Stan Biddle heard a sound Monday at about 7:20 a.m. and he looked out his bedroom window.
“I heard someone saying ‘Oh my God, oh my God’ and I heard puffing sounds,” Biddle said. “It just didn’t sound right.”
Biddle saw a “fireball” on the deck of his neighbor’s home in the 21800 block of 237th Street in Maple Valley.
Jamie McMullen, the neighbor directly behind the burning home, said he heard a sound followed by an explosion. A fence more than 6-feet high separated the homes. At first McMullen tried to kick a fence slat out, but he was bare foot. Despite a separated shoulder, he scaled the fence.
“I jumped the fence and went to the side window,” McMullen said. “I broke out the side window and hung in there and yelled, ‘Everybody get out. There’s a fire’. The fire was about 10 feet away and really hot. I’d never seen anything like it.”
McMullen called 911 and said, “There’s an uncontrollable fire. Propane tanks are exploding.”
After calling 911, Jamie McMullen, his brother P.J. McMullen, Adam Mayrhofer and other neighbors began fighting the blaze with garden hoses until the Maple Valley firefighters arrived.
The fire that started on the deck of the home quickly involved the entire back of the structure and roof. Inside were a man, his wife, two dogs and cats.
The man received second degree burns when he tried to push some fire debris off the wood deck where the blaze is believed to have started. A Maple Valley firefighter sustained minor injuries during the incident according to Maple Valley Deputy Fire Chief Lawrence Rude.
The man’s wife and the animals were not harmed.
“We were called to the scene of a fire outside a building,” Rude said. “When we got there it had actually gone up through the siding, up into the attic and was fully involved.”
Four engines, an aid car, a battalion chief, safety officer, King County medics and fire investigators arrived at the scene.
Rude said that it took less than half an hour to get the fire under control. The Maple Valley firefighter was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Tacoma for treatment.
The man with second degree burns was taken to Harborview Medical Center.
Investigators are looking at charcoal briquettes and a barbecue located on the deck as the possible cause of the fire.
The video footage was shot by P.J. McMullen with his cell phone and Carrie Biddle.
The slide show photos were submitted by Stephanie Biddle.