Firefighter Jeffrey Rhodes sprays inside a house on Classic Road that caught fire Wednesday. The building was already falling apart by the time fire crews arrived. It took the crew a few hours to completely put out all the flames because they couldn’t enter the structurally unsound building.

Firefighter Jeffrey Rhodes sprays inside a house on Classic Road that caught fire Wednesday. The building was already falling apart by the time fire crews arrived. It took the crew a few hours to completely put out all the flames because they couldn’t enter the structurally unsound building.

Uninhabited house destroyed in blaze

Officials from Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue say they are unable to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed an uninhabited house Wednesday.

Firefighters from both Central Whidbey and South Whidbey Fire/EMS arrived at around 10:30 a.m. to find the building on Classic Road fully engulfed in flames, said Ed Hartin, fire chief for Central Whidbey.

Although he couldn’t be sure how long, Hartin said the fire likely had been burning a while before it was called in. Upon arrival, firefighters found a portion of the back of the house had burned away, the roof had collapsed and flames were coming out the windows, he said.

With how far the structure was set back among the tall trees, it would be difficult to notice the fire until there was a large column of smoke, Hartin said.

“The outcome was predictable,” he said. “I think our folks did a good job with what they had to work with.”

Approximately 14 personnel with three engines and three water tenders responded, taking around 15 minutes to get the flames under control, he said. Fully extinguishing the fire took another nearly three hours because damage to the building made it structurally unsound.

“It’s really difficult because it’s not stable,” Hartin said. “You really can’t get into it.”

Debris continued to fall around them as firefighters worked from the outside to ensure all flames were put out. A nearby shed also sustained damage fire damage.

Hartin said his “best guess” is that the fire started at the back of the house.

There was no evidence someone was living in the building at the time of the fire, he said.

Lt. James Meek and another firefighter from Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue, work to extinguish the last of the flames Wednesday on an uninhabited house on Classic Road. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Lt. James Meek and another firefighter from Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue, work to extinguish the last of the flames Wednesday on an uninhabited house on Classic Road. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Lt. James Meek, of Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue, stands in the doorway of a house on Classic Road destroyed by a fire Wednesday. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Lt. James Meek, of Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue, stands in the doorway of a house on Classic Road destroyed by a fire Wednesday. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

More in News

Man accused of raping his stepdaughter

An Oak Harbor man is accused of raping his stepdaughter over a… Continue reading

Car thief threatens judge

A car thief who threatened a judge in court was recently sent… Continue reading

New year, sheriff, off to busy start

With a murder and plane crash within the first two weeks of… Continue reading

Boy, 12, brings BB gun, knives to school

A 12-year-old boy could face a criminal charge for bringing a BB… Continue reading

Commissioners may revisit new events regulations

Island County commissioners are considering changes to recently adopted rural event regulations… Continue reading

Carlyle hits the gas on renewable energy bill

By Emma Scher WNPA Olympia News Bureau A bill to transition Washington… Continue reading

Taxation with representation: Senate holds hearing on capital gains tax

By Sean Harding WNPA Olympia News Bureau People representing small business owners… Continue reading

‘Bring Back Our $30 Car Tabs’ initiative could be on November ballot

By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau “Bring Back Our $30 Car… Continue reading

Most Read