GIFD Fights Large Residential Structure Fire

Water and foam being applied to the fire's origin.

At 2:42 pm on Sunday, May 20
th, the Guemes Island Fire Department responded to a structure fire on Clark Point Road.  The first responding unit observed flames around the kitchen chimney located in the south wing of the 11,000 square foot house.   Initial fire operations consisted of establishing water supply and commencing an external attack with 1 ½” handlines.  The fire moved rapidly into a closed attic space.  Guemes Island firefighters attempted to access the fire through the attic vents at the ends of the g
ables with little success.
As the initial responders worked to contain the fire, mutual aid from Anacortes Fire Department, Mt. Erie Fire Department, and Skagit FPD #13 began to arrive.  As soon as enough firefighters arrived to safely enter the structure, internal operations
were initiated.  By this time the fire had extended into an area of the house with very high cathedral ceilings.  Firefighting teams attempted to push the fire back, but were forced to retreat.  Faced with a rapidly expanding fire, incident commanders chose to call out additional resources and switch to a defensive approach to fighting the fire.  
At the height of the fire there were there were nearly 60 firefighters a
nd 8 water tenders engaged in the fight.  Fourteen agencies participated with personnel and
equipment.  With sufficient resources to attack the fire from multiple directions the fire was finally brought under control at about 12:30 am.  The last of the mutual aid units were released at around 3:30 am.  A skeleton crew of Guemes firefighters, a Red Cross Volunteer, and the Skagit County Fire Marshal stayed on scene chasing hot spots until 7:00 am.
Structurally the house was severely damaged.  Much of the structure survived, but when considered in light of smoke and water
damage, investigators estimate a 75% loss.  No people were injured and 22 ducklings were rescued from the garage.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.  Official reports will be issued by the fire department and the Skagit County Fire Marshal’s Office when the investigation is complete.  Any questions regarding the fire should be directed to Chief Stamper (360.333.6297).

Clark Point Fire - May 20, 2012