House razed near Forks was a weekend retreat; blaze being treated as ‘suspicious’

FORKS — A house that was destroyed by fire Monday night is apparently a weekend retreat and nobody was home, authorities said Tuesday.

The fire, which was called in at about 10:40 p.m. Monday, was already engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, said Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Cortani.

Clallam County Fire District No. 1 Chief Phil Arbeiter said the home belongs to Travis Chapman.

The house, at 832 Whitcom-Diimmell Road, is used primarily as a vacation home, Cortani said.

“It appears that it is used occasionally on weekends at this point,” he said.

Cortani said Tuesday that the owners have not yet been interviewed.

Because no one was at home and no obvious sign of the cause of the fire was present, investigators will treat it as suspicious in origin.

“That isn’t to say that it was arson — but the fact that no one was there at the time of the fire means that we’ll investigate it as suspicious,” he said.

Fire District No. 1 will look into the charred remains, then turn the investigation over to the Sheriff’s Office, Cortani said.

Firefighters battled the blaze for several hours.

It was not yet clear where in the house the fire originated, Arbeiter said.


Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at

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