Suspected laundry fire engulfs Kingston house

A 99-year-old woman, her caretaker and dog safely exited the house before the roof collapsed

KINGSTON — A March 1 house fire on Marine View Drive in Kingston began due to a suspected laundry malfunction, a North Kitsap Fire and Rescue spokesman said.

When fire crews were dispatched to the scene early afternoon, they saw that the homeowner, a 99-year-old-woman, her caretaker and her pet dog were safely outside the house.

A video of the fire was shared with Kitsap News Group by Hays Clark who recorded the blaze from across the water in Seattle.

Nobody was injured in the emergency, but within 10 minutes of asking if everyone was out safely, the roof collapsed. This made it much more difficult for firefighters to contain the flames.

“If we had an excavator to knock this thing down, we’d be done,” the spokesman said.

Instead, crews were flooding the house with water for hours after the fire began.

Walter Peale, the homeowner’s son, said when he first heard about the fire, he did not know what to expect. Living in Shoreline, he and his sister, who resides in Edmonds, both traveled to Kingston. They knew their mother was safe, but what they saw next was “pretty devastating.”

“I anticipated there would be some structural damage and some smoke damage,” he said. “I did not anticipate it would be fully involved and completely engulfed … We had hoped that she would live her life out in that house, but that obviously will not happen.”

Furniture, personal belongings, photographs and written materials from over 10 generations back were inside at the time of the fire, he said, adding that “the house, in many ways, could have been a museum.”

As part of the processing period, Peale said his family will try to figure out what to do going forward.

—Jacob Moore is a reporter for Kitsap Daily News. Contact him at

Suspected laundry fire engulfs Kingston house