Cause 'undetermined' of cabin fire near U.S. Highway 101
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Clallam County Fire District No. 2
Firefighters Travis McFarland, left, and Zachary Gear of Clallam County Fire District No. 2 examine the scene of cabin fire on Lake Aldwell Road west of Port Angeles on Friday.

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The cause of a fire that destroyed a 60-year-old log cabin near the U.S. Highway 101 bridge over the Elwha River has been ruled as undetermined.

Fire investigators with Clallam County Fire District No. 2 wrapped up last week their probe of a fire that leveled a log cabin along Lake Aldwell Road early Tuesday morning, Fire District No. 2 Chief Sam Phillips said Friday.

He said the results of the fire investigation do not point to foul play.

“It didn't appear to be suspicious,” he said.

The origin of the fire was located in the northeast corner of the cabin, Phillips said, where a washer, dryer and water heater were installed.

Phillips estimated the damage done to the cabin and the belongings inside at about $90,000.

Only chimney remains

“There's nothing [left],” Phillips said. “The only thing that's there is a chimney.”

Fire crews called to the house at 1:29 a.m. Tuesday found it engulfed in flames.

Phillips said the one-story cabin had undergone minor remodels and electrical work over the years, though no issues with the structure itself or the surrounding property had been reported recently.

The former tenant had lived there for 15 years and was moving out of the cabin when the fire struck, Phillips said. No one was in the cabin at the time of the fire.

The cabin was owned by Susie Gustafson, who lives nearby, Phillips said.

Fire crews were not able to save the cabin, though two nearby homes that the heat from the fire was threatening were protected, Phillips said.

The blaze was knocked down in about two hours, and firefighters left by about 6 a.m., he said.


Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at

Last modified: September 14. 2013 4:49PM
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