Four vehicles were destroyed and damage was estimated at $350,000 in a fire that started in the garage of a Newcastle home shortly before...

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Four vehicles were destroyed and damage was estimated at $350,000 in a fire that started in the garage of a Newcastle home shortly before midnight Wednesday.

Three people in the home, a 51-year-old man, 54-year-old woman and their 14-year-old son, were awakened by the sound of a smoke detector. The man suffered minor smoke inhalation and was taken to Overlake Hospital but was quickly released. One firefighter also was taken to Overlake with a minor burn but returned to the scene.

Lt. Steve Thomas of Bellevue Fire Department Engine 9 said the garage doors had burned away by the time fire units arrived in the 7700 block of 120th Place Southeast shortly after the fire was reported at 11:25 p.m.

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A classic Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a 1987 Porsche were among the vehicles in the garage. All were on fire when firefighters arrived, and the Porsche had rolled out of the garage onto the driveway.

While firefighters were trying to put out the flames, the Porsche’s fuel tank ruptured and burning gas began spilling down a steep street.

At one point, the flaming gasoline burned through a fire hose being used to fight the blaze.

The most likely cause of the fire was an ongoing problem with the Porsche’s electrical system, King County Fire Investigator Steve Neff said.

The fire started in the garage where the Porsche was parked. The garage and its contents were destroyed, and the interior of the home had smoke and fire damage, said Lt. Bruce Kroon.


Police seek help in the department

The Bellevue Police Department is looking for volunteers to help with several aspects of police work. The department now has about 50 volunteers.

Bellevue police say that since the program began in 1994, volunteers have contributed more than 114,000 hours of service. Bellevue’s program has been used as a model for other departments around the country.

The volunteer positions include providing clerical support, community-station reception, parking enforcement, vehicle-fleet support, and help in property and police evidence. They also assist detectives in recovering stolen property. Qualifications and time commitments vary by assignment.

Applicants are screened and must undergo a background check. They must be Bellevue residents.

Information about the positions is available at the department, 11511 Main St., or by calling volunteer coordinator Marji Trachtman at 425-452-6017.


Volunteers needed to help remove ivy

Volunteers are needed to remove English Ivy tomorrow from Cougar Ridge Elementary School’s parking area.

Adults, teens and children with their parents are welcome to join in the effort from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers should wear long-sleeved shirts, gloves and closed-toe shoes and should bring a lunch and something to drink.

The school is in the Issaquah School District at 4630 167th Ave. S.E., Bellevue.

Debbie Roberts, a parent at the school who is coordinating tomorrow’s work, said the ivy also has spread to many nearby residences. She is seeking a grant from King County to replace the invasive weed with native plants.

For more information, call Roberts at 425-378-3853.

Seattle Times Eastside bureau