Couple will rebuild their home after burglars trash and burn it

by: Frank Field Updated:

SEATTLE - A North Seattle couple promises to rebuild their home after it was ransacked by burglars and set on fire last weekend.  It happened Monday in the Victory Heights neighborhood, and the owner, who was out of town for the Memorial Day holiday when it happened, got his first look at the house on Tuesday.

The couple who own the house, Jeff Carter and Lisa Peterson, remodeled it in the style of a 1930s bungalow. They spent five years doing it and had only recently been finished. Now, after the fire, they’ll have to start over.

Carter and his wife like details. The inlaid wood in the floors is intricate, hundreds of pieces were placed by hand.  The tile in the bathroom was period and sparkled above a mint-condition pink tub the couple salvaged form a home in California.  The light fixtures were antique. It was all destroyed by the fire.

“We’ll essentially have to gut the house,” Carter said after insurance adjusters visited Tuesday.

The thieves hardly stole anything - tools and a little bit of jewelry. The arson destroyed what’s most valuable.

Yet, Carter isn’t mad.

“If you’re just mad then you can’t move forward,” he said. “And we’ve got a big project ahead of us, so we’re moving forward.”

Carter had a steady stream of friends show up Tuesday offering help. A place to stay.  Food.  Clothing.  And they are already planning how to re-do the house in all its detailed glory.

“It was all cool stuff but it was just stuff. You know it’s all stuff that can be replaced, rebuilt or, or done without,” Carter said.

Carter says the important thing to him is that nobody got hurt. And that’s why he’s hoping police catch whomever did this so they can’t do this to someone else.