Fire destroys Amazon.com VP's Seattle home

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 12:53 PM

A construction worker was hurt when a furnace exploded in the home he was working on in the Laurelhurst neighborhood on Monday afternoon.

The home belongs to Adam Selipsky, the Vice President of Product Management at Amazon.com.

The family was not living at the home, which was about 85 percent complete.

Neighbors felt their homes shake.

“We had just gotten home, we were inside  and I sat down to check my e-mail … and all of a sudden we felt the closet contents shift and the French doors shake and I wondered if  it wasn't an earthquake. It didn’t seem quite enough from what I’ve experienced before with earthquakes … we both looked at each other and said that was odd," said Marie Lawrence, who lives nearby.

The fire was visible from Kirkland and the SR 520 bridge, and the smoke could be seen for miles.

Francine Dionne said she and her husband were sailing on Lake Washington and heard the explosion. Black smoke started within 5 minutes, she said.

At least two other homes were damaged when embers landed on them and caught fire.

Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said fires like this can move very quickly.

"When you have a space that's an open space like this house under construction and it has all of the oxygen it needs, all the fuel it needs, it has a big open space, it can expand very quickly, as opposed to a closed room where it doesn't have access to oxygen," he said.

The construction worker was taken to Harborview Medical Center to be treated for burns.

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