Fire claims family home

Nobody was injured from a fire that destroyed a one-story home south of Oak Harbor at midday Friday.

At approximately 11 a.m., firefighters from Island County Fire District 2 responded to a fire on Oldtimer Street.

When firefighters arrived, they found the house fully engulfed with flames shooting out of the roof and windows.

Fire District 2 Chief Marv Koorn said that it took firefighters around 20 minutes to bring the blaze under control.

“We were afraid somebody might be in the house but fortunately there wasn’t,” Koorn said. The last person left the house an hour-and-a-half earlier.

Firefighters spent the remainder of the afternoon dousing hotspots and removing any flammable material from the house.

The firefighters ran into some difficulties removing debris because the floor in the center of the house collapsed, Koorn said.

Koorn said that it looked like the fire started in the kitchen but he didn’t yet know the cause of the fire.

He said the fire started sometime after the last person left at 9:30 a.m., several hours before the fire was reported.

“It had been cooking inside for quite a while,” Koorn said.

The owner of the house, Robert Blanchard, was working in Everett when he received a phone call that his house was on fire.

When he arrived about an hour and a half later, he found firefighters extinguishing the hotspots in his home.

He and his wife, Tracey, daughter Nikki and son Matthew, spent last night in a camper trailer and will start sifting through the rubble today to salvage any belongings.

“As long as the kids are in good shape and the fire didn’t spread, we’re fortunate,” Blanchard said.

While the Blanchards start recovering from the fire, some family friends are looking to help and return a favor from a couple years ago.

The Blanchards helped friends Melissa and Chris Garden recover when their house burned down a couple years ago.

For anyone wishing to help the Blanchards out, contact Melissa Garden at 679-4484.

You can reach News-Times reporter Nathan Whalen at

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