Two escape, neighborhood evacuated when home slides, collapses in Bellevue
BELLEVUE, Wash. — Bellevue Fire officials said two people escaped from a home that partially slid off its foundation and collapsed after a water main break and landslide in the Somerset neighborhood.
Dozens of residents in the area have been evacuated while experts determine if the area is safe.
Jay Hagen with the Bellevue Fire Department said firefighters were called to the 5000 block of 139th Place Southeast for a report of minor flooding near the upper half of the Somerset neighborhood just after 4 a.m. Monday.
When firefighters arrived, they noticed a large amount of water flowing around one home. Firefighters went to Forest Ridge Elementary above the home to investigate the source of the water, and when they returned, the home had slid halfway off its foundation, Hagen said.
The home is currently sitting at a 45-degree angle on a slope.
There is a large debris field and the area is unstable. Bellevue Police Department Public Information Officer Meeghan Black said 17 homes were evacuated within a half-mile radius of the slide. Those homes are being evaluated.
“We really are concerned about that structure (the collapsed home) and all the structures in the immediate area. We’ve called in specialized resources from Olympia this morning and they are on the way right now to help us determine the stability of the structures and the soil around the structures, so that we can determine where it’s safe and not safe to reoccupy and get folks back into their homes when it’s safe to do so,” said Hagen.
Loaders were used to clear rocks and debris from the road.
Bellevue Public Utilities has not yet shut off the water main due to complications with a gas line and instability in the area.
Hagen also said there was evidence that natural gas is leaking somewhere and firefighters are working with Puget Sound Energy staff to determine the source. It is possible that gas lines were severed when the home slid.
Police said that so far, 42 people and several pets have been evacuated. That number may increase as crews assess the area. Of those evacuees, Hagen said 30 people will be given shelter at the South Bellevue Community Center.
Eleven homes have had power and gas shut off because of unsafe conditions.
It is not yet known when people will be able to return to their homes.
No injuries were reported.
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