PORT HADLOCK — A dog and cat died in a house fire that broke out late Monday morning near Nesses Corner Road in Port Hadlock.
The house itself suffered heavy smoke and fire damage but no people were hurt, according to Bill Beezley, spokesman for East Jefferson Fire-Rescue (EJFR).
Crews from EJFR, Port Ludlow Fire and Rescue and Naval Magazine Indian Island were called to the fire at 11:30 a.m., and when they arrived on the scene, saw smoke and flames coming from a basement window, according to Beezley.
A vent used to move heat from the wood-burning fireplace in the basement to the upper levels of the home also allowed the fire to jump quickly from the basement to the rest of the house, according to Beezley.
Despite that setback, crews were able to put out the fire in less than 30 minutes, Beezley said.
The Jefferson County Fire Investigation Task Force determined the cause of the fire was a paper bag full of stove ash in the basement, which then ignited a nearby sofa, Beezley said.
American Red Cross was contacted and will be supplying shelter for the family displaced by the blaze.
EJFR noted that several fires in recent years have been sparked by improperly disposed of ash from fireplaces, wood burning stoves and cigarettes.
Beezley said it is important for ash to be disposed of in a metal container placed outside the home as ashes can continue to smolder days after being disposed of.
Adding water to the ash can help ensure they are fully extinguished, according to EJFR.