Crime

Fire rips through fifth-wheel trailer in Ferndale; two occupants, cat uninjured

Tri-City Herald

A fire destroyed a fifth-wheel trailer that a man and woman were using as a home Thursday morning.

Crews were dispatched to the fire in a trailer park in the 6800 block of Enterprise Road at around 1 a.m., said Chief Gary Russell with Whatcom County Fire District 7. When they arrived, they found the trailer, which had an added porch and roof, engulfed, with flames coming out the front door and reaching to the trees above, Russell said.

A man, 53, and a woman, 65, were awake when the fire broke out, Russell said, and were able to escape with their cat. A Ferndale police officer also responded along with at least one Whatcom County sheriff’s deputy who was in the area and noticed the fire, Russell added.

It took firefighters about 10 minutes to get the blaze under control, Russell said, using tenders to distribute water in an area without hydrants. But it took another 3 1/2 hours to make sure the fire was out, a process that required firefighters to tear apart nearly the entire structure, Russell said.

“For such a small structure, it just took a long time,” Russell said. “The fire gets rooted in little crevices. These types of old travel trailers are built with real thin veneer-type wood and stuff, so it’s like kindling.”

There were no other buildings at risk of catching fire, Russell said. The Red Cross, he added, helped the two occupants find alternative housing.

The Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause, which remains undetermined. It’s likely, Russell said, that an electrical malfunction caused it since a lot of appliances were plugged into the trailer.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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