Two Oak Harbor residents were transported to the hospital for treatment of possible smoke inhalation after a garage was destroyed by fire Monday evening, according to the Oak Harbor Fire Department.
Fire Chief Ray Merrill said the residents of the Southwest Waterside Court home were alerted to the fire in the attached garage by fire alarms in the house.
After seeing the flames, the residents closed the door to the garage and called 911, Merrill said.
The fire was reported at 6:09 p.m. Firefighters arrived eight minutes later to find the garage fully engulfed in flames, the fire department reported. The conflagration was controlled and extinguished by the crews from Oak Harbor Fire Department and the Navy Fire Department.
The garage was a total loss, but crews were largely able to stop the fire before it spread to the house.
“For the most part, the house was saved and the belongings in the house were saved,” Merrill said.
Along with the garage, three motorcycles were destroyed, Merrill said.
The chief said the fire was likely caused by an overheated electrical circuit on an extension cord.
Merrill said the residents’ action in closing the door to the garage was also important in preventing the fire from spreading. By the International Fire Code, doors between a garage and house must provide protection from fire.
“The garage-house door was closed during this fire and prevented the fire from spreading to the living quarters; reducing potential damage and protecting many of the family’s belongings,” the fire department said in a press release.
In addition, the fire department stressed the importance of fire alarms.
“Smoke is a poison that can kill you,” a fire department release states. “Without working smoke alarms, you may not wake up from the smoke. It can kill you while you are asleep. Home fires at night or when people are sleeping are the most dangerous. Working smoke alarms will alert you if there is a fire and will give you more time.”
Learn more about smoke alarms and where to place them in your home at www.usfa.fema.gov