A Kent home that had been without electricity since Wednesday was damaged early Sunday in a fire that investigators believe was caused by the hot exhaust gases of a portable generator.
The fire occurred in the 27500 block of 118th Avenue Southeast, in the East Hill area of Kent.
The home’s owner said the family had been using a portable generator in a backyard shed to power the home since Wednesday, when they lost electricity because of the winter storms.
A little before 5 a.m., the homeowner heard a “pop” outside and found the shed, about 10 feet from the house, engulfed in flames. The heat generated by the fire caused the house’s vinyl siding to melt, so the family evacuated and called for help.
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Kent firefighters say they were able to quickly put out the fire. Damage was estimated at $14,000, and no injuries were reported.
The fire was ruled accidental, with the cause determined to be combustible items placed too close to the generator’s exhaust.
The fire department advises that when using a portable gas-fired generator, people should provide at least 5 feet of clearance between its exhaust pipe and any combustibles.