No one was home when a fire destroyed a “unique” two-story house located just behind Fire Station 28 off Samish Way Sunday evening, Sept. 14, fire officials said.
Firefighters from South Whatcom Fire Authority were in a meeting around 6:15 p.m. when one of the staff members looked out a back window and noticed flames and smoke, said South Whatcom officer Nick Ota.
It was not immediately clear what started the fire, which took about 20 firefighters nearly 6 hours and more than 10,000 gallons of water to put out, Ota said.
Firefighters were not sure how often, if ever, the wooden home was lived in, Ota said. He did not know if the fire investigator had been able to contact the owner as of Monday afternoon.
Debris in the yard and several layers of construction made the fire more challenging to attack, Ota said. The home appeared to have at least partially been built around a few 60-foot trees.
“There were some trees that caught on fire — I think the trees were actually part of the structure,” Ota said.
One of three tenders used to take water to the scene was recently purchased for the same South Whatcom Fire Authority station neighboring the home.
“I think that was the first time we used our new water tender,” Ota said. “We got it to serve that area, so it was pretty good timing.”
A video of the fire can be viewed on the Whatcom Emergency Services Facebook page.