BELLEVUE, Wash. — Bellevue Fire officials said two people escaped from a home that partially slid off its foundation and collapsed after a water main break and landslide in the Somerset neighborhood Monday morning.
Dozens of residents in the area were evacuated while experts determined if the area is safe.
Jay Hagen with the Bellevue Fire Department said firefighters were called to the 5000 block of 139th Place Southeast for a report of minor flooding near the upper half of the Somerset neighborhood just after 4 a.m.
When firefighters arrived, they noticed a large amount of water flowing around one home. Firefighters went to Forest Ridge Elementary above the home to investigate the source of the water, and when they returned, the home had slid halfway off its foundation, Hagen said.
The home is currently sitting at a 45-degree angle on a slope.
There is a large debris field and the area is unstable. Bellevue Police Department Public Information Officer Meeghan Black said 17 homes were evacuated within a half-mile radius of the slide. Those homes are being evaluated.
“We really are concerned about that structure (the collapsed home) and all the structures in the immediate area. We’ve called in specialized resources from Olympia this morning and they are on the way right now to help us determine the stability of the structures and the soil around the structures, so that we can determine where it’s safe and not safe to reoccupy and get folks back into their homes when it’s safe to do so,” said Hagen.
Loaders were used to clear rocks and debris from the road.
Police said 42 people and several pets were evacuated.
Teams have identified seven homes that are either in the path of the collapsed home’s remains or cannot be accessed due to unsafe road conditions.
As of 6:30 p.m., crews restored water, gas and power to all homes except seven that were deemed unsafe to return to for now. Street access at SE 51st Pl and 139th Ave SE is open to homeowners and emergency vehicles and 139th Place SE still has limited access.
Meanwhile, engineers from the city, county and state have been trying to determine what happened.
“Was it a situation where the land moved, causing the water main to break? Did the water main break, causing the land to move? We don’t know,” said Black.
No injuries were reported.
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