‘Holy smokes, the sky was black’: barn full of flammables burns

AGNEW — When Helen Willey heard the loud explosion, she rushed outside her home off Kitchen-Dick Road.

“Holy smokes, the sky was black,” she said, describing the fire that consumed a pole barn full of vehicles and flammable fuel tanks at 4332 Old Olympic Highway on Friday.

The barn, owned by H.R. Van Hoose, burned to the ground, said Clallam County Fire District 3 chief Steve Vogel.

Van Hoose “tried to put the fire out before calling 911,” Vogel added.

Van Hoose couldn’t be reached Friday or Saturday.

Vogel said the cause of the fire was a soldering torch Van Hoose was using inside the barn.

It ruptured and caught fire, and Van Hoose tried to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher.

Emergency dispatchers received calls from passing motorists and neighbors around 10:47 a.m. Firefighters arrived at 10:58 a.m., Vogel said.

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