The house at 4059 Latona Ave NE, best known for its over-the-top Halloween, Christmas and Fourth of July decorations, is suffering a devastating fire. Michelle, a block away, says she could feel the explosion, and just sent in these photos.
Mandy says in the comments: “The couple that lives in that house is OK. They were taken to UW for evaluation and seem ok and understandably heart broken.”
I’ll update as I know more.
Important update: The couple that lives in that house is OK. They were taken to UW for evaluation and seem ok and understandably heart broken.
Would love to stay updated and if there is any way we can help out. I’m heart-broken for them!
I am glad to hear no one was hurt. I am so sad to see this happen. When it happened, it felt like something was dropped on my house. I agree with Ashley, hopefully there will be some way we can help them out. Their house during the holidays is always a highlight for my kids.
I’m heartbroken for them and all of the neighborhood children. We LOVE walking by this home every holiday. I would love to help them out as well as they have given to us so much already!
This is heart-breaking–to lose their home and their animals. Now is the time for Wallingford as a neighborhood to pull together and help them. If anyone is close to this family what can we do to help? Maybe setting up a Go Fund Me account to help them with any immediate expenses?
I completely agree that we should give back as a community. I think a GoFundMe would be awesome if they are ok with it.
So sad. We loved walking by there. I helped her put up some decorations last year. Nice lady. What causes an explosion like that?
I heard from Jenny, dog walker extraordinaire, that the house to the south of their home is owned by a family member. Perhaps someone would feel comfortable contacting them and letting them know neighbors would like to help.
I would love to help them– their holidays creations have given me so much joy!
Would love to help in any way. This couple brought more joy to the neighborhood than they probably knew. Its our turn to give back to them.
Seems like a go fund me page would work best. I havent set one up but seems simple enough. Just need info on them. Id be happy to go door to door letting people know about it if we can get one set up. Or distribute flyers.
This is really sad. I imagine they are devastated. I love the “over-the-top” decorations (though I would describe them as “awesome!”) and will miss seeing them out this year. And, I hope to keep in to loop about a way to help support their coming weeks and months of recovery.
In addition to gofundme and meals, I thought it would be cool to collect pictures from neighbors of their decorations over the years and make a photo album for them.
I am the son of Patty DeVore, owner of the home, and your idea of putting together an album of pictures collected by neighbors would thrill my mother to no end! I spoke to my mother today and she wants everyone to know that you don’t need to create a Go Fund for them because she believes the insurance will take care of everything. But, you don’t know how much she loves pictures! This would be great.
We’d love to contribute a few of the wedding pictures we took in front of the house in Sept of 2013 when it was fully decorated (or so we thought anyway) for Halloween. We’re in England, so I can easily send some compressed sizes to anyone who might put this together or contact our photographer who lives in Fremont to send larger and better quality versions.
Michael I’m SO glad to hear this! I’d love to orchestrate it. I opened a new gmail account that people can use for sending photos and/or notes. It is [email protected]. How fun!
Will people help spread the word?
I’ll certainly spread the word and email you some pictures today. I was going to suggest an app/site I’ve been using for family picture books for presents while we’ve been living abroad. It’s called chatbooks. Just a suggestion as they’re really affordable and custom books you can put 30 pics in for $8 and every 10 more is $1 additional. It was the cheapest I’d found for albums and they now have hardcover books for $10 more. You do have to set it up on your phone which takes some fiddling, but after that it’s really easy. Just suggesting though – not promoting! 🙂 Will send you a few pictures we took on the way to our wedding. This makes me really happy. Thank you!
I think I have a few pics of past years Helen. Will look. Susan
Our wedding photographer sent us a picture of the house on fire. I was devastated. I’d not known about this house before our wedding day in Sept 2013 and had lived in Seattle for 18 years. We popped out of the car while on the way elsewhere to get photographs. The older man who owned it was still doing some setting up and said it wasn’t even done when it looked amazing already. He was incredibly kind to let us take a few silly shots there and we even drove by last we were there to visit recently in October because we have such fond memories. We live in England now so please please keep updates going on this site and I’ll check in. I’d love to contribute to any funds to help them. I’m so brokenhearted for their loss. Thanks!
Very sad. I will stay tuned for more info on how to show our support.
I live directly across the street and much to my surprise and relief… One of the dogs was just alive! Apparently it managed to survive the night in a back room of the house and it is doing well.
OMG – that’s great news. Poor little thing. I’m so glad it was found. The reports said one dog had died and another was missing. I also heard they had a few kitties also missing. Have they found them?
Who can reach out to them about a Gofundme page? Someone should talk with them and set it up asap while this is still in the news.
(I don’t know them and I don’t know how gofundme works, but I am happy to contribute.)
Maggie- earlier in this string the owners son chimed in and said they did not need a Gofundme page. They would love old photos of the house if folks have them.
Thank you for telling us about the fire. People on 45th heard an explosion, and the #26 was rerouted, but we had no informatin. Please keep us informed about the well being of the family and their pets, and please let us know how they want to be halped.
Anyone know what caused the explosion? We heard the explosion over on Sunnyside.
Am interested in making a contribution toward their recovery. So sad to see their home burned. Have also enjoyed their decorations for years.
I stopped by today to see if I could help and talked with AJ, a friend of the owners who helps them with all their holiday installations and was taking down the Halloween decorations. He told me to watch Wallyhood for further information, that someone was taking the lead. I hope that’s the case.
The owners’ names are Patty and Joe. I don’t know them well, but have had brief conversations over the years when I visit with my granddaughters who greatly enjoy the holiday displays. AJ told me that many years ago they helped him and his family after a fire destroyed his own home, making sure they had a place to live and food to eat. Holiday electric bills really strain their budget, but Patty and Joe continue to set up the displays, with help from AJ and now his son, because they love the joy the displays bring to the children. They also grow a mean tomato and share them generously with their neighbors! These folks have paid it forward many times over, I hope we can find a way to help them out in a meaningful way.
I’m told both owners are doing well physically and that the loss of their dogs, or at least one of them, is the most devastating part of the experience at this point. they adopted the sibling dogs recently when Patty finally felt she had sufficiently recovered from the painful loss of her last dog eight years ago. She’s completely heartbroken over the loss.
Evidently the Red Cross was johnny-on-the-spot, arriving right away yesterday afternoon with supplies and money to help them make it through the next few days, but their house and all their belongings are likely to be a total loss. They’re going to need a lot of help from the rest of us and GoFundMe sounds like a terrific idea. I have no idea how to set up such an account, but I’m willing to figure it out if nobody’s done it yet.
Please post here if you know of anyone who’s taken the lead on this.
To all of our wonderful neighborhood friends. It is so thoughtful of you to think of us. Our phones were burned up in the house but we got new phones today so I can tell you all a little bit about what happened.
Joe was standing ouside the back door of the basement, I was upstairs in the living room. I opened the front door to let the puppies outside, Ram and Doc, then went back into the living room and saw white smoke billowing into my kichen. I went to the kitchen to see where the smoke was coming from, could see nothing on fire but Miss Priss, the cat, was trying to get out of the breakfast nook window. I opened the window and she went out then I looked down the stairs to the basement because that was where the smoke was coming from, all the lights were off and now darker smoke was billowing up, I yelled for Joe, who I thought was in the basement but he didn’t answer. I grabbed the land line phone on the way to the front door and could hear Joe yelling ‘Fire’ from the back of the house. I went down the front steps, trying to dial 911 but the phone wouldn’t dial, I yelled to the lady on Jeff”s porch to call 911 for me, as I went around to the side of the house where I could see Joe standing beside his car yelling fire. I could see huge flames coming out of the basement door, I ran back up the front steps to find Ram and Doc, but the living room was now filled with black billowing smoke, I couldn’t see the puppies so thought they had gone outside, I couldn’t breathe so I turned around and went out the front door, down the steps, grabbed the water hose and dragged it around to the side of the house and up the walk as far as I could and started spraying the flames coming out of the basement door. Our backyard neighbor was standing beside Joe by the car, he came forward and told me I should get away from the house because something might blow up, I kept watering but he took my hand and turned me toward the driveway just as something blew up behind me. I felt a lot of something hit my back and head and the neighbor kept pulling me towards the front of the house, I am so sorry I do not know the neighbor”s name, but he saved my life by pulling me away from the blast. He and Armon, thank you Armon, got me down the front steps and to the next door’s front steps where they sat me down. I kept asking people to find my puppies but no one could get into the house at that point and no one could see them outside. All of this took place in less than ten minutes and the house was fully engulfed. Joe was not in any danger because he had heard a popping sound while standing outside the basement door, turned around to look inside and saw flames working their way across the basement ceiling, that’s when he left and started yelling fire from the back of his car.
The rest of it you all pretty much know, the firemen came, did what they could to put the fire out, in the meantime people were trying to get me to go to the hospital, I didn’t realize I was that hurt, due to the shock of what was happening. They finally got me into the first aid car and off to the hospiral. Thank you to the many, many neighbors who tried to keep me calm, brought me water, towels for the bleeding hands and more that I can’t think of right now. Thank you to the nurse who I think was jogging by when all this happened for holding my hands and me down and trying to calm me. I wish I knew your name too, to thank you. Thank you Jeff Valentine for riding with Joe when he drove to the hospital and staying with us until you were sure we were okay and thank you Betty Jingling for following them and giving Jeff a ride home from the hospital, I’m sorry I didn’t get to see you then; the doctors looked us over, stitched up my hands which had glass in the cuts, checked out my back and the small cuts on my head and then sent us on our way.
By this time I had been told that one of my puppies had not made it out of the house and had died, the other one was still missing. I think Animal Control took the puppy away, but I’m not sure and still need to find out about him.
This morning my daughter came to our hotel room with Doc in her arms. She had walked around our house this morning looking for her cat, Miss Priss, who I saw leave my house via the window, when she heard a noise inside my burned house. She kept calling for Miss Priss and all of a sudden Doc appeared from inside the burned house. We now call him, Miracle Doc.
I especially thank my daughter, Angela, who left her job early on the day of the fire to come take care of us. She has been awe inspiring by taking care of our needs, dealing with the insurance people etc, etc.
It is our hope that the insurance will take care of everything, only time will tell.
Thank you for the thought of a GoFundMe possibility and I will let you know if we need one. At the moment we are still in shock and trying to understand what happened in the basement to cause the fire.
We will not be able to decorate again for some time but when the time is right we will continue the tradition.
I would like to mention that some one said the neighborhood helped us financially one year with our decorations, however the only monies we have ever received were sent to us via mail one year and if I remember correctly the amount was less than $20. I sent the donor a thank you for it but now that info is burned up and I don’t have the info about who sent it.
We have never asked for and never will ask for remuneration of any kind, our efforts have always been to make the neighborhood, and us, happy at holiday times.
We do receive a bag of candy from one of our neighbors each year at Halloween, thank you neighbor, I don’t have your address or I would send a thank you card. But we sincerely appreciate the thought.
And we sincerely appreciate all of the kind words written about us in this neighborhood medium.
Thank you everyone and we will keep you posted when we have more news.
Patty and Joe
Thank you for sharing your story, Patty. Your positive outlook is inspiring.
Thank you for sharing your story Patty. You and Joe are so remarkable. I moved to Latona 2yrs ago and have marveled at your decorations that bring such joy to the young and old. On Tuesday I heard what sounded like an explosion then watched heartsick as the fire trucks filled Latona and the black smoke continued pouring out your windows. I’ve been thinking about you for days and am so relieved to hear you are healthy and doing the best you can to cope with this devastating loss. You are the kind of people that give all of us hope.
hello Patty and Joe,
My family is so sorry for your loss. Until recently me, my husband and two kids lived just a few blocks from you and your holiday decorations were always a treat. About 11 years ago we had a devastating house fire–if you need any advice or help dealing with insurance, etc. please reach out to us.
Patty, thank you for the story, I was worried when I felt the boom and saw the smoke. Though I’ve never met you I’m glad you and Joe are OK and I’m heartbroken about your pets. My sister in law suffered a catastrophic house fire a few years back also with the loss of some pets. The Red Cross was very helpful and kind to her and, as I recall, we all made donations to them at that time so that they could continue to help out in these situations. Whatever else we can do for you, I think it would be good for the neighborhood to donate to the Red Cross now, too.
I have a few pics of past years decorations Helen. Nice idea!
It is nice to see this comment thread and reinforces the strength and unity of the neighborhood.
It counters the argumentative nature of other comment threads on the blog.
Patty and Joe. So glad to hear
That you and most of your furry family are Ok. Our friends had a fire that destroyed their condo on Queen Ann a few months ago and I know how traumatic such an event is. We traveled by your house almost everyday, on our way to work and the UW and etc. we always marveled at the constantly growing displays and occasionally saw Joe out there either setting up or taking down a display. I look forward to helping you replace lights etc when the time comes. I hope you kept a list of everything you had, but suspect, like most of us you didn’t get around to that. When the time comes and you have the energy I hoe you will post a list of what you have lost in both the display department and household goods so we can all pitch in and help. We have taken your generosity to the community too for granted in the past
Joe and Patty,
Our family is so incredibly grateful you are safe, we’ve been terribly worried about you, and the girls ask about you every day. Please let us know what we can do to help, and where you’ll be staying so we can bring you a warm dinner.
Katie, Dustin, Annabelle, Lexie & Jax
If you have pictures of the decorations from over the years I’m collecting them at [email protected]. Of course, it’s for Joe too! but I wanted to keep the email address simple! =)
If you’d like to leave a note, great! If not, pictures alone will do! If you know what year it is from, please let me know but not a big deal if you don’t.
Can’t wait to see all the photos =)
Oh my gosh,
How wonderful of you Helen and all who are sending her pictures.
I can hardly wait to see them.
Thank you all so much.
Patty and Joe
Just a bit of an update.
Joe and I and Miracle Doc are doing fine. We are housed at the University Inn for the time being. The personnel here are absolutely wonderful to us and Doc.
Varios Safeco Insurance people have been helping us cope with things every step of the way.
Neighbor Bette Jingling, Rick Marceau, Damage Assessor, and my hero daughter Angela found my burnt purse in the fire and I found many items able to be washed and saved. Unfortunately my credit cards, driver’s license etc were missing from the purse so I don’t know if we will ever find them. My heartfelt thanks go to them for rummaging through the smelly burnt purse to save what we could. They won’t let me in the house, it is too unstable at the moment.
That was Thursday, then Joe and I drove to Fred Meyer to pick up some clothes to wear. As I entered the store neighbor Susan came up to me and insisted on buying me some clothes. Susan’s generosity overwhelmed me! I now have a sweatshirt, sweat pants, fleece nightgown, a pajama bottom and 2 pajama tops. What a wonderful person Susan is. Thank you again Susan for your support and generosity. Bette told me that Susan gives very often to people in need, not just once but all the time and any time she finds someone in need. It is so nice to have an angel in our neighborhood.
Family and friends have sent or brought food to us each day. Grandson Anton and his lady friend Trinh brought a homemade lamb pasta dinner tonight, it was delicious.
All of our Wallingford neighbors and friends have been so kind and thoughtful to us and we are truly appreciative of every ones’ thoughts and concerns.
I really would like something I have not been able to find, a daily listing of the TV programs. The TV setup here does not have a TV listing channel. I searched the Internet via my cell phone but can’t find a listing for Seattle on a daily basis. I had Comcast at home and always knew what was coming on that day and when, but not now. I want to watch the democratic debates but I think I might have missed them. I can’t remember when Scandal, Scorpion, the Blacklist and all my good shows will air.
So if someone could direct me to a place on the Internet where I can find what will air on ABC, NBC and CBS daily I would be most grateful. You can send the info to my email address and that would be great.
Thank you everyone and I will keep you all updated from time to time.
Hello, it may be too late but here is a link to online tv listings:
Tom, thank you for the link. I just tried it and think it will work.
Update on house fire.
Joe, Doc and I are doing as well as can be expected. We are trying to find a house to rent within our budget while our house is being rebuilt.
They will shore up the house so that saveable items can be safely removed, cleaned and stored for us.
Then comes the teardown and rebuild.
Thank you to Dan Thane, the neighbor who pulled me away from the blast. My daughter met him so I now know his name.
Thank you to our USSSA friends who donated t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweat pants, hats, etc to us and brought them to our hotel.
I have been in such a shocked daze I didn’t find out until 2 days after the fire that the blast blew out all of the windows on the north side of my daughter’s house who lives next door on the south of my house. Servicemaster helped her clean up the broken glass and smoke damage to her house. I haven’t checked with Jeff on the north side to see if his house was damaged, I hope not.
A fireman friend of ours said that 21 fire trucks were sent to our area to put out the fire and secure the homes around us, that is amazing.
Thank you Bette for preparing and taking a dinner to my daughter and her family, that is so nice of you. Angela worked very hard for us for the first couple of days taking care of so many, many things and I can’t thank her enough.
I have been informed by the fire department that my puppy Ram’s body was found, wrapped in a blanket and placed on the remaining bed. We can retrieve his body when the house is safe enough to enter.
This will be the first Thanksgiving and Christmas that the family gathering will not be at my house for the last 53 years. But it will still be Happy Holidays because the family is still intact and together.
If I don’t have the occasion for another update prior to Thanksgiving I want to wish all of my neighbors, friends and family a very, very Happy Thanksgiving.
I failed to mention our friends at Bleacher’s Pub. The owner of this Greenwood area pub always has a charitable fund going to help people in need. Last week Shane brought us the contents of that fund to help us out. Thank you to all of the customers at the pub, thank you to Shane and his family for donating to our cause. May God bless you all.
Patty, Joe and Miracle Doc.
I just found out that Dan Thane, the man who helped turn me away from the house just before the explosion just happened to stop by at the house behind my daughter’s house when he heard Joe yelling fire, crawled through the fence, saw that I was in possible danger and came to me. He sustained cuts from the exploding glass also and said he couldn’t hear for a while, maybe that explains why I didn’t hear one siren, the explosion must have numbed my ears, I just knew the firemen were suddenly there. He also dropped his cell phone crawling through the fence.
Dan also told me that another man had come into the front yard to take me away from the house and that he led me down the stairs to where Armon was coming up to help me.
Does anyone know who the man was that came into my yard to help me? Dan said that he saw him bleeding too. I want to thank whoever that person was. Please let me know if you know his name. I need to know how badly he was hurt.
My goodness, so many people came to our aid that day. I am just overwhelmed with gratitude for so many wonderful neighbors and people in this world.
Thank you one and all!!
Happy Birthday Patty!
Have a great birthday Patty
Judi and Quintin
Our government at work!!!
All of my identification cards burned up with the house. So, I went to the drivers license office to replace my license, they issued me a paper version of the license, the plastic version to arrive in 7 to 10 days.
We found temporary quarters in an apartment in the Lynnwood area, but before I can sign the lease I have to show my SS card. I make the trip to the SS department to replace my SS card, but they won’t accept the paper version of my temporary driver’s license as proof of existence. We have to wait, in the hotel for 7 to 10 days for the plastic card to arrive to prove my existence before I can get a replacement SS card, no exceptions to their rules for disasters or emergrncies. Sorry we can’t help you, but you can appeal which takes longer than the days we have to wait.
I find it hard to believe that our government can’t or won’t help people in need. That only their rules, policies and regulations count for anything and everything. Who knew? Not I.
A word to the wise, now that I know, it appears that one should keep copies of their identifications in an offsite safe location just in case of fire.
Thank you 1st Grade Japanese Class.
We just received a good wishes package from the 1st grade class at the John Stanford International School. The package arrived on my birthday which made it even more precious.
Twenty five wonderful children each prepared a page of good wishes for us. Each page contained paper pictures of kittens, houses and flowers glued to the page. Some children drew pictures of kittens, houses and flowers.
Here are some of the good wishes expressed by these children:
“I am sorry your home got burned. –Please get well and hope you get a new house.– Hope you get well soon, I love your decorations. — Please don’t get injured more. — Hope you get better soon.”
Each child signed their paper with their name written in English and some in Japanese.
Thank you to each of the children below:
Hinano, Gibbie, Brielle, Leo, Kai, Lucas, Anna, Aiumu, Beatrice, Gabriel, Liam, Jack, Oto, Nevan, Gabie?, Lulu, Nicole, Luke, Kyle, Misa, Kenny, Beatrix, Graham, Misard, and Erika.
Thank you 1st grade Japanese class and your teacher.
We love you all.
We’ll be back.
Patty and Joe
Thank you Jessey & Lauren.
We received your gift card yesterday, thank you so much.
We will put it to good use.
Thank you for your generosity and we hope to meet you one day.
Patty and Joe
We finally have an apartment in Lynnwood. It is a bit far to travel to keep in touch with the house and the neighborhood, but that’s okay for now.
We have begun searching through the items left in the house for possible salvage but there is a lot to be thrown away.
This process will take a while. They won’t be able to start the rebuild until the first of the year.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Patty and Joe.
We are now moved into an apartmemt.
Here is our address.
Here is our new address:
Lynnwood Garden Village
4712 -176th St. SW
Lynnwood, WA 98037
We will be back at the house daily until all salvageable items are removed.
We miss our neighbors and friends very much.
Patty and Joe
We just found a card in our mail box from the parents at John Stanford School which contained gift cards for us to various stores. How wonderful of these parents to give us these gifts.
Thank you so very much. There were no parents names on the card, just one name, Laura. Thank you Laura and thank you, thank you to all the parents who gave us gift cards. We will definitely put them to good use.
What wonderful neighbors we have.
Patty and Joe.
I have time now to give everyone an update.
For the last few weeks the cleaning company and I have been going through the house room by room to remove the items, some can be saved and cleaned, others can be cleaned but the smoke smell can never be removed so those items can’t be saved.
They have hauled 4 to 5 truckloads of debris etc to the dump and 4 to 5 truckloads of saved items to a warehouse. My “stuff” is being stored in a special warehouse because the smoke smell will contaminate other customers’ items if stored together.
I still have to go to the warehouse and go through the items there because we didn’t have the time to make the save or don’t save decision at the house for each item.
We worked in the dark using headlamps and flashlights. It seems that City Light needs approval on the grounding for temporary lighting for the contractor and for some reason they never received that approval, therefore we worked in the dark. There was some sort of miscommunication somewhere which I am trying to get resolved now.
The firemen did a great job putting out the fire, however during that process they strewed items from room to room and floor to floor. Items that were in bedrooms initially were found in the office area and vice versa. I am not complaining, just learning about the process they have to go through to ensure all of the sparks are out.
I think all of my credit cards are now replaced and the only thing left to replace is my health card for which I have heard nothing back from United Healthcare. I have no idea why it is so difficult for them to respond.
One wonderful discovery was the storage cabinet which held 57 years of pictures with Santa. The first picture was taken in 1957 of my first born son, Michael, who was 6 months old at the time. Every year since then we have had pictures taken with Santa, and over the years the pictures included boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives and just friends. What a marvelous find!!! The crew had to saw the melted storage cabinet into pieces and break them apart, but the pictures are intact!!
The only year missing is 2014, it was displayed in the living room at the time of the fire. I am attempting to see if I can get duplicates made.
Lastly in this update is the wonderfulness of Bette Jingling, and her surprise caroling, fundraising event that took place last night. We are just overwhelmed by the kindness, the beautiful singing, and the fundraising efforts of our neighbors and friends on our behalf. This is a strenuous time on the pocketbook for everyone and yet you all gave!! How wonderful and you are all very blessed and have joined the angels here on earth.
Thank you, thank you, Bette, a lady named Patti, whom I met I think at the block party and each and every one of you. Thank you for your lovingness, your kindness, your time spent in this effort and especially thank you for just being there.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all. May all of your days be merry and bright.
Patty and Joe.