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‘Really good neighbors’ assist team effort to battle two-alarm fire near Lake Samish

What to do if there’s a fire in your home

If you have a fire in your home, the advice is simple, according to Sacramento Fire Department: Get out, stay out, call 911. Don’t try to put the fire out yourself. And never go back into a building on fire. Have a plan and practice with your family.
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If you have a fire in your home, the advice is simple, according to Sacramento Fire Department: Get out, stay out, call 911. Don’t try to put the fire out yourself. And never go back into a building on fire. Have a plan and practice with your family.

A two-story home in Whatcom County near the western end of Lake Samish suffered heavy damage in a two-alarm fire Tuesday evening, July 23. Nobody was injured.

South Whatcom Fire Authority crews were called to the 1400 block of Roy Road at 6:22 p.m. Tuesday for the report of heavy smoke and flames coming from the home.

South Whatcom Assistant Chief Mitch Nolze said he called the second alarm while in route to the fire.

“We were hearing reports and seeing a column of smoke,” Nolze said. “Knowing the location and the time it takes to get on scene, I thought it was best to get more units rolling.”

Bellingham Fire Department, North Whatcom Fire and Rescue, Whatcom County Fire Districts 7 and 18 and Skagit County crews from Alger joined South Whatcom.

Nolze said all were needed, as there were no hydrants in the area. Fortunately, nearby Camp Lutherwood allowed tender trucks to fill with water so that firefighters could set up “a continuous water supply of tenders,” Nolze said.

“We had a lot of people chip in and help, including Camp Lutherwood being some really good neighbors,” Nolze said.

Unfortunately, Nolze said crews had to fight defensively from the outside, as fire had already engulfed the back of the house on both floors and flames were showing on the roof when the first units arrived.

Nolze said the terrain around the house and some downed power lines also made firefighting difficult, though the fire did not spread. Crews were on scene for approximately four and a half hours, but nobody was injured in the fire, as all occupants exited the house.

Nolze said the origin and cause of the fire were not yet known.

“I don’t think it’s going to be repairable, due to the extent of the damage,” Nolze said. “Some of the structure is still standing, but I would say it was a pretty complete loss.”

The Whatcom County Assessor listed the house was worth more than $465,000 for the 2018-19 tax year.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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