A heater knocked over during a fight allegedly started a fire that destroyed a travel trailer Tuesday evening, Dec. 10, in the Peaceful Valley area, according to fire officials.
Crews from Whatcom County Fire District 14 were called at about 6 p.m. to a property on Ivy Court near Cimarron Way, where the travel trailer was engulfed in flames, Chief Jerry DeBruin said.
Gordon David Olson, 33, had been living in the trailer, which was drawing power from a home on the property, DeBruin said. Olson told firefighters that a heater in the trailer was knocked over as he was arguing with the woman who lives in the home.
The woman told firefighters that she argued with Olson in the trailer and then went back to her house. Shortly after that, she saw that the trailer was on fire and called 911.
Firefighters were able to put out the fire in five to 10 minutes and then had to tear the trailer apart to make sure that nothing rekindled. The trailer was so heavily burned that it was hard to figure out what exactly caused the fire, DeBruin said. It was ruled accidental by the Whatcom County Fire Marshal's Office, fire investigator Mitch Nolze said.
Whatcom County Sheriff's deputies responded to the scene to deal with Olson, who appeared to be intoxicated and was interfering with firefighters, though DeBruin didn't think he was trying to hinder the firefighting effort.
Olson was arrested and booked into the Whatcom County Jail for third-degree driving with a suspended license. His criminal history includes convictions for witness tampering, drug charges, forgery, possession of stolen property and malicious mischief.