A Maple Valley home that had survived over 100 years burned to the ground Tuesday morning, August 21, injuring a firefighter in the process.
The fire broke out in the 24600 block of SE 208th Street in Maple Valley around 2:20 a.m., according to Puget Sound Fire officials. The homeowner and his dog were able to escape and tried to use a hose to douse the flames, but the heat was too intense.
Firefighters faced a number of challenges in fighting the blaze. For one, there was no fire hydrant nearby so water had to be shuttled to the scene. Second, the home was insulated with sawdust — a common practice in the early 1900s, but dangerous in a fire, so hidden, smoldering fires took longer to distinguish.
And as firefighters were working those issues, an electrical power line from the street to the home lost its insulated coating and the wire grounded to the home. A firefighter who placed his hand on the deck rail got a jolt of electricity.
He was able to walk to the medic unit, but they took him to a local hospital as a precaution to be checked out.
The Red Cross is working to find shelter for the homeowner. Meanwhile, the cause of the fire remains under investigation.