Fire up above damages Coupeville home

News-Times staff

An attic fire damaged a Coupeville home last week.

At 11:43 p.m. on Dec. 6, Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue was dispatched to the house on NE Lindsay Street. Firefighters arrived to find flames showing from the eaves and a large volume of smoke issuing from the attic.

According to Fire Chief Ed Hartin, first responders arrived within 14 minutes, but the size of the home and complexity of the fire required calling two other fire districts for aid. It took between 30 and 60 minutes to get an adequate number of firefighters on scene.

“This is the reality of a volunteer fire department,” said Hartin, in a news release.  “We are fortunate to have such hard-working volunteers, but we are not able to provide an adequate response for our community at all times. I want the community to know of our constraints.”

The blaze was eventually contained and the house suffered limited damage. Hartin said the fire started in a confined space behind the first-floor fireplace and made its way up to the attic. While it wasn’t fast moving, it took time to extinguish, he said.

The fire district is planning to run a levy lid lift on the February ballot. If successful, it would add 34 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to the existing rate of 97 cents. The levied funds would pay for volunteer recruitment/retainment programs and help maintain existing apparatus.


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