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Chimney fire damages Federal Way home, displaces couple | Photos

A fire damaged a waterfront home in Federal Way on Friday morning. A couple and their two dogs safely escaped.  - Courtesy of South King Fire and Rescue
A fire damaged a waterfront home in Federal Way on Friday morning. A couple and their two dogs safely escaped.
— image credit: Courtesy of South King Fire and Rescue

A fire that damaged a waterfront home in Federal Way and displaced a couple may have been sparked by a metal chimney on Friday morning, fire officials believe.

The cause of the fire that occurred around 3 a.m. in the 3800 block of Star Lake Road is still under investigation by South King Fire and Rescue (SKFR) investigators and the King County fire marshall.

SKFR Lt. Jeff Bellinghausen said in an email “it appears that the homeowner was enjoying a fire in the wood stove on a cold night when heat from the metal chimney that runs up the side of the house caught the wall behind the stove and the exterior siding of the house on fire.”

He said the homeowner removed the smoke alarms for a remodeling project “and it is fortunate that the residents happened to wake up to smoke inside their house.”

The homeowner, his wife and their two dogs were able to escape the home with no injuries, said Ed Plumlee, SKFR assistant chief. The building is repairable but damage is estimated at $90,000.

Two ladder trucks, three engines, an aid car and 17 firefighters responded to the fire.

“This time of year when it gets cold like this, people are more prone to using their fireplaces and wood stoves,” Plumlee said.

SKFR officials remind the public to have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year, especially if you are using your wood stove or fireplace as a heating source. Also, do not place more fuel in the stove than the log manufacturer recommends or the stove is rated for and be sure you have working smoke detectors, officials said.

For help with purchasing a smoke alarm, contact SKFR at (253) 946-7347.

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