BRINNON — A Brinnon man is homeless after a fire erupted in his Mount Walker home.
Firefighters from Jefferson and Mason County fought the fire throughout Monday night, but were unable to save Fredrick Tufo’s home, said Brinnon Fire Chief Tim Manly.
It was initially reported as a chimney fire at 5:08 p.m Monday at 300982 U.S. Highway 101, Manly said. When he arrived eight minutes later, the house was fully engulfed in flames.
“There was no saving it,” he said.
Manly said Tufo had returned home and discovered the fire. When he opened the front door to the home it let in fresh air that fueled the fire.
“It rocked through that house pretty fast,” Manly said, adding that when he arrived the roof was already starting to collapse.
He said Tufo was safe and was staying with a friend in Quilcene. Manly said Bill Bacchus is coordinating donations for Tufo and can be reached by calling 360-774-0714.
Manly said Tufo and his family and friends were on the scene as firefighters fought the fire and that they helped with the fire watch that night.
He said there were “overwhelming fire loads” in the house, which had many combustible fuels and materials inside.
Firefighters shut down the highway for about 90 minutes as they fought the fire, Manly said. Because of how narrow the driveway was, Manly said firefighters had to stage in the highway. There was no way to get vehicles onto the property.
“It turned into a three-hour operation where we were putting thousands and thousands of gallons of water on it,” he said.
“We made a perimeter around the property and let it burn until the morning.”
He said that by about 8 p.m. the highway had been opened up to alternating traffic.
He said other buildings were not at risk and that firefighters were on fire watch throughout the night. He expected the fire to smolder possibly into today.
Manly said more than 20 firefighters from Brinnon, Port Ludlow, Discovery Bay, Quilcene and three Mason County fire departments responded to the blaze.
He said East Jefferson Fire-Rescue helped with information logistics.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].