LUMMI ISLAND, Wash. — First responders were dispatched to a report of a residential structure fire after 10pm on Saturday, May 15th.
Whatcom County Fire District 11 Assistant Fire Chief Michael Lish told Whatcom News the fire was reported by neighbors and firefighters found the residence fully engulfed in flames and 2 other nearby residences exposed to the fire.
This fire required over 26,000 gallons to fully extinguish but Lummi Island has very scarce water supplies for firefighting efforts, Lish explained. A dump tank was deployed and an extensive water shuttle operation carried out to support the firefighting effort.
Additional personnel from the Bellingham Fire Department, Whatcom County Fire District 8, and Whatcom County Fire District 7 were requested to assist and provide 2 additional fire engines and 2 additional water tender trucks.
The home and adjacent sheds were destroyed but firefighters were able to rescue a motorcycle and a 4-wheel ATV.
One nearby residence had some minor damage from the heat, Lish said.
The homeowner suffered some minor cuts and burn injuries but was not available to be assessed at the scene, according to Lish. A firefighter suffered a minor hand injury while attacking the fire.
The Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.
The 2 residents and their 2 dogs were displaced due to the fire. According to a fundraising profile setup for their benefit on the crowd-sourcing service, GoFundMe, they are “long-time islanders and wonderful members of our community.” Nearly $31,000 of a $35,000 goal had been raised inside of 48 hours.
The Lummi Island Community Association today, May 17th, posted to their website that they, along with The Willows Inn, The Lummi Island Grange and Island Chapel would be partnering to host a fundraiser. They will be selling smoked sockeye salmon and fresh heirloom wheat bread loaves in front of the Lummi Island Grange Hall between 4pm and 8pm on Friday, May 21st, and from 10am until they run out on Saturday, May 22nd. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the displaced residents.