson, accusing her of setting fire to her ex-boyfriend’s Skyway home two weeks ago. Investigators who smelled gasoline on Keri Ann Fisher an hour after the Sept. 26 fire said she claimed she accidentally spilled gasoline on herself at a service station. No one was hurt in the fire, which caused an estimated $70,000 damage. Fisher, who is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at the King County Jail in Seattle, is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.

  • Infant rescued from burning house: A 3-month-old girl who was left behind in a burning house after four older children and two adults escaped early Tuesday was listed in critical condition. Firefighters who responded to the 2:30 a.m. blaze initially were unaware that Katelyn D’Addario was still in the home’s living room, fire Lt. Mike Zambryski said. Firefighters went through the smoke-filled room a few times before being told the infant was inside, Zambryski said. Katelyn was found in an infant swing. She had been sleeping in it when the fire broke out. The infant suffered smoke inhalation, and was listed in critical condition Tuesday evening at Sacred Heart Medical Center, a nursing supervisor said. The fire apparently was started by a hot plate that overheated in the home’s basement, Zambryski said.

  • County buys open space: King County, in cooperation with the state, is buying 110 acres of forest land between Issaquah and Preston. The property on Mitchell Hill along I-90 will link other open space as part of the Mountains-to-Sound Greenway. The property was valued at $1.36 million in an appraisal. The parcel "will be a key link in both the Mountains-to-Sound Greenway and in the county’s own open space holdings," Metropolitan King County Councilman Rob McKenna said Monday. The council has approved money for the purchase.

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