JOYCE — Ammunition exploded and flames climbed nearby trees as firefighters from Clallam Fire District No. 4 arrived at a fully engulfed unoccupied mobile home early Tuesday morning.
Firefighters were directed to the fire at 34 Lewallen Road at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday and had the fire contained within half an hour after arriving, Chief Greg Waters said.
“The boys and women of Joyce did a great job last night,” he said. “I’m very proud of them.”
Arriving firefighters saw a 60-foot mobile home fully engulfed in flames with a large RV sitting about 7 feet from the flames. The RV was starting to “off gas,” meaning it was about to combust.
Flames were shooting up the trees climbing about 40 feet, Waters said.
“The first arriving engine was able to do a quick knockdown using the deck gun and prevent it from spreading to the motorhome,” Waters said.
Also on the property is another mobile home that was not threatened by the fire. Waters said that mobile home and the RV were both occupied but that no one was injured.
The fire did spread to a nearby truck, destroying the vehicle.
In total, eight firefighters were on scene with two engines and two water tenders. Waters said water supply wasn’t an issue and that firefighters used about 5,000 gallons to quell the blaze.
The biggest challenge firefighters faced was exploding ammunition inside the burning mobile home.
“There were a lot of explosions as we arrived,” Waters said. “It was small explosions and obvious ammunition going off. That made it a little dicey.”
He said in those situations firefighters keep low and wait for the explosions to stop before getting too close. He said there was also a 20-pound propane tank nearby, but it was not close enough to the fire to be a concern.
Once firefighters had the fire out they began overhaul. They found that the mobile home was packed full of material that fueled the blaze.
He said it appeared the mobile home was used for storage.
Firefighters were on scene until about 5:15 a.m.
Jason Church, a neighbor, said his dog woke him up as the fire started and when he saw the flames he called 9-1-1.
Church commended the volunteer firefighters.
“We have good people who are volunteers. They were woken in the middle of the night and they responded to the call,” Church said. “Without their capability, that fire easily could have spread and put humans and animals in harm’s way.”
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].