By Stefanie Donahue
In the early morning on May 5, a fire ravaged a cabin located at the Idlesse Condominiums on 8112 Birch Bay Drive, leaving the two residents injured and multiple dogs killed.
According to a statement from North Whatcom Fire and Rescue (NWFR), units arrived to the scene at 1:45 a.m. to respond to a structure fire, which eventually spread to a large two-story storage building. Responders from NWFR as well as crews from Lynden and Ferndale extinguished the blaze, which neighbor Linda Davies described as “a mushroom flame.”
The cause has yet to be determined, according to NWFR.
“On behalf of myself, my husband and the residents of Idlesse Condominium Association, I would like to extend a very big thank you to the Birch Bay firefighters who worked so hard to contain this fire to the one cabin and community building,” Davies said. “This could have been so much worse if it hadn’t been for their courageous efforts.”
The property belonged to former Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce president and active community volunteer Randy Parten.
At the time of the incident, Parten, his girlfriend Stacey McInnis and their three dogs were in the residence. The pair suffered burns, smoke inhalation and other injuries after attempting to rescue the dogs and were taken to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, according to NWFR. Since then, Randy was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment.
Folks from around the community soon took notice. Birch Bay realtor and chamber of commerce director Mike Kent launched a GoFundMe for Parten in an effort to help recover the loss of his belongings.
“Randy has given to the community through his volunteer efforts and now it’s the community’s opportunity to give back when he truly needs us,” read the campaign description.
At press time, the community had raised $5,920 of the $10,000 goal. A fundraiser has also been setup on YouCaring under the title “Support Fund for Stacey and Randy.” At press time, the site had raised $2,690 of its $10,000 goal.