An apparent kitchen fire damaged a Happy Valley home late Sunday night, severely injuring one of the two residents, a fire official said.
A man in his 30s suffered a severe arm injury as he escaped the rapidly growing fire about 10:30 p.m. Sunday in the 3100 block of Harrison Street, said Assistant Chief Bill Hewett of the Bellingham Fire Department. The man’s roommate, a woman in her 30s, escaped uninjured, he said.
“The caller reported that the stove was on fire and it was spreading to the kitchen,” Hewett said.
The man, whose name was not disclosed because of medical privacy laws, cut his arm on glass as he scrambled out a window, Hewett said. He also suffered minor burns and was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph hospital. The man later was moved to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Firefighters saw moderate to heavy smoke in the kitchen as they arrived at the home on a narrow cul-de-sac off 30th Avenue. A window blew out behind the house, sending fire through. Flames, fueled by the fresh supply of air, spread from the kitchen up an adjacent stairwell, Hewett said.
Firefighters took a hose inside and put the fire out before it burned farther through the building, Hewett said. One firefighter treated the victim’s wound until an ambulance arrived.
“We were lucky to to able to catch it quickly” before the fire did structural damage, Hewett said.
He said an investigation showed the fire started on the stovetop. An arson investigator from the Bellingham Police Department was consulted, but Hewett said the cause was undetermined pending further investigation. Bellingham Police had no additional information, an official said.
Damage was limited to the kitchen and its contents, Hewett said, adding the rest of the home suffered smoke damage.