Cause of Coolidge Drive house fire remains unclear

Video: Fire on Coolidge Drive

Bellingham firefighters battle flames Thursday, Sept. 17.
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Bellingham firefighters battle flames Thursday, Sept. 17.

Fire authorities haven’t been able to figure out what caused a fire that left a Bellingham family homeless Thursday, Sept. 17.

The fire appears to have started in the living room of 3009 Coolidge Drive, but more forensic tests would be needed to figure out the exact cause, said Bellingham Fire Marshal Jason Napier.

The residents had come home for dinner in the late afternoon Thursday, then headed out to watch a football game. Neighbors noticed a flame flickering in the window around 5 p.m. and called 911.

Firefighters knocked down the flames within about a half hour. No one was home, and no one was hurt.

The structure itself appears to be salvageable, but there’s extensive smoke and heat damage throughout the home, Napier said. Firefighters gave a rough damage estimate of about $70,000, about half the total value of the house itself.

An electrical problem — a faulty lamp, wire or electronic — hasn’t been ruled out as a possible cause, Napier said. It appears to be an accidental fire, he added.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or caleb.hutton@bellinghamherald.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bhamcaleb.