Winfield Avenue fire causes minor injuries, but was ‘a win overall’

BREMERTON — Two firefighters received minor injuries at a fire on Winfield Avenue on the evening of Feb. 21.

The fire, occurring at 1901 Winfield Ave., is “directly adjacent” to a building that caught fire in 2015, said Mike Six, fire marshal.

“This fire came in at 8:28 p.m.,” Six said. “The downstairs occupant heard the smoke detector upstairs and opened the door. Because of the experience from the other fire, she was a little jumpy, nervous.”

Six said the woman then heard her upstairs neighbor standing on the landing saying there was a fire.

“(The downstairs neighbor) grabbed a fire extinguisher and alerted the neighbors,” Six said. “The fire grew pretty fast and she wasn’t able to use the fire extinguisher (to put it out). Another occupant activated the fire alarm.”

Six said firefighters arrived at the scene by 8:33 p.m., and the fire was “largely contained to the original unit.” He said the fire was caused by candles.

“We had two people transported (to the hospital from the scene),” Six said. “Neither one of them directly related to the fire itself. We did have two firefighters with minor injuries from the fire … they’re OK.”

The unit where the fire started, Six said, is “essentially completely gutted,” but the damage to the rest of the building was basically only minor smoke and water damage to a few other units.

“Primarily because of concerns about the electrical systems, we had power shut off to the six units on the south end of the building,” Six said.

After the fire was put out that night, no one was allowed back in the building because the alarm was down, Six said, but now it’s “back up and running, and there’ll probably be six people allowed back in.”

He said five or six people were displaced because of the fire.

“I thought it was great that they used the fire alarm like they were supposed to, they evacuated just fine, tried with fire extinguishers,” Six said. “They did everything that they could do, everybody worked well. The fire was fairly substantial, it was a decent sized fire. Everybody did what they were supposed to and we were able to get in pretty easily and put it out. It was a win overall.”

This fire occurred almost exactly 36 hours after another Bremerton fire, on Wheaton Way. That fire began as an external fire, and made the house un-livable, displacing the six people living there, none of whom were injured.

That fire could have done much worse damage because the smoke detectors in that house were either missing, incorrectly installed or didn’t have batteries.

Jeff Prichard, deputy fire marshal, said, “We try to educate the public by getting information out. People are supposed to have them in their home. It’s a safety item. But the reality is … people are kind of left to make sure they take care of their stuff on their own.”

Michelle Beahm is a reporter for Kitsap Daily News. She can be reached at mbeahm@soundpublishing.com.

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