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Man escapes injury, but dog dies in Virginia Point Road house fire

A 60-year-old man escaped injury but his golden retriever died in a fire in the man’s Virginia Point Road home, shortly before midnight Jan. 17. Firefighters contained the fire to the lower level of the home. - Poulsbo Fire Department
A 60-year-old man escaped injury but his golden retriever died in a fire in the man’s Virginia Point Road home, shortly before midnight Jan. 17. Firefighters contained the fire to the lower level of the home.
— image credit: Poulsbo Fire Department

POULSBO — A 60-year-old man escaped injury but his golden retriever died in a fire in the man’s Virginia Point Road home, shortly before midnight Jan. 17.

Poulsbo Fire Department spokeswoman Jody Matson said Poulsbo Fire, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, and Navy Region Northwest went to the scene. Firefighters contained the fire to the lower level of the home.

Matson said the house is single story with a basement.

The 60-year-old resident, who was not identified, told firefighters he heard strange noises and went to investigate. When he opened the basement door and tried to go down the stairs, the heat was too intense.

The dog was in the basement, Matson said. She did not know if the man was awake when the fire began, or if he was awakened by sounds from the fire.

“The doors were too hot so I shut them,” he reportedly told investigators. “When I turned around to evacuate, smoke was billowing up through the heat vents.”

Kitsap County Fire Marshal David Lynam said Wednesday investigators determined a malfunctioning oil furnace caused the blaze. Extra oil had pooled in the furnace's firing chamber while it was idle causing the furnace to over-fire when it reignited. Lynam said residents can prevent similar malfunctions by having their furnaces serviced regularly.

Official damages were not available Jan. 19, Matson said. She said the man has renter's insurance. He is staying with neighbors and the American Red Cross has contacted him, Matson said.

It was the first significant fire this year for the Poulsbo Fire Department; firefighters went to the scene of a furnace fire Jan. 5.

In 2010, city firefighters responded to 3,073 calls; that number does not doesn’t include mutual aid calls, Matson said.

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