Fire displaces four at Cain Lake home; outlet blamed

A bed next to an electrical outlet is being blamed for a fire Tuesday afternoon that heavily damaged a home near Reed Lake in the Cain Lake area in southern Whatcom County, officials said.

Smoke alarms alerted the four residents to the fire, which was reported about 1:30 p.m. at 408 Rainbow Drive. All four residents got out safely with their two dogs, said Chief Omar Mejia of Whatcom County Fire District 18, which serves the rural area south of Lake Whatcom.

“They had a (fire escape plan) and it went well,” Mejia said.

A fire station is within a half-mile, and volunteer firefighters went inside and quickly got the flames under control, Mejia said. Firefighters and command staff from South Whatcom Fire Authority assisted District 18 crews, he said.

“It was contained to the bedroom, room and contents,” Mejia said. “There was some some damage throughout, but the bedroom was a loss.”

County Fire Marshal Mitch Nolze said investigators focused on an electrical outlet next to a bed in the single-story house.

“It was an accidental fire, caused by an outlet up against the bed,” Nolze said. “We don’t know why it occurred, but we’ve ruled everything else out.”

He estimated damage at $75,000.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty