Greenbank home damaged in chimney fire

No humans were injured but a cat remains missing because of a chimney fire.

No humans were injured but a cat remains missing because of a chimney fire that occurred in the Greenbank area Thursday morning.

Around 9:49 a.m. on Dec. 22, first responders from South Whidbey Fire/EMS and Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue arrived at a Honeymoon Bay Road address to find a fire in the attic of a waterfront home, according to South Whidbey Fire/EMS Public Information Officer Jon Gabelein.

A total of 19 responders and nine fire department vehicles were on scene for nearly five hours.

With temperatures below freezing that day, fighting the blaze proved difficult.

“Aside from working on slippery surfaces, the water we use to extinguish the fire quickly creates a layer of ice on everything we work with from our self contained breathing apparatus to our hand tools,” Gabelein said.

To further complicate things, firefighters had to carry all equipment down a steep, icy, 600-foot-long driveway.

The fire started inside the chimney while the home’s fireplace was being used, and caused damage to the chimney, attic and ceiling. Gabelein said much of the home’s interior was exposed to extensive water damage.

The homeowners safely evacuated the residence at the time of the fire and are currently staying with friends. One cat survived the fire but the status of another is unknown.

Gabelein said the amount of property damage is currently not known.

A GoFundMe account that was started to help the homeowners has raised $2,885 as of press time.