HANSVILLE – A 26 year-old man was hospitalized and a family displaced after a fire caused significant damage to a home in this community’s Shorewoods neighborhood late Dec. 22.
Crews were unable to find any working smoke alarms inside the home so, despite the family’s losses, firefighters say they are very lucky to have escaped the flames, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Michele Laboda reported. The fire’s cause is under investigation.
Crews from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue, Poulsbo Fire Department, Bainbridge Island Fire Department and Puget Sound Federal Fire Department at Sub Base Bangor were called to the Ponderosa Boulevard home at 10:09 p.m. The injured young man’s mother was on the second floor of the three-story, 1,500-square-foot home and had not yet fallen asleep for the evening when she heard a series of crashing noises coming from the ground floor. Upon investigating the sounds’ source, she heard her son calling for help from his bedroom downstairs. She attempted to reach him, but was thwarted by heavy smoke and heat.
The woman returned to the second floor for a phone to call 911, and then evacuated.
The first crew on scene came from NKF&R’s Hansville station, and arrived in about 6 minutes. Heavy flames were visible from the back of the home. There was thick black smoke filling the first floor to within three feet of the ground.
The mother met firefighters and reported that her son was still inside. Additional firefighters were called to the scene and, as the initial crew was preparing to do search and rescue, the young man exited on his own through the exterior door on the home’s street side.
“While a paramedic attended to the young man, other firefighters worked to extinguish the flames using water from nearby hydrants,” Laboda reported. “Crews called for a medical airlift but, due to unfavorable weather conditions, their request was denied. The man was taken by ground ambulance to Bremerton’s Harrison Medical Center where he’s expected to remain for several days.”
The fire was out within 40 minutes of crews’ arrival but spent an additional two hours on scene to extinguish any remaining hot spots.
An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene. Based on physical examination of the scene and witness statements, it appears that the fire started in the young man’s bedroom. “Evidence points to several possible accidental causes there,” Laboda reported. “When he’s recovered sufficiently to be interviewed by investigators, it’s hoped that the young man can provide the additional information investigators need to determine what sparked the fire.”
Fire damage was limited to approximately one-half of the first floor’s interior spaces, and the exterior of the home’s back side. Water and heavy smoke damage affected the entire structure, except for the attached garage which appeared to have been protected by a closed, heavy-duty door connecting directly to the hallway adjacent to the fire.
The young man’s mother was examined by crews but declined medical treatment or transport. There were no other injuries to firefighters or civilians. The home is insured. The family, which also includes the man’s father – away at work at the time of the fire – is also receiving help from the American Red Cross.
“The National Fire Protection Association recommends that all homes be outfitted with a smoke alarm in every bedroom and on every level of the home,” Laboda reported. “Smoke alarms more than double the chances of surviving a home fire, providing vital early warning of trouble. Test smoke alarms monthly, and replace the devices after ten years. For more information or to have smoke alarms installed in your home, contact your local fire department. Many – including NKF&R — will install alarms and/or replace batteries free of charge.”