Washington News

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

‘We might see one fire death in a year in Whatcom County. But three in one week? That’s very abnormal.’

Having three people die in fires in one week is not common in Whatcom County. In fact, it wasn’t even a full week — it happened in five days plus a few hours. “It is rare,” Bellingham Fire Department Assistant Chief Bill Hewett told The Bellingham Herald this week. “It is abnormal, that’s for sure. For all of Whatcom County — all the cities and out in the county — we might see one fire death in a year. But three in one week? That’s very abnormal. But this has been an extraordinary week.” According to data provided by Whatcom County Health Department Communications Specialist Melissa Morin, the county had 12 deaths that were due to fire or burns in the 11 years from 2007 to 2017 — the most recent year data has been finalized. There were only three years during that stretch with multiple fire- or burn-related deaths — including five in 2013 — but from 2015 to ‘17 there was only one.
The Bellingham Herald

Elderly woman killed in Snohomish County house fire

An elderly woman died after a fire broke out at a home in the Lake Serene area north of Lynnwood early Sunday. According to South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue, neighbors called 911 just after 12:30 a.m. when they reportedly heard an alarm sounding and saw flames coming from a home next door. Firefighters arrived to find the back of the home engulfed in flames. The victim was unconscious at the time she was discovered. Crews tried to revive her, but she later died. Officials said a firefighter had a minor injury from battling the flames. Investigators are continuing to look into what started the fire.

Crews investigate cause of fire at Hohl Feed and Seed in Bellingham

Multiple agencies responded to a fire at a feed store in downtown Bellingham Monday morning. The cause of the fire at Hohl Feed & Seed on Railroad Avenue is still under investigation and Bill Hewitt, Assistant Fire Chief at Bellingham Fire, told KOMO the answer could be days away. The fire started at around 4:30 AM, temporarily shutting off power to roughly 200 people nearby. Bellingham Police say crews rescued some of the small animals inside while the Whatcom Humane Society is working to shelter the displaced animals. Northbound traffic will be closed off in the 1300 block of Railroad Avenue for a few more days due to the risk of the building collapsing.
KPUG-AM 1170

Spokane Valley firefighters focusing on stabilizing & securing during Rodda Paint fire investigation

Firefighters are continuing to investigate what caused a massive fire to spark at the Rodda Paint store in Spokane Valley. Just after 6:30 p.m. Sunday, firefighters responded to a fire at the paint store on Sprague Avenue. Crews spent more than two hours hosing the building down before the flames were under control. Rodda Paint's owner said the business is closed on Sundays and no employees were reported to have been inside. While the store wasn't able say how many people were employed at the store, they said everyone is doing okay. Around 35 firefighters responded to the fire. Crews are evaluating the stability of the structure and are continuing to look into what caused the fire. As of Monday, they don't believe this is a suspicious fire. "We're going to try to secure the scene, get some fence around the area," said Greg Rogers, fire marshal for Spokane Valley Fire District. That's a main focus for Spokane Valley firefighters right now.

Eastside Fire and Rescue crews battle flames as house fire spreads near Tiger Mountain

A Tuesday morning house fire in a neighborhood south of Issaquah spread to other structures and reportedly forced a nearby preschool to evacuate, officials said. Crews battling the blaze were hampered by an inconsistent water supply, said Capt. Steve Johnson of Eastside Fire and Rescue. Firefighters initially responded to the scene, in the 23800 block of SE Tiger Mountain Road, at around 10 a.m. after receiving reports of smoke and flames billowing from a home there. The occupants of the home got safely out, but the fire kept spreading beyond the house to the surrounding trees and then to at least one other structure.

Friday, February 15, 2019

1 dies in travel trailer fire in Mason County

One person was killed but another managed to escape a fire that burned their travel trailer in Mason County Thursday. Firefighters with Central Mason Fire & EMS were called to a fire just off Mason Lake. They had trouble reaching the fire due to heavy snow buildup on the private driveway and eventually arrived to find a travel trailer in flames. Two people were inside when the fire broke out, but only one survived, officials said. The cause of the fire is still being investigated and the name of the victim has not been released.

Richland Fire Department’s new ambulance is loaded with high-tech safety features

Firefighters and paramedics at the Richland Fire Department have welcomed a new member of the team -- a new, high-tech ambulance. It's the first of its kind for the department. Unlike the rest of their medic units, this one has several safety features aimed to better serve the City of Richland. "This one does have airbag crash protection in the back for the occupants and the customers that we serve," said Capt. Zach Gould with the Richland Fire Department. "Not just in the cabin of the vehicle." It was put into service on Feb. 9, nearly a week before anticipated. This was due to the winter storm rolling through the state.

Body found in Anacortes house during fire investigation

A body was found this morning in the hallway of a house that was destroyed by fire shortly after midnight on the 2200 block of 13th Street in Anacortes. Anacortes Fire Chief Dave Oliveri said the discovery was made by Fire Marshal Jack Kennedy and a crew member after they returned to the scene to investigate the fire’s cause. The identity of the deceased was not known. The cause of the fire was under investigation as of 9:30 a.m. Anacortes Police Capt. Dave Floyd said a couple of detectives were going to the scene. The fire was called in by a neighbor at 12:27 a.m., Oliveri said, and he surmised that the fire had been burning for some time before it was called in. The house was “well-involved” by the time firefighters arrived, with flames bursting through the back of the house, Oliveri said.
Skagit Valley Herald (GoSkagit.com)

National Guard helping Eastside Fire and Rescue after heavy snowfall

The National Guard is helping Eastside Fire and Rescue after a snowstorm that hit the area is still causing problems for residents in North Bend and nearby areas. At Eastside Fire and Rescue Station 87, the National Guard was helping escort fire crews and first responders to areas that were unpassable. Firefighters also were not using regular fire engines, but using their brush truck typically used for wildfires because it’s higher off the ground. Conditions continued to be rainy Thursday with wind picking up in the afternoon. Residents were worried about additional snowfall. A woman near North Bend who was stuck in her home without medication was reached after crews reached her using two snowmobiles. She was taken to a hotel in Issaquah.
KIRO 7 News

Garbage trucks loses control on icy street in Kenmore, trapping driver

A harrowing rescue took place on a steep, icy road in the aftermath of our winter storms. A garbage truck lost control along a twisting section of NE 163rd St, and the driver ended up trapped beneath the rig. A utility crew driving a snow plow first came upon this wreckage and quickly discovered the driver pinned between the vehicle and the snow and ice. “Usually he comes in the morning and our trash has been out there all day,” said Donald Black, who lives nearby. “He was probably coming to get our trash right after he finished up there." Firefighters worked on stabilizing the rig to keep it from sliding anymore, then started shoveling away the embankment to dig the man out. “He either fell or somehow got out of the truck and got caught underneath the chassis,” said Battalion Chief Douglas Knight with the Northshore Fire Department.

Sign up to subscribe to custom state Daily Dispatch emails for free

click to subscribe