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The story of our floating home fire

By November 18, 2021

#11, Floating Homes, Mallard Cove

Here’s the story of our floating home, #11 at Mallard Cove, catching fire.

We were eight months into a nine-month remodel and our place was looking good! The finish line was in sight for our studs-out remodel to add two new rooms, re-locate the front door (by losing the split-level entrance), replace the leaky roof, and remodel the kitchen. And while we were at it – new windows, new siding, new drywall, new flooring, new electrical, new plumbing… Nothing was untouched except the two bathrooms we had remodeled in 2018. We were so close that we had just booked movers so we could move back in…

But on April 28th we were woken up at dawn by fire trucks rushing by our temporary digs (we were living on land just two blocks away). Minutes later a neighbor called my wife in tears letting us know it was our floating home that the fire trucks were rushing to.

I flew down the stairs and out the door to find out that it really was our floating home with smoke pouring out of it (video footage courtesy of neighbors).

There was nothing to do but watch as the fire department set up as they prepared to enter our home.

At one point 24 fire units had been dispatched.

Including a boat and there were firemen in scuba gear ready to rescue anyone who fell in the lake.

Here’s a sense of how much water they pumped into the house.

After about two hours, we could enter the home.

The fire originated in our kid’s bathroom’s ceiling taking out the staircase to upstairs.

What the fire didn’t destroy, the smoke did.

Fortunately, we weren’t home at the time of the fire, none of our belongings were lost, the fire didn’t spread to our neighbors, and we were insured.

We owe a big thanks to the Seattle Fire Department for their quick and thorough response, our neighbors for their patience, our insurance adjuster, Roger Maib, our attorney Gary Williams, and our friends and family who kept us sane afterward.

And finally, after a seven-month drawn-out process with the insurance company, we’ve been able to start demo and rebuilding!

At the time, we didn’t realize it, but perhaps not surprisingly, the inside of the home is a total loss. All drywall, insulation, flooring, cabinetry, etc. has to be removed. As well, all the second-story windows cracked and need to be removed resulting in most of the siding on the home needing to be demo’d as well. What a mess!

While I have your attention:

  • Check your smoke detectors
  • Get a couple beefy fire extinguishers (we now have one in our bedroom)
  • Double check you have sufficient insurance coverage not just for your structure, but your belongings, and the two years you’ll be out of your home as you rebuild

I own and manage Urban Living, a boutique Seattle and Bellevue real estate brokerage. I love lofts, floating homes, new construction, and mid-century moderns, but I will help you buy or sell just about anything!

Get in touch to:

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  • Find your perfect home
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