King County ‘hoarder’ home is destroyed by fire

King County investigators are trying to determine what sparked a massive midmorning fire at a home near Burien. The plume of smoke rising from the blaze could be seen from miles away. The 8th Avenue Street property where it happened has neighbors concerned.

Joe Megale says he was driving in the area when he noticed the smoke. The Burien man says he stopped by the home to see if anyone needed help.

“I walk into the place, and it’s bad,” said Megale. “It’s 30 to 40 cars in there.”

Megale describes what he saw as a “hoarder situation.” Beyond the derelict cars, he says petroleum on the property alarmed him.

Puget Sound Fire says all the debris in the lawn made putting the flames out a real challenge. Public Information Officer Pat Pawlak says eight different agencies were called in to assist.

“So far (this summer), this has been the most difficult fire that we’ve covered here in South King County,” said Pawlak.

According to Puget Sound FD, nobody was inside the home when it happened, and there were no injuries. Fire investigators have not pinpointed the cause or origin. Linda Rome lives right across the street from the property. From what she heard and saw, she believes the fire is electrical in nature.

“I heard a boom, and then all of a sudden, I heard a siren,” said Rome. “I looked out my window to see flames and black smoke literally everywhere.”

Pawlak says that charcoal-colored stream of smoke could be seen from as far away as Seattle and Kent. Witnesses believe it shot up at least 25 feet into the air.

The fire caused both lanes of northbound state Route 509 near South Cloverdale Street in south Seattle to close at about 10 a.m. but they have been reopened.

Eight different fire agencies were at the scene assisting in the fire response, and no injuries were reported.