On the July 4 holiday last week, Vashon celebrated as is tradition with an impressive community fireworks display over Quartermaster Harbor.
The holiday is often a busy day for fire departments, and that was the case on the island last week. Vashon Island Fire & Rescue responded to 12 calls, nearly three times its typical daily average.
Five of the calls were fire-related. The largest of the fires was a small brush fire on private property bordering the north-end ferry parking lot late in the afternoon. Fire Chief Charlie Krimmert, who suspected fireworks as the cause, said the nearby house was never in danger. Near midnight, the department was called to a fire at Quartermaster Harbor. This fire was below a rock bulkhead, Krimmert said, adding that debris under the bulkhead had caught fire, also likely from fireworks.
About an hour and a half later, the department was called again to the Gold Beach club house, where a fire had started in a trash can against the building. It caused some damage to the pool house, charring wood and bubbling paint.
“If we did not have a volunteer in the area, it might have been much worse,” Krimmert said.
He added that the volunteer who responded had likely just recently gotten back home from responding to the Quartermaster Harbor incident.
The two remaining fires were beach fires, Krimmert said, one at Gold Beach and one at Maury Island Marine Park, where fires are not allowed.
The rest of the July 4 calls were for service and medical aid, Krimmert said, with no fireworks-related injuries reported.