Quick actions by tenants saved Indianola house from fire

NKF&R crews snuffed a garage fire in Indianola late Monday night. - Michele Laboda / NKF&R
NKF&R crews snuffed a garage fire in Indianola late Monday night.
— image credit: Michele Laboda / NKF&R

INDIANOLA – When the occupants of a rental home on Lacey Street lifted a garage door and discovered a fire, they quickly closed the door to contain the blaze and called 911.

Officials credit the structure’s construction, the occupants’ heads-up actions and firefighters’ fast response with limiting damage from the incident to the home’s garage.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were dispatched to the Lacey Street home at 12:49 a.m. Tuesday. The tenants returned after being out for approximately nine hours to find a noxious odor filling the 1,800-square-foot two-story home. They searched the structure and found smoke coming from under the roll-up door of the attached garage. One of the three adults – an active duty member of the U.S. Navy — investigated but closed the door as soon as he saw the flames inside. The other two adults called 911, evacuating themselves as well as two dogs from the structure.

Firefighters from NKF&R’s South Kingston Road station were on scene in seven minutes, extinguishing the bulk of the fire within moments of their arrival by applying water through a small hole they’d cut in the garage door. Crews then made sure all the hot spots were snuffed, and set up high-powered fans to remove smoke from the home’s interior.

Firefighters said the fire was held to its area of origin by solid man-doors and a thick layer of sheetrock that’s required between attached garages and living spaces. They also give credit to the occupants for slowing the blaze’s spread by shutting doors.

A cause has not yet been determined, according to the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office. Though the occupants suffered only minor losses to their possessions, they did not have renters' insurance. However, because damage was limited to the garage, the occupants were not displaced from their home.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians, NKF&R spokeswoman Michele Laboda reported. Though the two dogs appeared healthy, firefighters advised the occupants to have them checked by a vet as the animals were in the home’s master bedroom and likely exposed to some smoke or fumes.

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