A family of four lost their home northeast of Ferndale early Tuesday when an apparent chimney fire spread to the attic space.
Smoke and flames were billowing from the roof as firefighters from Whatcom County Fire District 7 arrived at 7003 Woodlyn Road just after 2 a.m., said Assistant Chief Larry Hoffman. No injuries were reported, he said.
Hoffman said a mother and her three children all under age 10 huddled in their car as the home burned, and left with family members shortly after fire crews arrived. It appears they lost everything, Hoffman said.
The kids were pretty upset. The mom was upset. Everything was pretty much destroyed.
Assistant Chief Larry Hoffman
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Hoffman said he was unsure how the family was alerted to the fire, whether it was a smoke alarm or some other reason. He said their pet cat was missing shortly after the fire, but was found when firefighters returned about 9 a.m.
“It was a chimney fire that got into a vaulted ceiling space where all the insulation is,” he said. “The kids were pretty upset. The mom was upset. Everything was pretty much destroyed,” Hoffman said.
Firefighters used a “transitional attack,” spraying water from the outside and then chasing the flames inside, he said. North Whatcom Fire and Rescue supplied a water tender, because the area is without hydrants.
“We spent the next hour or so chasing (the flames) and pulling ceiling,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman estimated damage at $60,000 for the house, an older manufactured home, and $40,000 for its contents.
Fires at several other homes last week in Whatcom County also appear to have started in the chimney.
Efforts to reach the family Tuesday were unsuccessful.