NKF&R fires go from 4 to 10 in a year | Kitsap Daily News

2022-07-25 22:02:44 By : Ms. Cindy Wang

Back-to-back house fires this week in North Kitsap.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue has been unusually busy with fires this year, and July 19 was no exception as the crews tackled two house fires in 12 hours.

Compared to the same time period last year, the number of residential fires has more than doubled — from four in 2021 to 10 this year.

The incidents have been accidental with no significant patterns in causes. Still, NKF&R officials are concerned about the trend and encourage the public to take fire prevention and preparedness steps.

More than four-fifths of all fires occur in homes. Prevent fires by inviting firefighters to do a home safety survey, or conduct your own. Prepare for fires by making sure your smoke alarms are well-placed, less than 10 years old and (if applicable) outfitted with fresh batteries.

Design a home fire escape plan with at least two ways out of every room and one meeting place outside.

For more information about fire prevention and preparedness, see NKF&R’s website at www.nkfr.org/information/safety-tips/ or call the district at 360-297-3619.

A teenager, alerted by the smell of smoke moments before alarms sounded, is credited with limiting damage from a smoldering wall fire Tuesday. He woke his mom, making sure a 9-1-1 call got responders — including a neighbor who’s an off-duty firefighter — on their way.

NKF&R and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were called to the home off of Lindvog Road in Kingston at 7:18 a.m. The off-duty firefighter got there shortly after the call, making sure that all people and pets had evacuated and all doors were closed (when there’s a fire, open doors provide airflow that speeds fire growth).

The first on-duty crew arrived in about 8 1/2 minutes from NKF&R’s Miller Bay Road station and reported light smoke showing from the 2,500 square-foot two-story home. Because there are no nearby fire hydrants, tenders also responded. Firefighters were able to squelch the flames with less water than is carried in the fire engine’s 750-gallon tank and had the fire under control less than 10 minutes after their arrival.

Investigators from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded and, based on physical evidence and witness statements, believe that the fire may have started with an electric fish smoker that had been operating overnight on the home’s deck.

The appliance apparently overheated to char the wooden picnic table, dropping embers through deck slats to spark the wall fire below. Fire damage was limited to a small portion of the home’s exterior wall and floor while water damage impacted one room’s hardwoods.

The home’s three occupants and their pets weren’t displaced, and the home is insured. There were no injuries.

A neighbor made the difference in NKF&R’s fire Tuesday evening, spotting flames coming from a Suquamish home’s roof and calling 9-1-1 while attempting to warn the house’s female occupant.

She later told crews that her smoke alarms weren’t working due to missing batteries; she’d been watching TV at the time of the fire, and was unaware of the danger just a few feet away but ultimately was safely evacuated with her dog and cat.

Fire marshal investigators say that physical evidence and witness statements point to a failed bathroom ceiling fan that dropped hot material into combustibles below as the likely origin of the fire.

NKF&R, Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island Fire Department crews were dispatched to the Division Avenue incident at about 7:32 p.m. The first unit arrived from NKF&R’s Suquamish station just about six minutes later. Again, hydrants weren’t readily available, and crews relied on tender trucks to supply water for firefighting.

Although the one-story manufactured home was only about 1,100 square feet, the blaze was difficult to fully extinguish due to an unusually large amount of stored materials in and around the fire’s origin. Still, firefighters had the blaze under control within 30 minute.

Most of the house’s southwest corner was consumed by the fire; heat and heavy smoke damage affected the rest of the structure. The home is insured but no longer habitable so the woman and her pets are staying with family. The American Red Cross is also helping. There were no injuries.

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