Fire destroys Amazon.com VP's Seattle home

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 9 at 12:52 PM

Lacquer fumes ignited by a furnace caused an explosive fire at a home under construction in Seattle's Laurelhurst neighborhood on Monday afternoon.

A construction worker was hurt in the fire. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center.

The home belongs to Adam Selipsky, the Vice President of Product Management at Amazon.com. The family was not living at the home, which was about 85 percent complete.

Embers caused at least two other nearby homes to catch fire. They were partially damaged.

Neighbors said the explosion from the fire caused their own homes to shake.

“We had just gotten home, we were inside  and I sat down to check my e-mail … and all of a sudden we felt the closet contents shift and the French doors shake and I wondered if  it wasn't an earthquake. It didn’t seem quite enough from what I’ve experienced before with earthquakes … we both looked at each other and said that was odd," said Marie Lawrence, who lives nearby.

The fire was visible from Kirkland and the SR 520 bridge, and the smoke could be seen for miles.

Francine Dionne said she and her husband were sailing on Lake Washington and heard the explosion. Black smoke started within 5 minutes, she said.

Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said fires like this can move very quickly.

"When you have a space that's an open space like this house under construction and it has all of the oxygen it needs, all the fuel it needs, it has a big open space, it can expand very quickly, as opposed to a closed room where it doesn't have access to oxygen," he said.

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