An abandoned home in Freeland was destroyed Wednesday by a fire that officials are describing as “suspicious.”
A deputy reported the blaze shortly after 8 p.m. He was in the area at the time and saw a column of smoke, according to Jon Beck, deputy chief of South Whidbey Fire/EMS. An Island County Sheriff’s Office deputy investigated and found the home on fire; he reportedly attempted to extinguish some of the flames with a fire extinguisher but made little headway.
“It was well involved when we got there,” Beck said.
Mark Tucker and Amiee Brookhart live next door. As firefighters worked to put out the main blaze, they were busy soaking their fence and lawn with garden hoses.
Both were nervous the fire would get out of control and ignite their house as well.
“Yeah, it was scary,” said Brookhart.
The single-story structure has been vacant for years and was overgrown with blackberry bushes and shrubs. It’s exterior was also covered in cedar shingles. Tucker described it as a “tinder box.”
“It’s like the worst case scenario,” he said.
Tucker said he was home and noticed smoke. He walked over and met the arriving deputy. He said flames were inside the building and under the porch.
Having long been abandoned, the home’s windows and entrances were boarded up. Beck, however, said the deputy reported finding some of them torn down when he arrived. Power to the building had long since been turned off.
“It’s suspicious in nature, and we’ve turned the investigation over to the Island County Sheriff’s Office,” Beck said.
Beck said the building is a total loss.