A fire on Christmas evening burned a 10,000 square foot mansion to the ground in Edmonds.
The fire happened around 6:40 pm and firefighters scrambled to keep neighbor’s homes safe.
“They were up on top spraying each house. It was probably the biggest Christmas bonfire I’ve ever seen,” said Dennis Fitzgerald, who lives a couple of houses down.
“All these embers in the air and it was just floating everywhere,” said Margo Bykonen, who lives right next door. She and her family were evacuated Christmas night. “They did a great job, I can’t thank the firefighters enough,” she said.
Another neighbor, Ron MacDonald, shared video of the mansion completely engulfed by flames.
Fire crews and neighbors called the property “abandoned” but the property owner told KIRO7 it is just vacant.
He said no one has lived there for six or seven years because of an ongoing property dispute, but said he regularly checks on it and tries to secure it.
However, he said people have broken in multiple times before. Neighbors said they’re aware it’s a problem.
“The police have been called multiple times there,” Bykonen said.
Fire crews said they’re investigating if squatters might’ve played a role in this fire.
“The house looks to be vacant house with homeless people,” said Batallion Fire Chief John Putz of South County Fire.
Chopper 7 flew over the now gutted home as crews continued putting water on it from the air. You could also see more than a dozen cars on the property.
According to Zillow, the house had six bedrooms and 11 bathrooms and was worth $3.6 million. dollars.
The home is at the end of a long private drive. Fire crews said they had to break through a locked gate, then had trouble getting water to the flames and needed to roll out about 2,000 feet of hose to reach the house.
“The water supply, because it’s uphill, the water supply is weaker than normal so we had to focus our water on certain areas,” Putz said.
And on the west side of the property, it was the farthest home on the block from a hydrant.
Neighbors say they tried to help.
“All these neighbors were grabbing the hose and dragging it down to the fire,” Fitzgerald said.
Tonight they’re just grateful everyone is safe.
“Glad no one was living in it and no one was harmed,” Fitzgerald said.
South County Fire said as of Thursday night, the structure was still too unstable to search inside to start the investigation on how the fire started. One unit will stay on scene overnight to monitor the still-smoldering mansion remains.
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