Crime

Undine Street duplex fire caused by unattended cooking oil, fire marshal says

Unattended cooking oil on a stove led to a massive fire this week in a duplex on Undine Street.

The fire gutted one half of the duplex and left an attached unit uninhabitable due to smoke damage Monday, April 13, at 2842 Undine St.

A resident — fire officials did not say who — heated up cooking oil on the stove in a downstairs kitchen and left the kitchen, according to a media release sent out Wednesday by Bellingham Fire Marshal Jason Napier. The oil caught fire around 3 p.m. and spread to nearby cabinets, setting off a smoke alarm.

A father and his teenage son fled the house. They did not suffer outward injuries, but they were checked for smoke inhalation at St. Joseph hospital. Another teenager lives there but he wasn’t home.

“This fire serves as a reminder of how important it is to ensure your smoke detectors are present with working batteries,” the city fire marshal wrote.

Napier did not return a reporter’s phone calls.

Damage from the fire was initially estimated to be at least $100,000.

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