Vacant home, garage, shed burn in Maple Falls fire

A fire that started in a small shed burned through a garage and vacant house behind the former Frosty Inn early Monday, Oct. 5.

Flames had already spread to all three buildings when firefighters arrived to the property at 7461 Mount Baker Highway around 1:30 a.m., said District 14 Fire Chief Jerry DeBruin.

Some trees surrounding the buildings also went up in flames. Three engines, four water tenders and about 25 firefighters responded. The fire was knocked down within roughly 20 minutes, DeBruin said.

DeBruin estimated up to $75,000 in damage to the three structures, not including tools and equipment inside. The shed was a total loss, and there was heavy damage to the garage and vacant house.

A mobile home on the property was unaffected by the flames. A man living in the mobile home was unhurt.

The fire likely started in the small shed, said Mitch Nolze, a Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office investigator. Nolze is looking into any possible suspicious activity before determining a cause.

Craig Willis is the listed owner of the property, which includes the former restaurant and the buildings that burned Monday. Willis lives in California, according to the Whatcom County Assessor’s website.

Reach Wilson Criscione at 360-756-2803 or