A 13-month-old mixed breed dog named Lucy is being hailed as a hero after sounding the alarm to occupants sleeping on the bottom floor of a Rash Road house as fire tore through its upper story in Kingston early Saturday morning.
All escaped safely.
North Kitsap Fire & Rescue and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were called to the two-story, 2,000-square-foot home just after 4:20 a.m. after a neighbor called 9-1-1 to report flames coming from the structure.
The first units arrived about eight minutes after dispatch, and reported the home to be fully involved in fire.
Because there are no fire hydrants in the immediate area, crews relied on tender trucks to bring in water. The second floor was destroyed while the bottom floor with its four bedrooms sustained significant smoke and water damage. The occupant of the second floor’s only bedroom was not home at the time.
None of the occupants or responding firefighters reported hearing smoke alarms sounding during the fire. One of the residents told officials that she was awakened by Lucy’s barking and, upon investigating, found heavy fire in the kitchen on the upper floor.
She woke the home’s other occupants who, along with the dog, evacuated.
NKF&R spokesperson Michele Laboda said that according to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly three-fifths of all fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms.
“Without Lucy’s intelligence and persistence, this morning’s outcome could have been far more tragic,” Laboda said.
Because working smoke alarms are so important, NKF&R firefighters install them upon request.
An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office was on the scene. Physical evidence and witness statements point to the home’s kitchen as the likely area of origin, and an electrical problem involving one of several appliances as the probable cause.
Though the structure was insured by the homeowner, none of the occupants had renter’s insurance. The American Red Cross is providing assistance.
There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians, though one of the household’s two cats has not been found. Neighbors are asked to keep an eye out for an orange-colored male cat.