Other item: Issaquah house fire linked to electrical problem.

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Judges for a national police group gave the Bellevue Police Department rave reviews this week.

The three men were in town to determine whether the department should be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Before they left on Wednesday, the judges said they had never seen an agency so well-prepared for accreditation, according to Bellevue police spokesman Michael Chiu.

The briefing paves the way for the CALEA board to officially accredit the department in March.

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CALEA, based in Virginia, has accredited about 700 law-enforcement agencies across the country.

Bellevue would be the 14th CALEA-accredited police agency in the state.


House fire linked to electrical problem

A fire that damaged a house south of Issaquah on Wednesday was apparently started by an electrical problem in a garage, fire officials said.

The fire started about 5 p.m. in a 2,500-square-foot home in the 16700 block of 254th Avenue Southeast, in the Four Lakes area, said Eastside Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Josie Williams.

A couple and two guests had been home for only a few minutes when the fire began. They escaped without injury and are staying with friends.

Damage was estimated at $100,000.

Seattle Times Eastside bureau