Suquamish’s Cedar Farm goes up in flames

SUQUAMISH — A local wood treatment business fell victim to an early morning blaze Aug. 15. North Kitsap Fire & Rescue crews arrived on the scene at The Cedar Farm in downtown Suquamish around 3:30 a.m. Friday.

Initial crews, who were across the street at the NKF&R Suquamish station, found 40-foot flames coming from the southeast corner of the property. The land included a building used for treating raw cedar and a lumberyard.

Officials said smoke was coming out of the building and that they could see the glow of the fire coming through the cracks of the building.

Crews from Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, Central Kitsap, Bangor and Keyport helped support the effort.

NKF&R spokeswoman Michéle Laboda said an off-duty volunteer NKF&R firefighter noticed the blaze when he was driving through downtown after getting off work. The firefighter stopped at NKF&R’s Suquamish station and alerted the on-duty crews.

Crews estimated the burn area to be about 50 feet by 100 feet, including the treatment center building and the lumberyard. Fire crews had extinguished hot spots by 9 a.m.

Laboda said the owner had just loaded up one of the racks in the lumberyard with treated wood to be dried.

The power in the entire block of Suquamish Way was shut off for several hours in the morning because the fire was too hot for Puget Sound Energy workers to shut off just business’ power, Laboda said.

While there were no injuries to firefighters or civilians, residents in the three homes located behind the business were evacuated.

Resident Darren Ekman was woken up by his brother, who saw the fire from the back of the house. Ekman videotaped the blaze scorching the trees in the backyard about 15 minutes after discovering the fire.

The proximity of the fire to his house concerned Ekman as well. The rear of his home is about 10 feet from the business.

“Ah, wondering if the house is going to burn down,” he said when asked about his initial thoughts. “It was getting hot and was continually becoming more concerned about our nice backyard.”

Ekman, who lives with his fianceé, his daughter and brother, were eventually evacuated from the house by law enforcement.

His brother’s office, which faces the backyard, suffered slight damage as one window pane cracked and there was heat damage to printers that were against the window.

Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the blaze. There was no word on the cause or estimated cost of damage of press time.

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