Fire guts modular home in Agate Bay area of Whatcom County

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 15, 2014 

Agate Bay house fire

A firefighter advances hose inside the burning modular home in the 3300 block of Agate Bay Lane late Saturday, June 14, 2014.

JASON VANDYKEN — COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

BELLINGHAM - A fire likely caused by a faulty heater late Saturday, June 14, gutted a double-wide modular home in the Agate Bay area of Lake Whatcom east of Bellingham.

No one was injured in the fire, which took the combined efforts of about 20 firefighters from four agencies to control, said Chief Ron Anderson of North Whatcom Fire and Rescue. He said a resident returning home from work noticed the fire about 11:30 p.m. and alerted the other three occupants of the home in the 3300 block of Agate Bay Lane.

Flames were coming through the roof as the first North Whatcom units arrived, Anderson said. He said the initial heavy fire conditions dictated a "transitional attack," meaning firefighters sprayed water from the outside and then made entry to the burning home.

"They went in through the front door and tried to push the fire out back," Anderson said.

Lynden Fire Department, South Whatcom Fire Authority and Whatcom County Fire District 7 in Ferndale assisted North Whatcom firefighters at the scene, Anderson said. Four engine companies were supplied by three "water tenders," trucks that carry water in the absence of hydrants, Anderson said.

"Most of the house and contents was a total loss," said Mitch Nolze, a fire investigator with the Whatcom County Fire Marshal's Office.

Nolze said a preliminary investigation shows the fire was accidental, and that it started in a wall heater. He estimated that damage was about $75,000.

Reach Robert Mittendorf at 360-756-2805 or robert.mittendorf@bellinghamherald.com.

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