Hoquiam firefighters responds to fire in empty house

Firefighters were unable to determine exactly what started the fire

The Hoquiam Fire Department responded to a fire Sunday evening that broke out while the homeowner was away.

The call came in not long before 9 p.m. from multiple neighbors, said Fire Chief Matt Miller.

“It came in as smoke coming from the rear of the structure,” Miller said. “Residence was unoccupied by anybody at the time.”

Responding firefighters found flames venting from the second story at the rear of the building, indicating it was heavily ablaze. Aberdeen fire crews responding to mutual aid agreements reinforced on-scene elements enough to begin an attack, Miller said.

“Aberdeen units arrived. We got more units arrived. We made an offensive attack,” Miller said. “At (9:25 p.m.), fire was controlled and we were in overhaul. (There was) significant fire damage to the room of origin, which was an upstairs back bedroom.”

Firefighters were unable to identify a single origin of the fire, Miller said. The damage is extensive but doesn’t appear to be total, Miller said. The house is being remodeled, and firefighters have contacted the owner by phone, Miller said.

“(It is) uninhabitable, damage to roof but it appears to be repairable,” Miller said. “A little bit of smoke and heat damage upstairs, smoke and water damage downstairs.”

A total of 16 firefighters responded between Hoquiam and Aberdeen, Miller said, clearing the scene just before 11 p.m.

Winter sees a shift in the types of origins of fires, Miller said, urging caution when using heating appliances, which can ignite items like curtains or clothes which accidentally make contact.

“With winter approaching, be careful of your heating sources. Keep a three-foot clearance — an arm’s length,” Miller said. “Don’t use extension cords.”

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

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