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Blaze destroys Crescent Harbor barn

A barn owned by the Westerdyk family on East Crescent Harbor Road burns Thursday. The cause of the blaze is still unknown.  - Photo by Anthony Kline
A barn owned by the Westerdyk family on East Crescent Harbor Road burns Thursday. The cause of the blaze is still unknown.
— image credit: Photo by Anthony Kline

A fire in Oak Harbor Thursday evening burned an old barn down to its foundations and sent one firefighter to the hospital.

At 6:34 p.m., North Whidbey Fire and Rescue firefighters responded to a structure fire on East Crescent Harbor Road. According to Chief Marv Koorn, the first units arrived within six minutes to find the old barn totally engulfed in flames.

Koorn said it was quickly obvious that the structure was beyond saving so firefighters turned their attention to the surrounding buildings and several small “spot” fires that were igniting in grass and bushes nearby.

“It was definitely not something that could have been saved,” Koorn said.

While battling the blaze, a firefighter received second degree burns to one of his feet and was transported to Whidbey General Hospital in Coupeville. Department policy mandates that any injury, no matter how minor, be treated at the hospital.

Koorn said it was not yet clear Friday morning, however, whether the firefighter’s injuries were so severe that he would not be able to return to work immediately.

The barn was owned by the Westerdyk family. Attempts to reach them by telephone before press time were unsuccessful.

In all about 25 firefighters responded to the inferno. Along with North Whidbey’s three engines and two water tenders, Navy Region Northwest Fire and Emergency sent one engine to assist.

Firefighters remained on scene until early Friday morning making sure the blaze was out for good.

“We babysat it all night,” Koorn said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. According to Koorn, the barn had hay in it, a material that has been known to spontaneously combust. However, he said the hay was new and does not appear to be the source. Arson is not suspected at this time.

Along with the barn, which was three stories, at least one vehicle was also destroyed by the fire. Koorn estimated that damage to the barn alone exceeded $100,000.

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