Early morning fire tears through Elma home

A smoke detector alerted a grandparent and infant in time to get out

An early morning fire in an Elma home burned much of the basement area and displaced the residents on Thursday morning.

East Grays Harbor Fire and Rescue, assisted by the Montesano and McCleary fire departments, responded to the fire on the 600 block of West Anderson Street, said Montesano Fire Chief David Busz.

“It was a single family residence with a basement,” Busz said in an interview. “District 2 will be conducting the investigation.”

While the couple residing there were at work, a grandparent and infant were asleep at home. Woken by smoke alarms, they evacuated the house, said Elma Police Chief Susan Shultz.

“Smoke alarms alerted the occupants who were asleep on floor one,” Busz said. “EGHFR responded with one engine and two firefighters. They applied the transitional attack.”

With additional reinforcements from Montesano and McCleary, firefighters were able to push into the interior, Busz said.

“McCleary took the hand line into the basement. They discovered two dogs, deceased,” Busz said.

No humans were injured in the fire, Busz said.

“East Grays Harbor Fire Rescue did evaluate the baby and grandmother for smoke inhalation and they were found to be negative,” Busz said.

While fire investigators will look at the scene, Busz said there’s no indication that the fire is anything besides a tragic accident.

“There’s no indication that anything is nefarious,” Busz said.

The fire highlights increased cross-department cooperation in central county that’s becoming imperative for departments to function effectively, Busz said, led by new chiefs and capable officers.

Once we had enough bodies on scene it was a very coordinated attack. With the new leadership among all the agencies, there’s a new cohesion,” Busz said. “I think everybody’s excited to work together, and work together in a uniform fashion.”

Contact Senior Reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@thedailyworld.com.

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