A fire that took nearly an hour-and-a-half to extinguish destroyed a home Wednesday off Ault Field Road near Oak Harbor.
The fire killed two dogs owned by the family.
At approximately 11:45 a.m., firefighters from North Whidbey Fire and Rescue responded to a report of a fire at a home on Hawks Prairie Road located behind the Market Town commercial area near Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.
When firefighters arrived, they found light brown smoke billowing from the eaves of the home.
The family wasn’t home at the time of the fire, according to a news release from North Whidbey Fire and Rescue.
Twenty-six firefighters from North Whidbey Fire and Rescue and Navy Region Northwest Battalion 3 responded to the fire.
The news release states that fire suppression effort were hindered because of the home’s construction. It had a heavy plywood reinforced ceiling kept the fire confined to the attic and made accessing the fire difficult.
Firefighters climbed onto the roof of the home and made ventilation holes to relieve buildup of superheated gases to limit the spread of the fire and also apply water to the main part of the fire.
The roof suffered a partial collapse in the area that sustained the heaviest damage, according to the release.
Officials declared the fire contained at 1:16 p.m.
Nobody was home and nobody were injured. The family was allowed to enter the home after the fire was extinguished to retrieve some valuables from parts of the home that were structurally safe.
“Structurally speaking, the home is a total loss; however, we were able to protect many of the family’s belongings,” Fire and Rescue Chief Marv Koorn said in the news release.
The investigation is centering on a faulty electrical receptacle and extension cord that ran to a freezer in the home, said fire officials.
The American Red Cross is assisting the family that owned the home with temporary housing arrangements.
Andy Mahoney, pastor of Grace Community — a church on state Highway 20 located south of Oak Harbor, said the church is collecting donations to the Pacheco family, who lived in the house and are members at the church.
To make a donation, drop checks, made out to Grace Community with the Pacheco family written in the memo line, at any Whidbey Island Branch.
People can also mail checks to Grace Community, 29470 State Highway 20, Oak Harbor, WA 98277.