An early morning fire claimed the home of a Greenbank man last week and another fire a few hours later on the same day destroyed a shed south of Coupeville.
The first blaze was reported just after midnight on Friday, Jan. 4. Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue arrived about five minutes after receiving the call to find a single-story house fully ablaze.
Located on Smuggler’s Cove Road, just north of Lagoon Point, firefighters with the aid of South Whidbey Fire/EMS crews worked for about an hour to completely extinguish the fire.
Despite their efforts, the home was completely destroyed.
“It was a 100 percent loss,” Deputy Chief Chad Michael said.
The sole human occupant, Doctor Elijah Bonesteel, was not hurt. He was the reporting party and was outside by the time firefighters arrived. Bonesteel had a cat as well and the animal also got out safely.
“The cat made it out OK also,” Michael said.
Fire crews were cleaning up at the scene when another call came in for a shed fire just south of Coupeville on Ebey Road.
A South Whidbey engine that was filling in on Central Whidbey during the Greenbank fire responded and firefighters quickly got the small blaze under control.
No one was hurt in that incident either.
Michael said the cause of the shed fire is believed to be combustibles that were too close to a heater. The blaze that destroyed Bonesteel’s home on Smuggler’s Cove Road, however, remains under investigation.
According to Rick Karjalainen, chaplain for the Island County Sheriff’s Office, Bonesteel is not in need of community assistance.
“He has local help; friends and neighbors,” Karjalainen said.
Bonesteel was offered assistance through his office or through The Island Chapter of the American Red Cross but he declined, Karjalainen said.