Three Homes Destroyed in Washington Fire

June 7, 2013
Discarded smoking material is suspected in a fire that burned three homes in Ferndale late Thursday.

June 07--FERNDALE -- Seven adults and two children were forced from their homes by a fire at a mobile home park late Thursday, June 6, in north Ferndale.

Everyone escaped the three-home fire unhurt. But one residence at 6165 Portal Way was destroyed, and two others were left uninhabitable.

A pair of adults sleeping in a single-wide mobile home awoke to a strong smell of smoke at 11:20 p.m., said Fire District 7 Chief Gary Russell. Investigators believe the fire started on a back deck, where the occupants often smoke cigarettes and discard the butts in a bucket of water.

By the time the first firefighters arrived, flames were sweeping through the home. Firefighters focused their efforts on keeping it from spreading to other homes, Russell said.

Five engines and 25 firefighters from three fire districts joined in to combat the blaze. It took them about three hours to extinguish it.

The first home to catch fire didn't have any smoke alarms, Russell said. The nearest mobile homes -- about 20 feet away -- were scorched by the heat.

The Mt. Baker Chapter of the American Red Cross offered to help the families in their long-term recovery from the fire. For now, two families have a hotel room to stay in, and the Red Cross planned to meet with the third family Friday to assess their needs.

Copyright 2013 - The Bellingham Herald (Bellingham, Wash.)

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