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Garage fire worsened by icy and snowy conditions

A large fire Wednesday destroyed a garage as firefighters were unable to reach the blaze quickly because icy and snowy conditions on top of one of Bellevue's highest elevations.

The fire, which began at 4:18 p.m. at the 14000 block of Southeast 47th Street in Somerset, did more than $100,000 worth of to the garage, but the home and its residents were unharmed.

A Bellevue Fire Department press release said firefighters were forced to stop 300 yards away and carry portions of the fire hose uphill to a nearby hydrant.

The cause appears to be accidental, according to the release. The homeowner stated that he placed some fireplace ashes in a bag and then put it in a safe spot outside. But his wife later picked up the bag not knowing the contents, and disposed of it in the garbage can in the garage.

A neighbor later alerted the homeowner that his garage was on fire. An effort was made to back a car to safety in the street, but it too was on fire and burnt up at the curb.

The dark smoke coming from high on the hill was visible as far as 10 miles away, and 911 reports were made from Seattle, 10 miles away.

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