Scheduled ‘burn to learn’ house catches fire too early

No one was injured in a blaze that occurred at a South Whidbey home that is, coincidentally, scheduled to be set on fire next month as part of a firefighter training exercise.

According to South Whidbey Fire/EMS Deputy Chief Terry Ney, firefighters responded to the flames at the Grimm Road address around 9:12 a.m. on Sunday, June 4.

Due perhaps to the close proximity of the Bayview fire station, a dozen firefighters were able to get the blaze under control in less than 10 minutes, according to Ney.

The house’s premature combustion is currently being investigated by the Island County Sheriff’s Office. Ney said the structure had several ignition points, which could indicate suspicious activity. In addition, a barn on the property also had some charring on its exterior.

Firefighters were able to contain the damage to one room of the house, which has long been empty of occupants.

South Whidbey Fire/EMS still plans to use the building as the site of a scheduled burn on July 1.

“The structure is still intact, and we’ll still be able to use it for our ‘burn to learn,’” Ney said.