Home near Sequim destroyed by fire

People, pets escape without injury

SEQUIM — A double-wide mobile home east of Taylor-Cutoff Road was destroyed by fire July Fourth, leaving an anxious occupant waiting several minutes outside before his dog crawled to safety while the house burned.

Firefighters from Sequim-area Clallam County Fire District 3 responded to the blaze in the 300 block of Dungeness Meadows at 5:17 p.m. Thursday, Assistant Chief Dan Orr said Friday.

Orr said the fire started behind the 804-square-foot, one-bedroom structure, where a couple of computers were lying on the bed along with other items and where the fire might have started.

The blaze remained under investigation, Orr said.

Orr said owner Betty Bennett, her son, Robert Yeater, and her son’s girlfriend, Lisa Stockert lived in the mobile home.

When the fire began, Bennett and Yeater were home and Stockert was at work.

“The mom said when she walked into the back bedroom, she basically saw fire coming from a lot of stuff on the bed,” Orr said.

Bennett, Yeater and two of their three dogs escaped, leaving one pet inside that they couldn’t find.

“The son was very upset to start with just because of the dog,” Orr said.

When firefighters arrived, heavy smoke was coming from the rear of the structure but the house was crowded with items, making it difficult to maneuver equipment, which allowed the fire to spread from the bedroom to an attic, Orr said.

“The house was very full, so it was a challenge to just get into the structure and get those [hoses] pulled and do those kinds of things,” Orr said.

Crews eventually had to tear off the ceiling and siding to douse the blaze, he said.

Five or 10 minutes after firefighters arrived, with the house still on fire, the animal popped out from a hole in the floor and crawled out, Orr said.

“That kind of made it better,” Orr said of the ordeal.

The American Red Cross put up Yeater and Stockert for the night, Orr said.

Bennett was able to stay with a sister who lives nearby.

The home was covered by fire insurance, Orr said.

The land and structure are valued at $60,000, according to the county Assessor’s Office.

The contents are valued at $50,000, Orr said.

“It’s a complete loss,” he said.

“They are basically going to have to pull [the mobile home] out of there and start fresh.

“They had fire insurance, which is a good thing.”

Orr said the first arriving firefighter crew did not hear smoke detectors when they arrived.

Port Angeles-area Fire District 2 personnel assisted with Fire District 3 calls during the blaze.

Clallam County Public Utility District workers secured the home’s electrical system.

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

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