A Whatcom County man built a fire in his wood stove, went to get a drink at the store and came back to find his home in flames Sunday, Jan. 4.
The wood cabin located at 4565 Valley Highway in Deming is now destroyed. The man living there, Aaron B. Cooper, 40, has found a room at a motel with the help of the American Red Cross, but he was not able to recover any of his belongings from his home, according to his daughter, Danielle Cooper.
“Nothing was recovered, just the clothes on his back,” Danielle Cooper said.
The fire originated from the wood stove, according to Will Anderson, an investigator with the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office. He said the value of the old cabin was around $500, and the structure is “a total loss.” No one was injured.
Danielle Cooper, 17, said her dad started a wood stove fire around 4 p.m. Sunday and then left to get a soda at the store. When he returned, the windows appeared black and, as he looked inside, he realized the inside of the cabin was on fire. He then ran down the road to where Danielle lives with her aunt and called 911. The building was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.
Aaron Cooper was the only person residing at the cabin, but Danielle said the family’s “whole bloodline grew up there,” including her three siblings. She said computers, a TV and old pictures of the family were lost.
Aaron Cooper could not be reached Monday, but he wrote in a comment on his Facebook page, “I lost my whole life.”
Danielle started an online fundraiser for her dad at gofundme.com/jp2qu8.