No injuries in Thursday’s fires

Some Islanders expressed concern after hearing two series of sirens in the evening of Thursday, July 24, requiring much of Vashon Island Fire & Rescue’s firefighting force.

There were two fires of note out of the 12 calls to the department on Thursday, said Mike Kirk, acting chief of the department. However, both fires were snuffed quickly, causing no major damage and no injuries.

The fire department received the first call at 5:58 p.m.

An Island contractor was working on a house on the east end of Bunker Trail, at a beachfront home with only walk-in access.

He found that “a ceiling vent in a bathroom had caused obvious burn marks in the ceiling when no one was home,” Kirk said.

However, the fire burned out because of the lack of oxygen in the attic above the vent, he said.

The second call Vashon’s fire department received came in at 8:27 p.m., while a free concert at Ober Park was in full swing.

A neighbor noticed smoke coming from a nearby house. It was an unoccupied home on 132nd Street and Burma Road — another “long walk-in” and a house that cannot even be seen from the road, Kirk said.

It turned out that a chair was on fire outside the home, he said. The chair fire was extinguished without any serious damage to the structure, and the owners of the home were notified. It was unclear how the fire started, Kirk said.

“You can only get so close with a vehicle and then you have to walk,” he said of walk-in homes in often steep and forested areas of the Island.

In the Burma Road incident, firefighters “did lay a hose down the bank to the house,” Kirk said.

The fire department transported tenders — large vehicles with the capability to carry thousands of gallons of water — from Dockton, Burton and the main Vashon town station for both incidents.

“Because they were both beach access, that’s challenging,” he said.

— Amelia Heagerty

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