MISSING: Have you seen Jackie?

September 19th, 2018 Tracy Posted in White Center news No Comments »

By suggestion, we are crossposting here about West Seattle resident Jackie Dupras. She has long been active in the community and could be anywhere. Her daughter says they are searching and posting flyers. Jackie is described as “74, diagnosed with dementia and increasing memory issues, 5’3″, 135 lbs., reddish gray hair, green eyes.” Last seen Sunday in West Seattle’s North Admiral neighborhood, in the 1900 block of 46th Ave SW. Call 911 if you have information.

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TODAY: Lunch and Learn in White Center, ‘Diversifying the Teacher Workforce’

September 19th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Education, White Center news No Comments »

The Equity in Education Coalition continues its series of Lunch and Learn discussions today, again at noon at Bethaday Community Learning Space in White Center:

Free, but RSVPs are appreciated – go here.

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VIDEO: Recognize this robber?

September 19th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news No Comments »

Recognize him? If you do, you might be able to help solve this White Center holdup:

It happened just before 8 am on July 30th at Uncle Ike’s in White Center, but the video is being circulated now. The robber is described as 20 to 30 years old, wearing a dark hoodie and dark pants, carrying a satchel, armed with a handgun. He held up the shop and took off on foot. If you have any information on his identity, call 911.

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FOLLOWUP: King County finalizes plan for new Department of Local Services

September 18th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news 1 Comment »

With annexation apparently not on the horizon, White Center and the rest of unincorporated North Highline will be relying on King County for some time to come. The plan for a county Department of Local Servicesannounced last January – is now officially on the way to reality. Here’s the announcement:

King County Executive Dow Constantine thanked the Metropolitan King County Council for its unanimous vote to establish a new Department of Local Services to improve the coordination and delivery of services in unincorporated areas of the county.

The new department will consist of a Permitting Division for development permit reviews, code enforcement, and subarea planning, a Road Services Division with responsibility for 1,500 miles of County roads and 182 bridges, and the Community Services Area program.

“Our new department will help us deliver the highest level of customer service to the nearly quarter-million people who live in unincorporated King County, which would be the second-largest city in our state,” said Executive Constantine. “We are creating a go-to agency for the people who live in rural and urban unincorporated areas for direct services that improve the quality of life in our region.”

The ordinance approved today establishes the new Department of Local Services effective Jan. 1, 2019 — the same date on which Metro Transit becomes a stand-alone department. Executive Constantine expects to name the first director of Local Services in October following a competitive recruitment process.

“Our staff members have met with community councils and associations throughout unincorporated King County, and heard from residents at ten recent community town halls,” said Harold Taniguchi, Director of the King County Department of Transportation, who has been leading the transition to the new agency. “Thanks to their insights, the new department will be ready to hit the ground running in January.”

“I’m excited for the new Department of Local Services and eager for the opportunity we have to create the best-run local government,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, whose district serves a wide area of urban and rural northeast King County, said. “For the first time, unincorporated residents will have a director in the Executive’s cabinet dedicated to addressing their ongoing and emergent needs while delivering the high-quality services they deserve.”

“As a former city mayor, I understand the importance and complexity of providing local government services, such as roads, surface water management, and police,” said Councilmember Claudia Balducci, one of the co-sponsors to the ordinance. “As a County Councilmember I appreciate the challenges of providing local services to our far-flung unincorporated area. The creation of a new Department of Local Services provides us the opportunity to be more coordinated and more responsive to the residents for whom King County is the only local government.”

“From White Center to Vashon Island to the foothills of the Cascades, our unincorporated areas have unique and equally important needs,” King County Council Chair Joe McDermott. “Our residents there deserve flexible and proactive service from their local government, making the creation of this department an exciting step forward for the County.”

Executive Constantine also thanked Senior Deputy Executive Fred Jarrett for leading a Local Services Initiative that studied ways to improve how the county delivers direct and contracted services in unincorporated areas, including road and bridge services, public safety, clean water, and increased access to opportunities.

The Department of Local Services will be funded by existing revenues, and will be included in the 2019-2020 biennial proposed budget that the Executive will send to the Council on Sept. 24. The council is scheduled to adopt a King County budget by Thanksgiving.

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Evergreen High School to get new synthetic-turf field, partly funded by Seahawks grant

September 11th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Schools, Sports, White Center news 2 Comments »

Today’s announcement is from the Seahawks:

Highline Public Schools will install a synthetic turf field at Evergreen High School thanks in part to a $250,000 grant from the Seattle Seahawks through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program.

The grant from the Seahawks, the NFL Foundation, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is part of more than $3 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year.

The NFL Foundation/LISC Grassroots Program, a partnership between the NFL Foundation and LISC, the nation’s leading community development support organization, has committed nearly $46 million to the program since 1998, supporting 336 projects nationwide. Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements including irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.

LISC identifies local, nonprofit, community-based agencies that have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and neighborhood parks. Through the program, local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of fields in their communities. The agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.

“In many ways, the community of White Center and our scholar-athletes attending Evergreen and Cascade will significantly benefit from the facility improvements on campus thanks to these generous grants by the Seahawks and King County,” said Highline Public Schools Athletic Director Phil Willenbrock.

“This investment represents more than just a new field to play on – it is also about creating a gathering space to help build community, teach important life lessons, and continues to allow our children to dream big. Thank you to the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks for helping make a difference for families as the lives of many will be touched by this award,” said LISC Program Vice President, Joseph Horiye.

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King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht tells North Highline Unincorporated Area Council about her ‘intense’ start

September 10th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center news No Comments »

(WCN photos by Patrick Sand)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

It wasn’t Mitzi Johanknecht‘s first guest appearance before the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, but last Thursday was her first appearance as King County Sheriff.

She said the start of her term has moved fast and been “intense.” It began with training that hadn’t happened in a few years. Eighty “less-lethal shotguns” – “beanbag rounds” – were distributed in the first quarter. And they’ve bought more, “with the goal of having almost everyone who’s in a patrol car … to have that tool on board with them.” She put through a supplemental budget request at mid-year and got funding for a full-time recruiter, which she said the department hasn’t had in years.

A few weeks ago, she sent King County Executive Dow Constantine her proposed budget. He asked for millions in cuts; “I said no,” the sheriff declared. “We respect that (he wants us to) cut our budget, but we see some real needs in our communities.” They’ve asked for a Regional Gang Task Force, starting with a sergeant and two detectives from KCSO, “so we can get our arms around the gang problem … (which) extends across all the borders.” In the next week or so, she said, we’ll see the executive’s budget, and she expects to see that included.

Another accomplishment: A fulltime community liaison, who will be working fulltime on drafting a community engagement plan. “This is a person who isn’t a badge or gun toter …somebody who actually has experience” in community engagement. The job will be posted soon, she said.

They’re also proposing combining some KCSO units to create a Youth and Family Section. And they’ll be working to fight fraud and scams – protecting seniors, for example. Also, they’re asking for a new Training Detective – looking ahead to the potential passage of Initiative 940 (De-escalate Washington) – and Mental Illness and Drug Dependency funds to coordinate someone that will work on services such as crisis intervention.

What about marijuana-related money – is it helping? asked NHUAC vice president Barbara Dobkin. The sheriff replied that in order to get some added resources, she suggested putting that money toward helping people with addiction issues, among other things.

Will the area get more officers, given the increased density? The sheriff said she asked for 18 more officers – 6 more at each of the unincorporated-area precincts. She also noted that a staffing study is under way.

As for those on staff already – NHUAC board members told the sheriff that they get great service from the people currently assigned – Kennamer, Peter Truong, etc.

NHUAC president Liz Giba asked about notification when new marijuana businesses are proposed, like recently opened Mr. Buds. Major Howard said they aren’t asked for their opinion at the start, only at renewals.

In an ensuing random discussion, the sheriff noted that she has trouble getting to all her e-mail.

P.S. 9:30-11 am October 3rd at Brass Knuckle Bistro, several KCSO reps will be available for Q&A at “Coffee with a Cop.”

Before the sheriff’s arrival, two members of her local team presented their update:

CRIME UPDATE: Storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer (above left) said that KCSO has changed its data-storage methods, so he didn’t have as much data as usual. But they had a lot more “Part 1” crimes than usual. Precinct 4 commander Major Bryan Howard joined Kennamer at the front of the room and explained that every department in the U.S. is converting to a better way to parse data – but comparing new stats with old ones under the old system is apples to oranges. He said crime is going to look higher because “the way we are counting it” has changed. The shift, Howard said, happened back on July 16th. They are writing reports in a new system, too. Everything is compliant with NIBRS (explained here). He does believe auto theft is trending slightly higher. Kennamer said some repeat offenders are back on the street. Major Howard noted that juvenile offenders are now booked only for the most serious things.

The precinct currently has 31 officers but at full staffing should have 42, Howard said. They’re recruiting but it’s tough. Full staffing would mean 3 officers at a time in White Center rather than 2, and would mean more proactive policing, “the kind of policing we want to do, the kind of policing our new sheriff wants us to do.”

Howard also talked about the Myers Way encampment zone and said that about six weeks ago, they looked into concerns that campers had spilled into the unincorporated area. Those concerns turned out to be unfounded, he said; a grand total of one person was found camping outside city limits.

Giba asked for a status update on the Burien murders. Major Howard said there were no updates that he could discuss.

Also at Thursday night’s NHUAC meeting:

PLANT AMNESTY: Former NHUAC board member Dominic Barrera is now the executive director of this organization founded by the late Cass Turnbull.

Since taking over Plant Amnesty, Barrera said, he’s worked to broaden the organization’s audience beyond its North Seattle-heavy focus. Toward that end, PA will be offering classes in White Center starting this fall – first one, 7 pm Wednesday, September 19th, at North Highline Fire District HQ. October 24th and November 14th will be the two following classes – the topics include pruning. Barrera said he’s been learning too – “my rose bushes are better than ever, my Japanese maple is better than ever …”

He also discussed the Seattle tree-ordinance controversy. He said one big concern is the removal of “exceptional trees” from the protections in the new proposal. He also noted that the ordinance has now been placed on a slower track and won’t likely be voted on until early next year. He said one thing advocates will do in the meantime is case studies. NHUAC vice president Barbara Dobkin noted that in this area, “it’s a free for all” and “legacy trees” are being cut down with impunity. Barrera said an attempt to craft a countywide tree ordinance failed years ago.

REDEVELOPMENT: In downtown White Center, the former Club Evolucion and former Fantasy Shop are owned by the same investor and both will be split into multiple business spaces, Deputy Kennamer said he had learned. He also noted the work that’s under way on the new Greenbridge development on the east end of the area, off 4th SW.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Upcoming events include the White Center Food Bank gala at the Brockey Center on October 20th and the Southwest Youth and Family Services gala on October 27th. .. The White Center Eagles are having a First Responders Appreciation Dinner, 3-6 pm September 16th, free for any first responder …the White Center Art Walk is coming up, too.

UPCOMING MEETINGS: The October meeting will be a candidate forum with 34th District State Senate candidates Shannon Braddock and Joe Nguyen. In November, the King County Land Conservation Initiative is a planned topic, and they’re hoping for a state Liquor and Cannabis Board followup. In December, NHUAC is looking toward a legislative focus with State Reps. Joe Fitzgibbon and Eileen Cody, plus the State Senate seat winner. … NHUAC meets on first Thursdays most months, 7 pm at NHFD HQ (1243 SW 112th).

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Quick updates as Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee meets

September 9th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Myers Way, White Center news 4 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

More tiny houses and a permanent camp manager were among the updates at a brief meeting of the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee this afternoon.

Community Advisory Council members present were chair Willow Fulton, a nearby resident; Judi Carr, a resident of Arrowhead Gardens (where the committee meets); Aaron Garcia of the White Center Community Development Association; Cinda Stenger of the Westside Interfaith Network and Alki UCC; and Grace Stiller of Weed Warriors.

Present from camp operator LIHI were Josh Castle. C2C manager Eric Davis announced he will soon be in that role as a LIHI employee, after about a year. (That drew a round of applause at meeting’s end.) Davis is a camp founder and managed C2C in a paid position under the original camp operator Patacara, but the camp changed operators during a time of controversy and Davis’s position did not become a job again until now.

He presented the monthly update on the city-sanctioned encampment: 45 residents (34 men and 11 women), four of them new, six moved out for jobs/housing/family reunification; one moved out for treatment; no one was barred during the month.

No City of Seattle rep this time – Tom Van Bronkhorst, the usual rep, was absent. Fulton had hoped for a city rep to be present as usual because on the city side of Myers Way – not related to C2C, she made clear – there are new problems including vehicles in various states of disrepair/demolition.

She feels that such dumping/activity is a magnet for more trouble – “people see it as a dumping ground because it looks like a dumping ground” – so she feels the city should patrol the area regularly rather than wait for complaints. Davis said that vehicles like this are being stripped at 2, 3 am and yes, he said, they have called police. “They just need someone to drive up and down there for six months to get it under control, midnight to six am.”

Fulton says it would be great to have a camera of some sort in the area.

Liz Giba of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council suggested working with King County Sheriff’s Office White Center storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer. Fulton noted that the problems seem to be on the Seattle side and the two sides pass them back and forth “like a hot potato.”

Stenger said Alki UCC has completed eight more tiny houses for the camp and has money to build five more. On September 22nd, the camp will host a celebration and blessing of the eight new houses, starting at noon, with music and food. (All welcome!) She also said she’s working on “the shower issue” and “might have a solution for that.” The camp now has 31 tiny houses and 22 tents.

Castle noted that the County Council has taken its vote on whether to give tax money to the Mariners or to affordable housing, and says more was shifted to the latter than originally proposed. (Added: The final vote is on September 17th; what a committee approved on September 5th was to allocate $165 million more lodging-tax dollars to affordable housing than originally proposed.)

Absent any community concerns, or formal agenda items, the meeting adjourned after half an hour. Next one will be 2 pm October 7th, also at Arrowhead Gardens.

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Now on display at Dubsea Coffee: ‘Synthesis’

September 6th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Arts, Beverages, Greenbridge, White Center news 2 Comments »

Been to Dubsea Coffee (9910 8th SW) lately? We just received this announcement about the art you’ll see there this month, by Brooke Fotheringham:

Synthesis – A photographic daydream at the intersection of genetic engineering and materials science

A visual exploration of the potential of genetic engineering to create innovations both aesthetic and practical to deal with surviving on a rapidly changing planet; a collection of new life and materials imagined by manipulating and rearranging botanical and synthesized forms. What if we could grow windows, lamp shades, or fiber optic cables the way diatoms grow their ethereal glass houses instead of manufacturing them in a more traditional sense?

“Synthesis” is on display through the end of the month, 6 am-7 pm daily.

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Classes start Wednesday in Highline Public Schools

September 4th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Highline School District, White Center news No Comments »

Just a reminder: Wednesday is the first day of school for Highline Public Schools, for students in grades 1 through 12. Kindergarteners start on Monday, September 10th. Good luck this year to students, teachers, and staffers!

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King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht to visit North Highline Unincorporated Area Council this Thursday

September 3rd, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center news No Comments »

Labor Day’s here and it’s time to look ahead to a full fall for everything from schools to community groups. On the latter front, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council would love to see you Thursday – here’s the preview:

(See the notice here in full-size PDF.)

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White Center ‘End of Summer’ flea market – want to be a seller?

September 2nd, 2018 Tracy Posted in White Center Chamber of Commerce, White Center news No Comments »

One week from today – on Sunday, September 9th – the White Center Chamber of Commerce is presenting another multi-seller Flea Market, this time 11 am-2 pm in the US Bank parking lot (9800 15th SW). If you want to sell at the market, you can reserve a spot via PayPal – just go here, and be sure to include two things – a note that it’s for the Flea Market, and your name/contact info. $20 gets you a 10 x 10 space; non-refundable, rain or shine. Bring your own table, chairs, pop-up canopy if needed …questions? E-mail Sheryl at onpointmom@gmail.com. If you’re not selling but just want to shop – just show up!

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White Center Co-Op Preschool has room for more students this year!

August 31st, 2018 Tracy Posted in Schools, White Center news Comments Off on White Center Co-Op Preschool has room for more students this year!

Looking for a preschool? White Center Co-op Preschool is looking for you. The announcement:

Looking for the best way to prepare your preschooler for Kindergarten? We have a few openings in the White Center Co-op Preschool (formerly Arbor Heights Co-op).

Come check out our cheery new site just a few blocks from the new library — full of sunshine and dedicated, experienced teachers and parents who know it is important (and fun!) to be involved in their child’s learning. But most importantly, it is a place for fun, hands-on learning. We focus on social-emotional skills needed for school and life—problem solving, patience, curiosity, kindness, assertiveness, friendships. And we sneak in pre-academic skills without pressure or drills.

School starts Sept 10 and we enroll until we fill those few openings. For more information, contact Jen Schill, inquiries.ssccp@gmail.com, 206-773-8066, or check out our still-Arbor-Heights website here.

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Camp Second Chance advisory committee meeting set for September 9th

August 30th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Myers Way, White Center news 1 Comment »

The Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee has decided what to do about September, given that its usual first-Sunday meeting would fall during Labor Day weekend. They’ve announced the meeting will be Sunday, September 9th, instead, 2 pm at Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW). The public is welcome at these meetings – bring your questions/concerns/comments about the Seattle-sanctioned encampment.

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Holiday freebie: Li’l Woody’s offering you a free burger Labor Day afternoon

August 29th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Food, Holidays, White Center news Comments Off on Holiday freebie: Li’l Woody’s offering you a free burger Labor Day afternoon

Li’l Woody’s in White Center says you deserve a treat on Labor Day, so it’s offering you a free burger 2-5 pm Monday. The caveats:

– No other sandwiches
– Extras cost extra
– Limit 1 burger per customer

As you probably know, Li’l Woody’s is adjacent to Beer Star, at 16th/98th.

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2 new White Center businesses: Good Day Donuts, Mr. Buds

August 28th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Food, White Center news 11 Comments »

Next to each other at 9823 15th SW, you’ll find:

GOOD DAY DONUTS: Husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Erik Jackson and Alison Odowski have opened Good Day Donuts in the former Golden House Bakery and Deli. They’re making and selling donuts, ice cream, and lunch:

Hours are Mondays-Fridays 7 am-3 pm, Saturdays 8 am-2 pm, Sundays 9 am-1 pm.

MR. BUDS: While checking out Good Day Donuts, we discovered another marijuana store has opened in White Center.

Yes, Mr. Buds is in the same strip mall as the new donut shop.

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Got licensing to do? Hurry!

August 27th, 2018 Tracy Posted in White Center news Comments Off on Got licensing to do? Hurry!

Heads up- this is about to start:

Starting (this) week, the state Department of Licensing (DOL) plans to upgrade its licensing system known as DRIVES. This work, which will continue through the Labor Day holiday weekend, will affect King County Vehicle Licensing and its subagent offices.

Online vehicle and vessel licensing services through DOL will be down from August 29 through September 4. However, customers who renew their registration online prior to August 29 may still be able to pick up their tabs and/or decals in person at a licensing office during this downtime.

The main King County Vehicle Licensing office in downtown Seattle will be open on August 31; however, no vehicle or vessel licensing services will be available. Staff will still be able to certify customer signatures on DOL documents that day.

All King County licensing subagencies will be closed from August 31 until September 4. If a customer has chosen a subagency office to pick up their tabs or decals, they will need to do so before close of business August 30 or wait until September 4.

Other King County licensing services, including taxi/for-hire/TNC licensing, pet licensing, and marriage licensing, will not be affected by this work. All King County vehicle and vessel licensing offices are expected to return to normal business on September 4.

For more information, visit kingcounty.gov/vehicle or DOL’s DRIVES webpage.

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Shooting in Boulevard Park

August 19th, 2018 Tracy Posted in boulevard park, Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 4 Comments »

Big King County Sheriff’s Office response right now to South 120th and Military Road in Boulevard Park (map), where – according to dispatchers and officers’ radio communication – a man was found in the street with gunshot wounds. Streets are being closed in the vicinity, so you will want to avoid the area for a while. The victim is being taken to Harborview. There’s a report a red four-door car was seen heading southbound, possibly associated with the incident.

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White Center food and drink: Anju Bar & Eatery sets grand opening for next Friday

August 18th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Beverages, restaurants, White Center news 1 Comment »

(WCN photos, added Sunday)

Almost three months ago, we mentioned new food/drink places on the way to White Center, including Anju (9641 15th SW). Just got a note from Sam Jo announcing that Anju Bar & Eatery has set its grand opening for next Friday (August 24th), explaining the venue as “a new bar in White Center with Korean based bar food. In Korean, ‘Anju’ means food eaten with alcohol.” They’re in soft-open mode now and will even have their patio set up within a few days; their menu’s only about at half-speed while they “get things dialed in.”

But starting next Friday, Anju will be open 3 pm-midnight, with a 3 pm-6 pm happy hour.

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SATURDAY: Duwamish River Festival 2018

August 17th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Environment, south park, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: Duwamish River Festival 2018

Just down the hill in South Park, noon-5 pm Saturday (August 18th), and you’re invited – stop by Duwamish Waterway Park (7900 10th Ave. S.).

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House fire on 28th SW in North Highline

August 12th, 2018 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center news 1 Comment »

North Highline and other fire departments fought a house fire in the 10200 block of 28th SW this afternoon. (Thanks to everyone who texted us about this – 206-293-6302 text or voice is our 24-hour hotline.) The incident commander told us at the scene that no one was hurt and they don’t believe anyone was in the house when the fire started; they were investigating the cause.

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