Barking dogs wake boy, all escape Blaine house fire


BLAINE - Barking dogs woke up a 13-year-old boy, and he and the dogs were able to escape an electrical fire at a Blaine house Wednesday, July 9.

The dogs woke the boy, who was asleep around 10:20 a.m. on the second floor of the home in the 900 block of Third Street, said North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Chief Ron Anderson. The boy soon realized the home was flooding with smoke.

A Blaine police officer was first to reach the scene. He shut doors and made sure no one was inside. By the time firefighters arrived, the boy was outside unharmed, along with the dogs.

Thick heavy smoke kept firefighters from finding the seat of the fire right away, Anderson said. It took about a half-hour to get flames under control in a 6- by 8-foot laundry room on the first floor.

Smoke and heat left damage throughout the home.

Authorities believe a faulty electrical outlet sparked the fire. A dryer plugged into the outlet was off at that time the fire started, said Mitch Nolze, an investigator with the county fire marshal's office. The tenants had reported electrical problems to their landlord in the past, and some electrical work had been done in the home recently. Offhand, Nolze wasn't sure how recently.

The fire marshal's office considers it an accidental electrical fire. An insurance company investigation could shed more light on the cause, Nolze said.

The Mount Baker Chapter of the American Red Cross was asked to help the family of four - a couple and their two kids - as they get back on their feet. It's not clear how long it will be before the home will be livable again.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or Read his Dispatcher Blog at or follow him on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

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