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June 24, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Fire damages historic Capitol Hill home

Seattle firefighters battle a blaze on the upper levels of this home at 16th Avenue East and East Aloha Street in the Capitol Hill Neighborhood of Seattle Tuesday afternoon. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

Seattle firefighters battle a blaze on the upper levels of this home at 16th Avenue East and East Aloha Street in the Capitol Hill Neighborhood of Seattle Tuesday afternoon. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

Update 3:51 p.m.: A fire that damaged a historic home housing a commune was sparked by machinery used by a crew who were working on the gutters, according to the Seattle Fire Department.

The afternoon fire caused about $1 million worth of structural damage and about $250,000 worth of damage to items inside the home, fire spokesman Kyle Moore said.

“The whole roof has to be taken off and rebuilt. Plus the entire ceiling to the third floor,” Moore said, adding that the house is uninhabitable.

Moore said the fire displaced 12 adults, child and dog living in the home. The American Red Cross is helping the group find housing, Moore said.

Original post: Nearly 90 firefighters were called in to battle an attic fire at a historic home housing a commune in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood this afternoon.

One Seattle firefighter was injured after a portion of the ceiling collapsed on him inside the home at 747 16th Ave. E., said Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore. Six residents and dog that were home when the fire broke out were able to escape, Moore added.

Fire crews were called to the Prag home owned by Evergreen Land Trust at 12:16 p.m.

“The Prag House was originally purchased in 1972 by a group of University of Washington graduate students and professors in sociology … the purposes of Prag House are to encourage communal living as a viable alternative and to advance the growth of cooperating communities and non-polluting technologies,” according to the Evergreen Land Trust.

Moore said that when fire crews arrived “there was heavy black smoke coming from the attic and three-foot flames. We ended up opening up the attic,” Moore said.

A cause of the fire remains under investigation. Moore said the damage was confined to the attic; the living spaces were not damaged.

The home is said to be 7,650 square feet with 13 bedrooms with an assessed value at $2.8 million, according to property records.

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: Capitol Hill, House fire, Seattle Fire Department

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