Neighbors blame fireworks for deadly two-home fire in King County: ‘It was just raining stuff last night’

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KING COUNTY, Wash. -- A house fire in the Highline neighborhood of unincorporated King County spread to a neighboring home, killing an elderly man and his dog inside.

Some neighbors believe fireworks are behind the deadly fire.

“It was just raining stuff last night, this came out of the sky.”

Dave White lives just two doors down.

“I saw the two houses up in flames here... They went up fast. It was a matter of time for something like this to land on somebody’s house and scorch it.”

Fire crews were able to get 70-year-old Roland Kennedy out of the house, but he died at the scene.

Thirteen people were left without a place to live after the fire.

“His wife made it out, him and his dogs did not. That’s what I understand, that’s how fast the fire went. [Roland] had an injured leg, as I do. I don’t know whether that had anything to do with him not being able to get out.”

While the man and his dog didn’t survive and one of their dogs is still missing, his wife and the 12 people living in the neighboring house where the fire started made it out ok.

Officials with the King County Sheriff’s Office say that someone from the house where the fire started, went over to alert the couple in the other home that there was a fire. The woman living there yelled upstairs to her husband, telling him about the fire.

She went out back to get the garden hose to try to put the fire out and when that didn’t work, she went back inside and the main level of her home was engulfed in flames. Her 70-year-old husband was still upstairs.

Brothers, Nattu and Twelde Abraha witnessed what happened.

“When I went out, I just see flames from over there.”

They live next door and feared the fire could spread to their home, telling Q13 News the fire was creeping around the back and getting close to their yard.

“It was like some of the worst paranoia I’ve ever felt in my life.”

Nattu saying, “If the fire transferred to our house, you know, what would we do?”

As for the family in this home and the woman who made it out from the other home Sgt. Ryan Abbott with King County Sheriff says, “13 people displaced to Red Cross, so there’s a lot of people that were really affected by this fire.”

Officials continue to try to figure out what happened, and because of the timing, they are considering fireworks as a potential cause.

“Of course it could possibly be, but we don’t have the answer for sure yet.”

White stands by his theory that fireworks are to blame.

“This is unincorporated King County, so people flock here to light fireworks… They’re dangerous and unlawful for a reason, they call them 'fire' works.”

Officials say a dog is still missing from the home where the 70-year-old man died. The investigation into what happened will continue through the weekend.

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