A fire burned through a Blaine Road barn Monday evening, Dec. 9, destroying the building, but no one was hurt.
The resident of 8704 Blaine Road, south of Blaine city limits, was in the main house about 6:15 p.m. when he spotted smoke from the barn about 75 feet away.
Firefighters from North Whatcom Fire & Rescue told dispatchers they could see smoke and flames as they were driving to the scene. Flames were coming from all sides of the building, about 100 feet long and 40 feet wide, by the time they pulled up.
"We still had electrical service in the building that was popping. There was ammunition inside that was going off," North Whatcom Fire Chief Ron Anderson said.
Adding to the challenge was the barn's design - metal on top of wood. Firefighters had to peel back the metal in sections to get to the burning wood.
About 35 firefighters from North Whatcom, Lynden and Whatcom County Fire District 7 were called in to fight the fire. They were unable to save the building, though they kept the fire from spreading to the main house.
"With so much fuel load and when it gets a head start like that ... it makes it very difficult," Anderson said.
The fire was out by about 9:30 p.m., but a crew stayed on overnight to make sure nothing reignited.
Whatcom County Fire Inspector Mitch Nolze said the fire started in the back area of the barn that had been made into an apartment. Based on the evidence and the resident's description, the cause either was an electrical problem or a space heater, Nolze said. The damage was so extensive an exact origin point and cause can't be determined.
Damage to the building and contents was estimated at $250,000. Nolze said.
Reach Debbie Townsend at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2280.