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Couple hospitalized after fire destroys Ferndale home

A fire destroyed a three-story Ferndale house and sent a couple in their 60s to the hospital late Sunday night, Jan. 25, according to fire officials.

Their house at 3988 Aldergrove Road is a total loss, said Fire District 7 Chief Gary Russell.

Dale and Elaine Spurrell, both 67, remained in the hospital Monday. Dale Spurrell suffered a heart attack while trying to escape the house, according to the couple’s granddaughter, Shilah Ba’cho Morales. St. Joseph hospital officials said he was in satisfactory condition Monday.

Elaine Spurrell was transferred to Harborview Medical Center and is being treated for second- and third-degree burns to her face, arms and hands, Morales said.

“They’re really good people and they didn’t deserve this,” she said. “Now they have nothing.”

The fire began shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday. Elaine Spurrell tried to escape through the front door and was struck by burning debris as the doorway fell on top of her, Morales said. Dale Spurrell went out through the back door and suffered a heart attack, she said. He has had multiple bypass surgeries in recent years, she said.

Neighbors found the couple outside the burning house. Paramedics treated them at a neighbors’ home for burns and smoke inhalation before taking them to the hospital, Russell said.

By 11:30 p.m. about 25 firefighters were on the scene, Russell said. The house collapsed on top of itself, causing the metal roof to shield some burning material from firefighters. The debris was still smoldering the next day, and crews used an excavator Monday to pull the roof apart and extinguish the flames underneath, Russell said.

The appraised value of the house was $361,031, according to the Whatcom County Assessor’s website.

Fire Marshal’s Office investigator Mitch Nolze said he believes the flames started outside of the house near the front porch. He hasn’t determined the cause, but said it could be related to smoking materials or an electrical malfunction.

Nolze said the couple weren’t able to recover anything from inside. He said the contents of the home that were lost could cost up to $250,000.

The couple’s dog, a beagle, was missing Monday. Family members were able to find the couple’s cat that was missing earlier, Morales said.

Morales has set up an online fundraiser for her grandparents. To donate, go to gofundme.com/kw5rbg.

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