GLACIER - A Whatcom County family is recovering with help from friends after a fire ravaged their Glacier home earlier this month.
Ellen Baker and her husband were at a barbecue in Lynden about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, when they got the call that their home in the 9900 block of Mount Baker Highway was on fire, Baker said.
"I was devastated," Baker said of finding out about the fire. "I was really worried about the cats. I was hoping they could be saved. I knew that my son had gotten out. He's the one who raised the alarms."
The couple's son had been living with them temporarily, and he was able to get out of the house without injuries. The family's three cats, though, died in the fire.
"That was the worst, really," Ellen Baker said. "Just awful."
The cause of the fire is undetermined, though it appears to have started in an office area in the northwest portion of the home, said Mitch Nolze, a fire inspector with the Whatcom County Fire Marshal's Office. The exact ignition source couldn't be found, Nolze said, but he doesn't believe the cause is suspicious. He estimated that the home sustained about $150,000 in damage to its interior and exterior.
A building inspector has to assess the home's structural integrity, and while the family is waiting to find out if the home can be rebuilt, they are staying at a friend's place in Bellingham.
"It's heartwarming to receive so much support from our friends and neighbors," Baker said.
She also praised the firefighters from Glacier Fire and Rescue and Whatcom County Fire District 14 who kept the fire from spreading and saved what they could of the structure.