Storage unit fire causes $500k in damage near Ferndale

A storage unit fire in a converted barn on Harksell Road caused up to $500,000 in damage Tuesday morning, Dec. 16.

Smoke was billowing out the eaves of a large gray metal building when firefighters arrived around 11 a.m. at 1832 Harksell Road, north of Ferndale. Firefighters could hear a fire burning inside the five-unit building, in a locked unit in the middle, said Whatcom Fire District 7 Assistant Chief Larry Hoffman.

Firefighters cut open the walls with chainsaws to get at the blaze. A half-dozen water tenders were called in from neighboring fire districts.

In the end a ski boat, a truck and other belongings in the middle unit were destroyed by flames. Property in other units fared better, aside from some smoke damage. The building, a converted barn, also had structural damage where the fire was most intense, Hoffman said.

An initial damage estimate pegged the loss at roughly $400,000 to $500,000.

The county fire marshal’s office was investigating the cause Tuesday.