A house fire in Sudden Valley displaced a family of six and left one cat dead Monday afternoon, Feb. 16.
A bit before 3 p.m. a woman arrived home and noticed the windows of her two-story house at 13 Cascade Lane looked darker than usual, said South Whatcom Fire Authority Chief Dave Ralston. As she opened the front door, she was met by a wall of heat and heavy smoke.
Three fire engines rushed to the scene. Inside firefighters found the flames were spreading into the walls, up to the ceiling in the kitchen and living room.
The residents — two parents and four children — had all been away from the house Monday afternoon, Ralston said. So no one was inside, except for an indoor cat. The firefighters tried CPR for about 25 minutes, but the cat died from smoke inhalation. Another cat that had been outside survived.
Firefighters finished mopping up after about three hours. Damage was initially estimated at $50,000.
“And it will probably be more than that,” Ralston said.
A fire investigator traced the likely source to an electrical problem in a speaker system in the kitchen.
The local chapter of the American Red Cross was called in to help the family find temporary housing.
Update on Tuesday morning, Feb. 17. The family has set up a gofundme.com page here.