POULSBO — The call came in 12:38 p.m. March 8: a fire at 58A in the Poulsbo Mobile Home Park on Lincoln Road.
The call came from Juanita DeLuna, who works with the wife of Louis Duran. The Durans were away, but DeLuna knew their two small dogs were inside.
DeLuna and several co-workers were pulling into the drive by the Duran’s mobile home when they saw the smoke. After calling 911, she called Mrs. Duran.
“The side of the porch was burning,” she said. “We went looking for the garden hose, but the fire got too big.”
According to a Poulsbo Police Department officer at the scene, the flames were “about 30 feet high at one point.”
Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire. However, the porch and car port were ruined and the home’s interior suffered from smoke and water damage, the officer said.
Two small dogs inside the home suffered from smoke inhalation and were rushed to a veterinary clinic. According to the officer, one of the dogs died.
The other dog was taken to a Poulsbo emergency veterinary clinic. “According to a family member … they said the vet wants to keep the dog overnight but that it will likely make it,” Deputy Fire Chief Bruce Peterson said.
Police officer ‘saved the home’
Poulsbo Fire Department, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue, Navy Region Northwest, and Poulsbo Police responded to the scene. Poulsbo Police were first to arrive.
“Police Officer Dave Gesell was able to extinguish much of the porch fire with his extinguisher, significantly slowing the spread of the fire,” Peterson said in a report released by the department. “He likely saved the home.”
According to Battalion Chief Chris Morrison, “The fire picked back up, spreading rapidly under the porch and breaching into the home.”
Firefighters had the fire under control within about 10 minutes.
The Duran family — a husband and wife, two teenage girls, and one adolescent boy — were not home at the time of the fire. The family declined Red Cross services and it was unknown whether they had insurance, Poulsbo Fire spokeswoman Jody Matson reported.
The fire destroyed a porch, attached storage unit, and the home suffered significant smoke damage. The Kitsap County Fire Marshal and Poulsbo Police are investigating.
While detectives and a fire marshal examined the damage, Louis Duran and several friends stood in the muddy lawn behind the yellow tape and watched helplessly.
Duran said he had lived in the home for a year. While he talked, a neighbor came up offering money and clothing.
“It can be tough starting over,” said the man, who did not offer his name.
“There are nice people here,” DeLuna said.
— Terryl Asla is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.