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Fire destroys Oak Harbor garage; home spared but badly damaged

Steve McCalmont, of the Oak Harbor Fire Department, surveys the charred remains of a garage fire that began late Sunday evening. The home was saved, but damages are estimated at about $50,000.  - Photo courtesty of Oak Harbor Fire Department
Steve McCalmont, of the Oak Harbor Fire Department, surveys the charred remains of a garage fire that began late Sunday evening. The home was saved, but damages are estimated at about $50,000.
— image credit: Photo courtesty of Oak Harbor Fire Department

An Oak Harbor home on Northwest Hyak Drive was damaged Sunday when an unexplained fire began in the garage.

Cause of the blaze was unknown as of press time Tuesday but fire officials say it started just before midnight.

The fire was reported by the residence’s two residents, though they weren’t in the home at the time.

Oak Harbor Fire Department Chief Ray Merrill said the renters were returning home from an evening with friends when they noticed smoke in the neighborhood.

“They pulled up to their front yard and saw it was their home on fire,” Merrill said.

The 9-1-1 call came in at 12:50 p.m. and the department’s first units were on the scene at 12:57, Merrill said. They arrived to find the flames largely contained in the garage but beginning to extend into the dining room area of the single story structure.

“Our crews did a really quick internal attack and was able to stop the fire from spreading to the rest of the house,” Merrill said.

Oak Harbor Fire Department dispatched one fire engine, one ladder truck and two command officers.

A Navy Region Northwest Fire and Emergency Services fire engine was also on scene and provided assistance.

Merrill estimates damages at about $50,000. The home did not sustain serious smoke damage but it is without power.

The electrical system, housed in the garage, was completely destroyed, he said.

Fire investigators spent part of Monday looking for clues about how the fire started.

Merrill said a cause has not been determined but that arson is not suspected.

“The fire appears to be accidental but it’s still under investigation,” Merrill said.

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