BELLINGHAM - A Bellingham man who tried to save his 63-year-old sister from a house fire has died.
Larry Manning, 60, suffered third-degree burns over about a third of his body as he tried to wake his sister, Nancy Brink, in her bedroom early Wednesday, April 17, at 1200 Lincoln St., lot 115.
Brink never woke up. Manning climbed the steps to his neighbors' front porch to find help. He spent five mornings in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. A hospital spokesman said he showed signs of improvement. But he succumbed to his injuries at 3:25 p.m. Sunday, according to the Whatcom County Medical Examiner's Office.
Brink died in the home from inhaling smoke and fumes, according to the medical examiner's office
Investigators believe the fire started on or in Brink's bed. But they weren't able to confirm what, exactly, ignited the flames. Several neighbors suspected Brink had been smoking in bed. The home had no working smoke alarms.
Fire engines rolled up to the scene within seven minutes of the 911 call. Three firefighters stationed at 1111 Indian St., the nearest fire station, arrived late because they were helping someone injured in a separate incident. The report of the fire came in just as the trio of Engine 3 firefighters dropped off a patient at St. Joseph hospital, said Bellingham Fire Chief Roger Christensen.
According to the latest available figures, Engine 3 firefighters show up within their targeted response time - of four minutes - in 79 percent of emergency calls.
The doublewide mobile home had been valued at $35,000, according to the Whatcom County Assessor's Office. Firefighters said the damage from flames, heat and smoke rendered the home a total loss.
Brink lived in the home for seven years. Manning moved in with her after her husband died in 2011.