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Five homeless, none injured in Oak Harbor fire on Fourth of July
Nobody was injured in a fire that left five people in Oak Harbor homeless on the Fourth of July.
The conflagration, however, wasn’t caused by fireworks, according to Fire Chief Ray Merrill.
The origin is still under investigation, he said, but it appears to be accidental.
A neighbor of a Northwest 10th Court residence noticed that the garage was on fire at about 7:30 p.m. and alerted the five adults inside the rambler. They all evacuated safely.
Merrill said the Oak Harbor Fire Department responded, with mutual aid from the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station fire department and North Whidbey Fire and Rescue. It took about 20 minutes to get the blaze under control.
Merrill said the fire started in the attached garage and spread into the attic, but firefighters managed to stop it from getting inside the house except for one small area where the ceiling gave way.
Yet the fire caused heat and smoke damage throughout the small house. Merrill estimated the damage at about $125,000.
The American Red Cross provided the displaced residents with housing for a couple of nights, but they are now living with relatives, Merrill said.
Fireworks caused little trouble in Oak Harbor this year. Merrill said the only pyrotechnic-related call that firefighters responded to was a very small grass fire.