One person is dead as two homes burn Sunday in Bellingham

Flames from a home on Vining Street in Bellingham Sunday.
Flames from a home on Vining Street in Bellingham Sunday. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A person died in one of two single-family homes that burned Sunday, according to Bellingham Fire Assistant Chief Bill Hewett.

A driver on Interstate 5 near Old Fairhaven Parkway reported a large glow in the woods at 4 a.m. Sunday, Hewett said. The fire had almost burned itself out by the time fire crews, fighting compact snow and ice, arrived at the home in the 3400 block of Broad Street, off 33rd Street.

A body was discovered at the scene and police and fire investigations continue.

Shortly before noon, crews responded to a “well-involved” fire in the 3700 block of Vining Street. It was not safe for crews to enter, so they remained outside to fight defensively, Hewett said.

In his almost three decades of firefighting, Hewett said, this is probably the worst winter for fires and fatalities he can remember. The body of an 89-year-old Whatcom County man was found in a Glenhaven home that was destroyed by fire late Thursday, The Herald reported earlier.

The fatalities “highlight how important it is in these cold times we have to be hypervigilant on fire safety,” Hewett said.

This story will be updated.

Julie Shirley directs news coverage for The Bellingham Herald and has been the executive editor since 2003. She’s been an editor in Florida, California and Washington since 1979.