Crime

Fire claims Ferndale barn along with most of 13 chickens inside; no people injured

A fire that tore through a barn Monday night claimed 11 chickens inside, but injured no one, an official said Tuesday.

Crackling from the fire woke one of the residents just before midnight, said Ben Boyko, a division chief with Whatcom County Fire District 7. The fire had engulfed the barn by then, and the woman called 911.

Crews could see smoke from a couple miles away, Boyko said. The roof had collapsed, and several walls were near collapsing, he added.

The homeowner told firefighters 13 chickens were kept in the barn; firefighters rescued two, Boyko said. .

Once on scene, firefighters had trouble getting water to the barn in an area with no hydrants. Tenders, Boyko added, also struggled getting up the hill to the barn on an ice-packed road.

With the building already collapsing, firefighters were able to knock the barn all the way down and, over the course of a couple more hours, spray down the hotspots that remained, Boyko said. The structure was a total loss.

Mitch Nolze, an investigator with the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office, said the investigation is focused on a possible electrical malfunction.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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