Fire investigators probe fire in Port Hadlock commercial building

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT HADLOCK — Fire crews were investigating the cause of a blaze that gutted a small office building off Rhody Drive in Port Hadlock on Saturday afternoon.

While at the fire in the 20 block of Colwell Street, a volunteer firefighter with East Jefferson Fire-Rescue suffered an undisclosed medical condition unrelated to the fire and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, said East Jefferson Fire-Rescue spokesman Bill Beezley said.

Beezley declined to comment on the details or seriousness of the firefighter’s condition.

Firefighters were called to the 1,500-square-foot office space, part of a larger group of connected buildings separated by firewalls, at 3:12 p.m. Saturday and arrived to find smoke and flames coming from window openings.

Crews broke down the door and attacked the fire from the inside, Beezley said, extinguishing the blaze in about 30 minutes.

“[The structure] suffered heavy internal damage and will probably have to be gutted down to the studs,” Beezley said.

The fire was contained to the office space and did not spread to adjoining buildings, Beezley added.

“The firewalls did their job,” he said.

The cause is still under investigation, Beezley said.

The owner of the buildings had left about an hour before the fire was reported and came back to find the structure in flames, Beezley said.

Three fire engines and roughly 18 firefighters from East Jefferson Fire-Rescue, Port Ludlow Fire and Rescue and Naval Magazine Indian Island responded to the fire.

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

Last modified: January 18. 2014 5:32PM
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