Two structures were destroyed by fire Halloween night on the North Beach, including a home shared by a mother and her two sons.
The first call came in at 9:47 p.m., involving a home in the 2200 block of Ocean Beach Road north of Copalis Crossing, said Grays Harbor Fire District 8 spokeswoman Stephanie Allestad.
“When our crew got there on the scene it was completely engulfed,” said Allestad. The home, the residence of a well-known community member — “and she is one hard-working woman,” said Allestad — and her sons, was completely destroyed, along with all its contents. Fortunately, the sons were staying with a relative and the mother was away at the time of the fire and “everybody is OK,” said Allestad.
A home adjacent to the fire scene was also damaged, with some windows broken out. It may have been saved from further damage by a neighbor of that adjacent home, who Allestad said was hosing down its roof when firefighters arrived on scene. A power pole was also on fire when crews arrived. A couple hours after the scene was “toned out,” meaning crews had left, they were called back to the scene when the fire flared back up again.
Fighting the blaze along with District 8 were crews from Fire Districts 6 and 7, Quinault Indian Nation Fire and the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office, said Allestad. There was no known cause of the blaze at the cedar structure Monday morning, but Allestad said the Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
The second fire was reported in Copalis Beach at 11:47 p.m.
“Our tender was already filling up at the four-way” and was sent to that scene, said Allestad. Her husband, Jon, was working that tender and spent almost 10 hours working at both fire scenes.
“Fire District 7 was dispatched to a structure fire in the 0-100 block of Griffard Street in Copalis Beach,” said district spokesman Nicklaus Falley. “The report was for a residence on fire.” Griffard cuts north off Copalis Beach Road just east of Copalis Beach.
Because of the ongoing fire on Ocean Beach Road, “resources and staff were shared between the two fires” among multiple responding districts, which also included the Ocean Shores Fire Department, said Falley. “The fire was contained to the building of origin with three engines, three tenders, and one aid unit for rehab.”
Falley said units on scene confirmed that the involved structure was a detached garage. There was no damage to exposures, no injuries, and no occupants, according to Grays Harbor Fire District 7 Chief and the Fire’s Incident Commander Stephanie Selin.
Both Allestad and Selin remarked the multiple major incidents highlighted the need for more volunteer firefighters in both districts.
A fundraiser for the family displaced by the Copalis Crossing fire has been set up on Facebook. The boys’ father, Derek Binford, said his boys are age 14 and 12 and they and their mother lost everything in the fire. He set a target amount of $500 initially, but that was raised to $6,000 when the severity of the fire was known. As of midday Monday, the amount raised was just short of $3,600. Binford was also asking for clothes for the boys; the fundraising page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/donate/1054740441628689/?fundraiser_source=external_url.