Last February, a home located in the 6400 block of Lake Washington Boulevard S.E. caught fire. Initial damage was reported at $500,000.

According to the Newcastle News, “The fire was caused by radiant heat from the home’s fireplace that ignited a pile of boxes stacked nearby. The fireplace was located in the home’s sun room area. It progressed through the home by burning through a nearby sliding glass door and entering the kitchen. “

Bellevue Fire Department Lt. Troy Donlin said the residents had just moved into the home less than three weeks before the fire started. (emphasis ours)

Thankfully, because of working smoke detectors, a 22-year-old woman was able to leave the home without injury. Her stepfather was taken to the hospital, but luckily he suffered only minor burns.

We were relieved to see that the loss from this fire was, while substantial, only property-related. It did make us wonder, however, whether a fire of this type could have been prevented if this family had had professional assistance unpacking and removing the cardboard moving boxes at the time of their move. We usually market our service as saving people time and stress. Now we wonder if there may be an important safety aspect as well.