PORT ANGELES — A newlywed couple is now homeless after their home east of Port Angeles caught fire while they were both at work Tuesday morning.
Joseph Bell and his wife, Destinee McFarlane, arrived at their rental at the corner of Blue Mountain Road and School House Lane as firefighters were containing the blaze.
Bell said a neighbor called his wife at work and that she then called his work “frantic” to let him know their house was on fire.
“Then we came here and it was like this,” he said, as firefighters continued to extinguish the blaze.
Neighbors called 9-1-1 shortly after 11 a.m. and when Clallam Fire District No. 3 personnel arrived, the single-wide trailer Bell and McFarlane shared and an adjoining house were both fully engulfed in flames, said Assistant Chief Dan Orr.
“They were both ripping,” Orr said. No one was injured in the fire.
Bell and McFarlane have been married since April and have lived in the trailer for just under a year, they said. Neither had any idea how the fire started.
“I’m just thankful that it happened while we were at work,” Bell said. “It could have been something where if we were home asleep on our day off we could have got burnt up.
“It’s a big loss, but everything can be replaced and we are still healthy and have each other,” he said.
Bell said he was unsure what their next steps will be.
Orr said the American Red Cross responded and that officials had talked with Bell and McFarlane about how Red Cross could help.
The fire was contained by about 12:15 p.m., but investigators remained on scene well into the afternoon attempting to determine the cause of the blaze.
Neighbors who reported the fire told firefighters that the fire was strongest in the house adjacent to the trailer. The house is unoccupied and is not connected to power or propane.
“They really don’t have much at this point yet,” Orr said. “We don’t know if we’re going to get a good cause quite yet.”
Investigators had not found any evidence of arson Tuesday afternoon, he said.
Orr said one of the challenges of containing the fire was getting water to the scene. A neighbor allowed firefighters to pull water from his pond and firefighters used a tender to shuttle water up to the fire.
Orr said the estimated loss is about $70,000 for the two structures and $30,000 for the contents of the single-wide trailer.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at email@example.com.