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Candle believed to be cause of early morning apartment fire
POULSBO — A candle is believed to be cause of an early morning apartment fire on 4th Avenue near the Doctor’s Clinic Monday at 1:20 a.m.
Residents in the building heard a smoke alarm and noticed dark smoke coming from a first-floor apartment, Poulsbo Fire Department spokeswoman Jody Matson reported. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish and contain the fire to one room.
“The contents of that room were a total loss and there was heavy smoke damage to the remainder of the apartment,” Matson reported. “The residents living in the apartment directly above the fire had to be evacuated and spent the night elsewhere with friends.”
The Kitsap County Fire Marshal said it appeared the fire may have been caused by a candle left burning on the floor, but the official cause is still under investigation. The resident of the apartment, a 19-year-old woman, had apparently left the apartment 20 minutes prior in order to catch a ferry; a ferry leaves Bainbridge Island at 1:25 a.m.
It is unknown whether the renter had renter’s insurance.
Units from Poulsbo Fire Department, Navy Region NW, and North Kitsap Fire and Rescue went to the scene, as well as the Poulsbo Police Department.
Officials say this is another example of how having working smoke alarms in your residence can save your life. Statistics show that in three-fourths of all home fire deaths, there were no working smoke alarms.
— Install dual sensor alarms that are both ionized and photoelectric. They sound for hot, fast-moving fires and slow, smoky, smoldering fires that have very little flames.
— Place alarms on every level of the home and outside bedrooms.
— Sleep with doors closed and practice an escape plan.
— Check alarms monthly by pressing the test button.
— Change the battery once a year, unless it’s a 10-year lithium battery.
— Never take the battery out to put into other items, such as a remote control.
— Replace smoke alarms that are over 10 years old.