News

Oak Harbor firefighters avert disaster

Oak Harbor Fire Department firefighters investigate the remnants of a fire that broke out on a deck at Villa Marina Apartments Saturday as complex owner Joe Franssen walks underneath.  - Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor Fire Department firefighters investigate the remnants of a fire that broke out on a deck at Villa Marina Apartments Saturday as complex owner Joe Franssen walks underneath.
— image credit: Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times

An Oak Harbor apartment complex faced disaster Saturday when a mysterious fire broke out on the deck of an unoccupied unit.

Shortly after 7 p.m., the Oak Harbor Fire Department responded to reports of a commercial structure fire at Villa Marina Apartments, a complex of six two-story buildings nestled between S.E. Ely and Highway 20.

Firefighters and police arrived to find a fire on the deck of a second-story apartment. The apartment was rented but when knocks at the front door were not answered, emergency responders broke in.

The blaze was quickly extinguished but it was not clear at the time how it started, according fire Lt. Mike Engle. A melted material was found on the deck but that it was not enough to make any determinations.

“It looks accidental at this time,” Engle said.

One of the first to spot the fire was Pol Acode, a neighboring tenant. He was in his apartment when he noticed a light outside his window. He walked out and saw flames on the deck that nearly reached the eves.

“It was almost to the ceiling,” Acode said.

Complex owner Joe Franssen, who had been alerted to the incident, praised the fire department with a quick response. Had it not been there when it was, the outcome could have been much different.

“I think the fire department did a good job,” he said.

 

 

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jul 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.