Smoking materials or candle caused Franklin Street house fire

Smoking materials or a candle led to a house fire on Franklin Street this week, according to the Bellingham Fire Department.

The resident of the home, a woman in her 40s, came home after walking her dog for about 45 minutes to find the street packed with fire engines and firefighters battling smoke and flames on the second floor of 1217 Franklin St.

Most of the damage was in an upstairs bedroom, where the fire is believed to have started, said Assistant Fire Chief Bill Hewett. Losses were estimated at $30,000. (The building itself was valued at $70,000.)

Investigators narrowed the cause of the fire to two likely possibilities: an unattended candle or smoldering “smoking materials.” Officially, the cause of the fire remains undetermined, and it’s considered an accident.