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Fire damages Bridle Trails School
A fire Sunday night resulted in $250,000 worth of damage to Bridle Trails School, a private preschool in north Bellevue, and the adjoining residence on the 3000 block of 140th Ave. Northeast.
Firefighters from Bellevue and Redmond arrived at the scene at 6:24 p.m., just as the owner of the house and her granddaughter escaped the blaze. No one else was in the house at the time, though the school, located on the first floor, serves 80 preschoolers during the day.
The homeowner first called to report smoke filling her room on the second floor. She hung up shortly afterward and firefighters later learned that she'd called her daughter and granddaughter, who lived nearby. They drove to her rescue and helped her exit the smoke-filled house. Firefighters successfully extinguished the flames within 32 minutes.
The owner and her granddaughter were transported to Overlake Hospital where they were treated for smoke inhalation and released Sunday.
"We always get [nervous] when schools are involved," said Lt. Troy Donlin of the Bellevue Fire Department. "We never know if there are still kids there at that hour. Thankfully, we were told that there was nobody else in the building."
The fire seems to have begun in the upstairs bedroom, but the exact cause has been reported undetermined. Downstairs, the preschool sustained significant water and smoke damage.
"We would like to get up and running as quickly as possible," said Karen Miller, a Bridle School employee and the occupant's daughter.
The school is looking into alternatives for classroom space, like other buildings on the property and possibly portable classrooms. A voicemail recording indicates Bridle Trails staff have not yet determined when they will reopen.