Fire damages Whatcom Falls neighborhood home

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDApril 28, 2013 

Fire damaged a home in the Whatcom Falls neighborhood Sunday afternoon, April 28, but flames were contained to a single room.

Bellingham firefighters were dispatched about 3 p.m. Sunday to a fire in a three-bedroom split-level home at 2500 Alvarado Drive, near Yew Street Road. A smoke alarm alerted the occupants and they called 911.

As Engine 4 arrived, its captain reported smoke coming from the rear of the building and ordered an aggressive attack. Firefighters stretched a hose to the back door, where they encountered light to moderate smoke and high heat inside. Engine 3's crew arrived next, taking a hose to the front door.

"It started downstairs in a bathroom next to a wall heater," said Battalion Chief Chuck Dederick of the Bellingham Fire Department. He said combustibles stacked next to the heater fed the flames.

Even so, firefighters confined the fire to its room of origin.

Dederick said there was extensive smoke and heat damage throughout the home, but little structural damage, because the fire was extinguished so quickly. A damage estimate was unavailable.

"They got a quick knockdown and then it was just a ventilation chore," he said. Firefighters used a powerful fan to clear smoke and heat.

A woman and at least one child - relatives of the homeowner - got out safely, Dederick said. No injuries were reported to the occupants or firefighters.

Firefighters were at the home for about an hour. Four engines, a ladder truck, a battalion chief and two medic units were summoned, for a total of 20 firefighters.

Robert Mittendorf is a Herald copy editor and page designer. Contact him at 360-756-2805 or at robert.mittendorf@bellinghamherald.com.

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