Fund set up for family who lost home in Nooksack fire

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 23, 2013 

NOOKSACK - A family of three that lost everything in a mobile home fire last weekend in Nooksack is accepting donations to help them get back on their feet.

Darla Billings, 43, awoke from a nap late Sunday afternoon, July 21, to a smell she described as a mix of bananas, burnt plastic and wet campfire logs. She searched, but couldn't find the source.

Figuring that someone had been burning something outside, she said, she didn't think much of it until 6:30 p.m., when she opened the front door of her mobile home at 107 Nooksack Ave. to see flames rolling along the roof of the porch.

She hustled to get her parrot and two dogs outside. The singlewide mobile home burned for close to an hour before firefighters could get the fire under control.

Nobody was hurt. Billings' boyfriend, David Blackstock, 44, and her 8-year-old son, Kamikaze, weren't home at the time, but they're still looking for a chubby tabby cat named Ricky Bobby.

Fire investigators looked into the aging wiring of the home as a possible cause, but the official ignition source remains undetermined.

Property lost in the fire amounted to about $20,000, according to the county fire marshal.

The Mount Baker Chapter of the American Red Cross has offered to help to help find the family new housing. The hope to find somewhere to live in the Nooksack Valley School District, for Kamikaze. He likes baseball and racing video games, and started riding motorbikes at age 4.

Donations to the family can be made to the "Darling Billings Donation Fund" at Whatcom Educational Credit Union branches.

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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