Technology played a crucial role in the rapid response by emergency responders for a house fire in Kingston Sunday.
A North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crew was called to a fire alarm activation to a Klabo Road residence in Kingston at 4:35 p.m. Though they were away for the afternoon, the family was alerted by a smartphone enabled smoke detector system which uses the internet to send alerts to the homeowner.
The first engine was on scene in just under seven minutes. As firefighters approached, they noted a haze in the area and called for additional resources needed to fight a structure fire. Personnel responded from Poulsbo Fire Department as well as from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue’s Hansville, Kingston, Miller Bay Road and Suquamish stations. Three large dogs were outside the structure upon crews’ arrival but ran inside as responders worked to fight the blaze.
Once the fire was under control, firefighters administered oxygen to the animals using pet masks donated by a local business and turned them over to their owners’ care. Crews extinguished flames on the home’s back deck as well as immediately inside the door serving the deck. Fire damage was limited to these areas while light smoke damage affected most of the home’s interior spaces.
An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene in an effort to determine the fire’s area of origin and its cause. Video from security cameras, in addition to physical evidence at the scene, was reviewed and showed that the fire originated from a child’s toy, commonly referred to as a bug trap. The toy is composed of a clear cover on a removable plastic tray so it may be used to capture and examine insects. Video shows sunlight hitting the toy’s clear, plastic dome, causing it to heat until the plastic began to smoke and burn. The flames consumed the toy and spread from there, burning for about 90 minutes before enough smoke had entered the structure to trip the alarm system.
According to responders, technology played an important role in the incident response, providing early notification of a fire that otherwise might not have been discovered until the owners had returned home 30 minutes after firefighters arrived. Security cameras, also helped the investigator quickly determine the fire’s cause.
There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians; the family is insured.