Investigation continues into Ferndale fire homicide


FERNDALE - Police are continuing to investigate what they believe is a deliberately set house fire that killed a 23-year-old woman Jan. 1, according to the Ferndale Police Department.

Mindy Rhoads died in a fire at a house in the 4800 block of Rural Avenue, near Slater Road, and police believe her death was a homicide.

Firefighters found her body as they were fighting the fire. The Whatcom County Fire Marshal's Office determined that the fire was arson. Rhoads was alive when the fire started, and an autopsy found her cause of death was smoke inhalation.

Police have been talking to people who knew Rhoads to try to piece together what happened the night of Jan. 1, and they've gotten a few names of people they'd like to interview.

"There are people we're interested in talking to to help connect the dots," Lt. Bill Hatchett said.

Hatchett declined to provide more details because of the ongoing investigation.

Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or

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