By Caleb Hutton
Two fires in north Whatcom County were ruled accidents this week by the fire marshal.
The info comes from Fire Marshal Will Anderson.
- Fire No. 1. A 50-by-100-foot barn at 9451 Swanson Road was destroyed Dec. 16, when a homeowner intentionally left an oil heater on overnight for his John Deere tractor. An electrical problem sparked the blaze. It was the first time he’d used the heater this year. The structure was mostly a roof, with concrete siding to support it. Damage was estimated at $100,000.
- Fire No. 2. A 20-by-30-foot home on Henley Street in Birch Bay was ruled “undetermined,” but an accident. The resident, a man in his 50s, was awakened by the smoke at 5:55 a.m. Dec. 17, and suffered burns to his feet as he escaped. The home — a vacation-style house built in the mid-20th century — burnt down to almost nothing. The most likely cause of the fire was a baseboard heater that was too close to a pile of the resident’s belongings. But Anderson said because no crime is suspected, he’d leave it up to the insurance company to investigate further. The day after the fire, some smoke was reported coming from the charred remains. It turned out to be minor and was quickly extinguished.
- Fire No. 3. See this story that will be in tomorrow’s paper. The lede: “A buildup of peanut dust and debris is suspected of causing a small fire in the Golden Nut Company’s roasting room earlier this week, the Whatcom County fire marshal said Thursday, Dec. 27.” Here’s the story that was in today’s paper.