Woman, dog perish in fire

An Oak Harbor woman and her dog died in a slow-smoldering fire in her home Wednesday night.

An Oak Harbor woman and her dog died in a slow-smoldering fire that filled her doublewide manufactured home with smoke Wednesday night, according to the Oak Harbor Fire Department.

Fire Chief Ray Merrill said investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire, but it appeared to have started in the kitchen. Items within the house created a very heavy fire load which likely contributed to the fire and could have inhibited the resident’s escape. Firefighters were unable to get into the house through the front door and had to use a side door.

Merrill explained that a neighbor of the home in Western Village, a trailer park for seniors on Northeast Ernst Street, alerted dispatchers at 8:38 p.m. that smoke detectors were sounding and smoke was coming from the interior. The neighbor also knocked on the door but got no response.

Firefighters found the woman unresponsive and seated in a chair. Responders performed CPR on her all the way to the hospital and were able to restore her pulse, but she later died at the hospital, according to Merrill. Her cause of death has not been determined, he said, but it’s likely she died from smoke inhalation.

The woman’s Boston terrier was also overcome from the smoke inside the home. Firefighters attempted CPR and oxygen therapy, but the efforts were unsuccessful.

Merrill said the smoke inside the house was very heavy when 14 firefighters from Oak Harbor Fire Department and Navy Northwest arrived just over two minutes after the 911 call. The fire was very slow burning and was easily extinguished. The home sustained little fire damage, the chief said.

Residents can follow the fire department on social media, at facebook.com/OHFire and twitter.com/OakHarborFD for information on how to prepare your family for emergencies.