Firefighters battle two structure fires in recent weeks

The cause of one fire is now being investigated by King County Sheriff’s Fire Investigation unit.

In recent weeks, Vashon Island Fire & Rescue (VIFR) and King County Medic One crews have responded to two structure fires on Vashon that resulted in injuries to residents of the properties.

At 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28, crews were called to a fire in a travel trailer in the 12100 block of Westside Hwy.

The trailer was fully involved with fire when crews arrived, but they quickly contained and extinguished the blaze, Fire Chief Matt Vinci said, stopping its potential spread to a nearby residence. The trailer was a total loss, he said.

In an interview, Vinci described a dangerous scene for fire crews who arrived from both the district’s Bank Road and Burton Fire stations.

“Multiple compressed gas tanks inside and around the trailer were off-gassing and exploding on our arrival,” he said, adding that the trailer’s resident had attributed the fire to a faulty generator.

Eight career firefighters and five volunteers were involved in the firefight, said Vinci, with none injured while battling the blaze.

Two King County Medic One paramedics on the scene treated the resident of the trailer for first and second-degree burns at the scene. The resident declined hospital transport, Vinci said, against the advice of the medics on the scene.

The cause of the fire is now being investigated by King County Sheriff’s Fire Investigation unit.

Garage fire

In the early morning of May 16, VIFR and King County Medic One crews were dispatched to the 7200 block of 240th St SW, on Maury Island, where a large, L-shaped garage containing a shop area had caught fire.

Again, Vinci said, crews from both VIFR’s Bank Road and Burton stations arrived quickly on the scene, assessing the scene and initiating aggressive fire suppression, utilizing water tenders for a water supply. The first arriving engine was from the Burton Station.

No first responders were injured in the effort.

“The crews had an aggressive attack on this fire, this was a good save,” said Vinci. “Response time makes a difference — a fire doubles in size every minute it is not suppressed.”

The garage did have some structural damage, and some of its contents were lost in the fire, according to a report from King County Sheriff’s Fire Investigations Unit.

One person on the property, identified as a homeowner, was treated for smoke inhalation and cleared to remain on the scene.

The fire investigator determined the fire to be accidental, and likely due to an electric failure of wiring or a light fixture in the ceiling of the garage.