Fire scorches Bellingham house; nobody hurt

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDApril 24, 2013 

BELLINGHAM - A Bellingham resident came home to find his house on fire Wednesday morning, April 24.

Sam Baldinger called 911 at 11:30 a.m. when he saw black smoke billowing from the back corner of 2327 Verona St., in Bellingham's Roosevelt neighborhood. He lives there with his significant other and three children. Nobody else was home at the time.

Firefighters saved the single-story, building but couldn't keep smoke and flames from scorching much of the interior.

Onlookers gathered at the corner of Verona and Texas streets to watch more than a dozen firefighters swarming the brown house, while small flames flicked out from under the eaves and licked along the southerly outer walls.

"Everything inside is probably ruined," Baldinger said, before he had a chance to see the damage for himself.

An hour later firefighters were combing through the smoke-blackened debris inside, trying to discover the cause. In the immediate aftermath, Bellingham Fire Chief Roger Christensen said he suspected an errant spark from soldering work Baldinger had done earlier in the morning.

Baldinger bought the 1200-square-foot house in 2010, according to the Whatcom County Assessor's Office. It was last assessed at a value of $134,000.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or caleb.hutton@bellinghamherald.com. Read his dispatcher blog at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher or follow him on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

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