KINGSTON – A couple and their dog safely escaped flames that destroyed an adjacent historic barn and spread to consume their trailer-home on Friday, May 18. They lost nearly all of their possessions in the blaze.
North Kitsap Fire and Rescue and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were dispatched to a home near the intersection of Rash Road and Nature Way at about 9:47 p.m., where it was reported that a barn was fully involved in flames.
The caller indicated that a fifth-wheel trailer was within three feet of the building. The closest fire hydrant was almost two miles away, so crews made sure that water tender trucks – each carrying between 2,500-3,500 gallons – from NKFR and the Bainbridge Island Fire Department were deployed.
Within eight minutes of the call, the first unit from NKFR arrived on the scene. Crews reported that the barn, situated about 50 feet behind the property’s main residence, was fully engulfed in flames that had already spread to the trailer.
Fire crews said the occupants safely exited the trailer. Despite limited water supplies until the arrival of the tender trucks, firefighters were able to knock down the flames within about 20 minutes of their arrival. It took several more hours to douse the flames since crews had to remove the barn’s collapsed metal roof and other materials to expose all remaining hot spots.
Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office investigators responded to a barn estimated to be over 100 years old that was constructed entirely of wood and had been moved to its site from Minder Road.
The fire appears to have started in a portion of the structure that was used as a workshop. One of the occupants told fire officials that some welding had been done in the workshop earlier in the evening. Although sparks falling onto the workshop’s wooden floors are a possible cause due to the extensive fire damage, investigators could not rule out other accidental causes such as electrical issues.
The property is owned by the couple’s relatives. Although the barn was covered under the property owner’s insurance, the trailer and its contents were not. Volunteers from the American Red Cross are working to assist the couple, who said they will be staying with family members.
There were no animals in the barn at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. The property’s main residence was not affected, fire officials said.