Fire burns man’s woodworking shop in Sunnyland neighborhood

A backyard woodworking shop burned in a fire late Tuesday, Oct. 6, in the Sunnyland neighborhood.

A passerby first alerted a resident at 2820 Grant St. to smoke venting from the shed around 10:20 p.m., said Bellingham Assistant Fire Chief Rob Kintzele.

Firefighters rushed four fire engines to the scene. Gray smoke billowed from the eaves, Kintzele said. No one was inside.

Most of the flames were knocked down within about 10 minutes. Firefighters needed to cut away a piece of the wall to get inside, and the inaccessibility of the building made it a slow-going process to get water inside to extinguish hotspots.

Everything inside burned or was otherwise damaged by heat and smoke. The 400-square-foot shed had been built in 1946, according to county assessor’s records. A camper parked a few feet from the building was moved away in time and did not burn.

The cause appears accidental, according to the fire department.

A man who lives at the home had been using a router, a tool for shaping and hollowing wooden furniture, around 6 p.m. in the woodshop, said Bellingham Fire Marshal Jason Napier. Investigators believe shavings and sawdust on the floor stayed hot enough to smolder, eventually growing into a full-blown fire by nighttime.

Smoke, heat and flames caused about $60,000 in damage, Napier said, to the building and its contents: exotic hardwoods, bikes, kayaks, and family documents.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or Follow him on Twitter at @bhamcaleb.