Congressional candidate’s house fire ignited accidentally

Investigators said the fire that destroyed the Ames Lake home of Eighth Congressional District candidate Darcy Burner was caused by a malfunctioning electrical device, according to Sgt. John Urquhart of the King County Sheriff’s Office.

“It was determined accidental,” Urquhart said. “It was not arson. They will do some tests on the device to see exactly what happened.”

Burner said it was caused by a “faulty lamp in my son’s room.”

The fire broke out sometime between 7 and 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday while Burner, her husband and their 5-year-old son were asleep. All three were able to escape from the flaming house, which is located on the 3600 block of West Ames Lake Road between Redmond and Carnation.

“Unfortunately, our home and all of the possessions in it are a total loss,” Burner said. “But I am so grateful that my family and I escaped safely.”

According to Burner’s campaign spokesperson Sandeep Kaushik, the house is “a total loss — the roof is gone, the interior is gutted, the exterior walls are barely standing.”

Burner said she and her family are lucky to be alive and credited her son, Henry, for saving their lives.

The fire started in Henry’s room, Urquhart said. He was awakened by a smoke alarm and ran into his parents room, yelling “the house is on fire.”

Burner’s husband Mike initially tried to fight the fire with a fire extinguisher, but the flames were too strong and moving too fast, Urquhart said.

The family escaped, but all their personal possession perished in the fire.

“They were able to get out, but just barely,” Urquhart said.

Fire fighters were able to rescue the family dog, Bruce Wayne, a 7-month-old golden retriever, but a pet cat, Charlotte, died in the fire.

Burner, her husband Mike and son Henry will be staying with family friends in Redmond. Henry was taken to be with some close friends as soon as possible after the family fled the burning home.

“In the first few hours afterward, the firefighters did a great job, but (Darcy’s) just been running on adrenaline and now wants to be with her family, so we’ll have to wait and see what is next,” Kaushik concluded.

Burner, a Democrat, is in a close race with Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, who narrowly beat Burner in 2006. Burner will continue with her campaign, Kaushik said.

“I know her really well,” Kaushik said. “She has this kind of core determiniation about her … she is not going to give up now. She beleives strongly in what she is doing. She is going to take some time to deal with her personal issues and she will be back.”