Early morning fire displaces couple

From KITSAP NEWS Reports

An East Bremerton couple and their three dogs are displaced from their 1899 home after a fire erupted in their house early yesterday morning. It appears the fire resulted from an electrical malfunction.

Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue crews were originally dispatched at 2:54 a.m. yesterday to the house in the 6000 block of Johnson Road NE. The homeowner initially reported a melted space heater and a heavy smell of smoke. Firefighters from Station 41 on Old Military Road were first on scene despite the challenges of a long and narrow drive with deep potholes. Upon arrival, crews found a small electrical fire in an outlet on the ground level of the two-story home with a basement. Firefighters noted the walls were hot. The balloon construction of the 109-year-old home hampered firefightersÂ’ efforts to pinpoint the exact location and extent of the fire.

At 3:53 a.m., the call was upgraded to a second alarm fire as crews used chainsaws to access the walls and attic. Twenty-nine firefighters from three departments, Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue, Bremerton Fire Department, and Navy Region NW Fire & EMS, responded to the incident.

Construction of the home was typical of those found in the early 1900s where solid 2-inch-by-6-inch boards were used to build the walls. Known as car decking, these walls had an overlay of plaster that further complicated fire suppression efforts. Flames quickly spread up the entire length of the two-story home, spread into the attic and shot out the gables. Because the home is situated so far from the road and virtually landlocked by surrounding apartment complexes, firefighters had to lay hoses through neighboring backyards to establish a water supply from a hydrant off Troy Lane NE. The fire was under control at about 5 a.m. Crews remained on scene extinguishing hot spots and completing salvage until 7:12 a.m.

The property is not insured. The attic and one room were destroyed in the blaze. Heat, smoke and water damage is widespread throughout most of the small home. One firefighter sustained minor injuries.

The couple is receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

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