The Seattle Fire Department expects the house which burned down Thursday night in Crown Hill to have over $300,000 in damages.
Fire 'guts house' in Crown Hill; elderly man dies
Last Thursday Night, Aug. 23, Laura Walker's life changed completely.
While she was away from the house, an electrical malfunction had caused a fire in her house in Crown Hill, quickly spreading and effectively gutting the house from the inside out. Her husband, Al Walker, was found unconscious in the bathroom, according to the Seattle Fire Department. Firefighters performed CPR, determined he still had a heartbeat and got him to the Harborview Hospital. He was "fighting for his life" on the ride over, according to an early report from Ballard News-Tribune's news partner Q13 News. Around 5 a.m. Friday morning, Aug. 24, Al Walker passed away. He was 83.
Al Walker was a lifelong Seattle resident. He grew up in Wallingford, went to Lincoln High School and drove an OroWeat truck for 42 years. He was an active church member, acting as the Sunday School superintendent for North Seattle Community Chapel for 32 years, and more recently attending Creekside Church in Mountlake Terrace, which his wife still attends. He lived in the now ruined Crown Hill house for over 50 years. Laura Walker said he was one of the first residents in the area and that there were still trees everywhere when he first moved in. Though they had known each other for most of their lives, the two had just been married about two and a half years ago.
The Seattle Fire Department responded to several calls about the fire at 9:50 p.m. By the time they got there, the house was already up in flames, and firefighters battled it for 17 minutes before they were to bring it down to smolders.
The next day, Laura Walker stood outside her house with her mom, friends, neighbors and fellow church members all stopping by throughout the day to talk to and comfort her. The house was completely blackened on the front and side. The windows were tapered off and the now charcoal-like wood door was closed, barring any view of the inside. Fire Department investigators said the house sustained $300,000 in damages. "It's a total loss," Laura Walker's mother said, as she gazed upon it.
When interviewed, Laura Walker said she did not know what will happen next. She said she did not have much money left in the bank account, did not know where she would live or what she would do to recover. On top of everything, she has been struggling with colon cancer for several years and does not know if or when it will come back. She punctuated sentences about her losses with a nervous chuckle.
Those who want to contact Laura Walker may do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.