Fire guts detached garage near Suquamish

POULSBO — Loran Luce kept his collections in a pole building outside the Mainland View Lane home he built 20 years ago.

Two classic cars, a truck, two motorcycles and woodworking equipment filled the metal-sided building.

On Wednesday afternoon he watched them all disappear as a fast moving fire gutted the building.

"All my classic projects, wood shop, metal shop, all gone," he said, watching firefighters spray water into the still-smoking building. "My grandfather's tools were in there."

The official cause of the fire, which began at about 6 p.m., has yet to be determined. Luce said he may have left a battery on a charger.

Luce's longtime neighbor Gerald Knight first reported the fire. He said he and his wife heard a "boom" and saw smoke and flames coming from the south side of Luce's garage. Knight called 9-1-1 from his cell phone. Within minutes the flames had grown to 20 feet.

"That was a really quick fire," Knight said.

More small explosions followed. Luce had a small box of ammunition, a lawn mower and other equipment stored in the barn.

Firefighters from Poulsbo and North Kitsap Fire & Rescue arrived within minutes. Crews had extinguished about 90 percent of the flames by 6:45 and were trying to cool the metal sides of the building to gain access.

No injuries were reported in the fire, Poulsbo Fire spokeswoman Jody Matson said. Luce's two dogs ran into the woods but were retrieved by neighbors.

Luce, 68, is insured but his collection will be hard to replace. His vehicles included a 1977 Chevrolet pickup, a 1966 Volvo, a 1961 Triumph TR3 and two BMW motorcycles. He doubts he'll be able to salvage much from the garage.

Photos and video by Tad Sooter

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