Weekend fire destroys three homes
An early morning fire in Birch Bay consumed three homes and damaged a fourth last weekend.
Shortly after 4 a.m. on Saturday an emergency call was placed to 911, reporting a fire at 7552 Morrison Avenue, about a block south of the C-Shop. According to division chief Jim Rutherford of district 13, the home was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived. �It was well-involved when we got there, probably for a while,� he said. �We don�t know the cause just yet. That�s still under investigation.�
The fire spread from the initial home, destroying two others and significantly damaging another, on Morrison and Terrell Creek roads. The homes, which are only a few feet apart from one another, were contained within an hour, Rutherford said.
�About 40 firefighters came from districts 13, 3 (Lynden) and 7 (Ferndale) to fight the fire. We had a little bit of trouble getting in there and setting up, but once we got going it went really well.�
Because the homes in that area are so close together, Rutherford said, firefighters worried the fire would spread even more, and were also aware of nearby propane tanks. �This fire could have been a lot worse. We evacuated about 15 people from the area,� he said. �And there were at least three propane tanks in the immediate area, there could have been more.�
Two firefighters were injured in the blaze � one twisted his knee, the other cut his hand. Both were treated and released from St. Joseph�s Hospital in Bellingham.
Red Cross was called in, and served food and beverages, but no one needed immediate housing. All were able to live with relatives in friends in Whatcom County or across the border in B.C.
One of the homes destroyed was a vacation home owned by a Seattle couple, while another belonged to a family that had just moved in. The family, although upset at the loss of the home, was happy no one was hurt. Another home was occupied by a single woman, and the fourth was home to a single man who was believed to be inside. He recently had a back injury, so firefighters removed a window to get to him, but found no one in the home.
�It just went really well. I think it�s a credit to all the crew that the fire didn�t spread more than it did. It could have been a lot worse,� Rutherford said. �They did a bang-up job getting the fire out. They worked real hard.�