PORT ORCHARD — A Manchester residential fire late Friday night, Oct. 19, was extinguished after a combined response from 11 South Kitsap Fire and Rescue apparatus and support vehicles battled the blaze.
The units arrived at the 1900 block of Valley Avenue East just before 11 p.m. to find a medium-sized home with an attached garage fully involved in flames. Jon Gudmundsen, SKSR battalion chief, said all occupants were out of the home and being cared for by neighbors as the blaze tore through the garage.
As more fire units arrived, along with the Kitsap County Fire Marshal, hose lines were deployed and the fire was mostly contained to the garage, Gudmundsen said.
Crews entered the home with a hose line and worked to extinguish some of the fire that had breached the walls and attic near the garage. Within an hour, crews had the fire controlled. Firefighters then continued to extinguish hot spots and overhaul the burned area.
While the crews kept fire damage to a minimum by containing it to the garage and its contents, heat from the fire and smoke traveled extensively throughout the home after breaching the garage door into the living area. The battalion chief said the damage made the home uninhabitable and severely damaged much of the occupants’ personal belongings.
SKFR’s chaplain assisted the residents and referred them to resources in the community for temporary help. Gudmundsen said the family is staying with neighbors for the time being.
The battalion chief said that after a preliminary investigation and interviews with the occupants, working smoke detectors and a closed door likely saved lives in the fire.
”The occupants’ bedroom was right next to the door into the garage and the occupants awoke due to the smoke detector alerting them,” he said.
“They were then able to exit the home quickly as the door into the garage initially contained the fire, allowing a safe exit corridor for the family” during the initial stages of fire growth.
“Fire and life safety data continues to show the value of working smoke detectors and closed doors significantly increasing the time [allowed] to escape house fires,” Gudmundsen added.
The fire marshal’s office was brought in to investigate the fire. The cause is still undetermined.