News

Two blazes destroy trailer and shed

By NATHAN WHALEN

Staff reporter

Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue firefighters had a busy Thursday responding to two blazes on Central Whidbey.

Authorities say the fires are not thought to be related to a series of arson fires earlier this summer on South Whidbey, which remain unsolved.

A single-wide trailer in a Coupeville mobile home park and a storage shed near Greenbank went up in flames in two separate incidents. The Island County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating both incidents.

Early Thursday morning, before 1 a.m., firefighters responded to a fire at a mobile home park next to the Tyee restaurant and motel. When they arrived, they found a single-wide trailer engulfed in flames.

Clare Whiting, a Seattle resident visiting a friend in a neighboring trailer, woke up when she heard noise. She saw the blaze when she peered out of the window.

"It was just a sheet of orange," Whiting said later Thursday.

The flames had starting to spread to neighboring trailers as firefighters arrived.

"We were able to extinguish that before it caused any real damage," said Capt. Robert Spinner of Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue.

A carport wall of a neighboring trailer was scorched and the heat of the blaze melted window casings of the neighboring homes.

Spinner said the mobile home that burned down was vacant and had been scheduled to be removed from the park.

Detective Ed Wallace of the Island County Sheriff's Office said officers continue to investigate the blaze and haven't determined a cause yet.

At approximately 9:30 a.m., firefighters responded to a blaze on Junco Road near Greenbank. The metal-and-wood shed was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

Spinner said it took approximately 45 minutes for firefighters to bring the blaze under control.

The shed stored building materials that would have been used for a nearby home renovation. It also doubled as a shop and several acetylene tanks exploded in the blaze.

The blaze billowed smoke that was visible to people working in offices in Everett.

"Everyone near a west-facing window in my building has phoned me to ask about the cloud of black smoke over Whidbey Island," said Suzanne Pate, public information officer with the Snohomish Health District, in a e-mail to the Whidbey News-Times.

Spinner said the fire has been turned over to the Island County Sheriff's Office for investigation. Officers were at the burned out shed Thursday, but they haven't found a cause yet. There have been a number of arson-caused blazes on South Whidbey in May and June.

Wallace said Thursday's fires don't appear to be related to the arsons on the south end of the island. He added the two blazes didn't appear to be connected to each other.

Spinner said that nobody suffered any injuries from either fire Thursday.

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