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

Photo by The Everett Herald / 2016
                                Todd Morrow
Island Transit board names choice for executive director

Island Transit’s board of directors picked as its new executive director an… Continue reading

Oak Harbor Motors holds food drive for Help House

Oak Harbor Motors is aiming to “drive out hunger” in its first-ever… Continue reading

State representative race still in the air

It’s still too close to call a winner in one of the… Continue reading

Coalition plans second Growler event Thursday

A coalition is holding another public meeting on its “No New Jets,… Continue reading

Man pleads guilty to child porn charges

A former substance abuse treatment provider and Compass Health administrator caught with… Continue reading

Crowds turn out to honor veterans

The sun broke through the clouds in time to shine down on… Continue reading

Man, 24, accused of attempted rape after release from jail

A 24-year-old man is accused of choking and trying to rape a… Continue reading

Protest over AG’s firing held in Oak Harbor Thursday

As thousands across the country took to the streets in protest Thursday… Continue reading

Drive-through window? SUV plows through store wall

Two people were transported to the hospital Nov. 2 after a car… Continue reading

Most Read