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You’ll never believe what started this Bellingham-area fire

Potting soil causes fire

Fire likely caused by spontaneous combustion of potting soil damaged a home in the Tweed Twenty neighborhood just before noon Sunday.
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Fire likely caused by spontaneous combustion of potting soil damaged a home in the Tweed Twenty neighborhood just before noon Sunday.

Bright sunlight reflected into a potted plant likely started a fire that damaged a house in the Tweed Twenty neighborhood just outside Bellingham city limits Sunday morning.

Neighbors rescued two dogs from inside the home at 1409 Lahti Drive about 11:25 a.m. They used a garden hose to fight the flames until North Whatcom Fire and Rescue firefighters arrived.

Whatcom County fire investigator Mitch Nolze said the cause was undetermined, but he suspects the fire started when the sun’s rays heated organic material in the potted plant.

Damage was confined to an area near the fire’s origin, said Nolze, who’s also a battalion chief for South Whatcom Fire Authority. No one was home when the fire started, and no injuries were reported.

lahti fire 3
Firefighters examine the fire damage to a Tweed Twenty home on Sunday morning. Robert Mittendorf rmittendorf@bhamherald.com

Firefighters from Bellingham and South Whatcom Fire assisted.

The Bellingham Herald reporter Robert Mittendorf is a volunteer firefighter for South Whatcom Fire Authority.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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