Everett home engulfed in flames when fire crews arrive

by: John Knicely Updated:

EVERETT, Wash. - A huge fire gutted a home on 105th Street SW in Everett Monday morning, a scenario neighbors had feared for months because of all the stuff piled up in the house and in the yard.  Neighbors said they  heard two explosions.

“Then all of a sudden at 5:02 I hear this big boom, boom,” said Kristi Mischel who lives next door.  “It was huge. I ran through the back door and there was flames flying out everywhere.”

James Scharpff owns the home and had left for work at Boeing earlier in the morning.  He told KIRO 7 the explosions likely came from propane cans he kept in the home.  He got a call at work about the fire which he says killed a cockatoo bird given to him by his late mother.

“It belonged to my mom, belonged to my brother, and then I got him,” Scharpff said.  He said he lost many valuable collectibles.  “Some things are replaceable and some things aren't because they're inherited.”

Multiple neighbors told KIRO 7 they'd called code enforcement over the years, worried this exact thing would happen because of all the clutter.  Scharpff told KIRO 7 he’s a collector.  Neighbors called him a hoarder, but fire investigators steered clear of that term.

“We don't go in people's houses and make any judgements about how they live their lifestyle,” said Everett Fire Marshal Rick Robinson.

One neighbor told investigators that Scharpff had made a drunken comment to her months ago that he wished he could burn the house down and be free from debt.  We asked the Robinson about the comment.

“That will be part of the investigation for certain,” said Robinson.

As of Monday afternoon investigators hadn’t determined a cause or classified the fire.

“We're not saying what it appears like at all,” said Robinson.  “It appears like a really big fire. The guys are digging around to see what might have started it.  There's nothing jumping out at us.”

Scharpff had insurance on the home and was to meet with a representative on Monday.  He will stay with his brother for now and lean on family to get through the tough time.