A faulty porch light is being blamed for an overnight fire that damaged a home off Yew Street Road, fire officials said Monday.
South Whatcom Fire Authority Chief Dave Ralston said crews from Bellingham and SWFA contained the flames to the roof and attic space at 808 Woodbine Way, saving much of the one-story home’s contents and leaving the building standing.
No injuries were reported in the 11:41 p.m. Sunday incident.
“They did a good job getting a knockdown. They made a good stop,” Ralston said.
Mitch Nolze, a Whatcom County fire investigator and a volunteer battalion chief for South Whatcom Fire, said first-arriving firefighters saw smoke and flames shooting from the roof. A second alarm was called, but the fire was brought under control quickly and additional units were canceled, he said.
“Crews pulled the ceiling. Fire was in the attic space,” Nolze said. “There was very little fire damage in the living area of the house. There was light smoke and water damage.”
Nolze said the man who lives there smelled smoke and went outside to find a porch light and switch arcing and sparking. He called 911 and used a garden hose to douse the flames outside, but the fire had extended into the attic already, Nolze said.
Nolze estimated damage to the home at $50,000 – the home has an assessed value of $208,122.
The Bellingham Herald reporter Robert Mittendorf is a volunteer firefighter with South Whatcom Fire Authority.