Firefighters battled a blazing barn as it burned to the ground on North Whidbey early Tuesday morning.
There were no animals in the barn on Fakkema Road, and no humans who responded to the flames were injured. The roughly 5,000-square-foot barn contained personal items and equipment, North Whidbey Fire and Rescue Chief John Clark said.
The fire district responded to the conflagration at 5:11 a.m. and requested help from Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue, Mt. Erie Fire and the Navy’s firefighting crew. Firefighters got the inferno under control in about an hour and stayed longer to put out the remaining hot spots in the rubble. Clark said investigators could not determine what sparked the blaze.
Jade Khatib said her guardian-in-training dog, Darlan, alerted her family around 4 a.m. The 9-month-old Anatolian Pyrenees would not stop whining and barking, Khatib said, so her husband went outside to see what was the cause. He heard cracking noises and saw the flames through the treetops, so he ran to wake up his family and alert the other neighbors.
“My kids are 4 and 8 (years old), and I don’t think there has ever been anything as scary as waking up to a massive fire that close,” Khatib recalled.
Another neighbor had already called 911, and firefighters arrived within a few minutes, Khatib said. She’s thankful for Darlan’s warning.
“She’s an Anatolian Pyrenees, and they have an amazing instinct for protecting their stock, and apparently that includes her people,” she said.