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October 24, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Seattle police helping investigate Lake City house fire

A view into the basement of the house that burned shows what appears to be a sea of marijuana plants. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

In the garage of the house that burned is what appears to be a sea of marijuana plants. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

The Seattle Police Department is assisting in the investigation of a house fire tonight in the 13000 block of 35th Avenue Northeast in Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood.  A man and a woman escaped the house when they smelled smoke, but a cat is still missing.

Police seized “suspected marijuana” plants from the home’s basement after firefighters knocked out the fire, said SPD spokesman Jeff Kappel.

The fire, which was reported at around 7:40 p.m., was caused by a kitchen stove, said Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore. Fifteen-foot flames were shooting out of  the top and sides of the structure and ignited a 100-foot tree nearby.

“What a night!” exclaimed neighbor Antoinette Carson, 62. “That fir tree could have set everything on fire. I saw sparks flying everywhere.”

The house is a total loss with $400,000 in structural damage and $50,000 in content losses, Moore said.

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