Fire destroys vacant Port Angeles mobile home

Parcel slated for commercial project

PORT ANGELES — A vandalized double-wide mobile home was destroyed by fire shortly after midnight Thursday that was intended to be unoccupied — and was when first responders arrived, a Port Angeles Fire Department official said.

The structure in the 2000 block of East First Street between Golf Course Road and South Del Guzzi Drive is among seven modular homes grouped together, all but one of which are vacant, Mike Sanders, assistant Port Angeles Fire Chief, said Thursday.

“All indications are the trailer had been vandalized and very well could have been occupied,” Sanders said.

None of the other homes were threatened by the blaze. One was 25 to 30 feet away, he said.

The fire was reported at 12:12 a.m. Thursday. A first-responder twisted a knee during the operation after stepping into a covered hole but did not require treatment and continued taking part in quelling the blaze, Sanders said.

The homes, one of which was partially burned and had a shopping cart parked nearby Thursday, are scheduled for demolition, according to the resident, Sanders said.

The city Department of Community and Economic Development is processing a building permit, a state Environmental Policy Act application and an environmentally sensitive areas application — the parcel lies near Ennis Creek — for a 4,770-square-foot commercial structure at the site, agency Interim Director Emma Bolin said.

Jake Carter of the Port Orchard-based construction services company BJC Group, which filed the building permit application, said a two-tenant commercial building is planned for the parcel.

He said the owner has family ties to Port Angeles and is still working with potential tenants.

According to the building permit, owner and investment broker Ben Norbe of Tacoma — also an owner of one of the modular homes, according to the Clallam County Assessor’s Office — is planning a $721,500 project at the 1.8-acre site.

During the fire, the Port Angeles Police Department conducted traffic control, and the Port Angeles Public Works Department’s Light Operations disconnected power.

It was the second mobile home fire in Clallam County in three weeks. A family dog died Jan. 5 in a Forks-area Calawah Way blaze.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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