A resident escaped injury when a fire destroyed a house off West Beach Road on North Whidbey Sunday.
Firefighters from North Whidbey Fire and Rescue, the Oak Harbor Fire Department, Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island responded to the Van Dam Road residence around 12:50 p.m. to a report of a wood stove fire spreading to the building’s walls.
The 2,000-square-foot, single-story home was fully engulfed in flames by the time crews arrived, according to North Whidbey Fire Chief Chris Swiger.
The man who lived at the home reportedly lit a fire in the wood stove, went outside and returned to find his walls ablaze. He attempted to put it out with a garden hose, but it “got too big too fast,” Swiger said. The man exited the building.
The contents and structure are a complete loss. A nearby building that housed a metal shop also sustained moderate damage to the structure and some of the contents inside melted.
The 28 firefighters from all departments spent nearly an hour bringing the blaze under control and another three hours ensuring all the embers were extinguished.
“It was very labor intensive,” Swiger said.
A North Whidbey firefighter sustained a minor injury in the process.
The wood stove’s metal chimney appeared to be too close to the house’s roofing material, Swiger said, which is likely to have caused the fire. Red Cross responded to help the resident.