CARLSBORG — A residence was damaged when a fire broke out early Thursday morning off U.S. Highway 101, about four miles west of Carlsborg.
No one was home at the time of the fire, said Chief Ben Andrews of Clallam County Fire District No. 3.
Pearl Williams, who has lived in the home for about 12 years and shares the residence with her granddaughter, arrived at the home at about 8:45 a.m., about 45 minutes after firefighters arrived.
Lt. Chad Cate of Fire District 3 said Clallam County deputies arrived at the home first and were able to open the front door.
“When we first got here there was smoke coming from the eaves,” Cate said. “We could see, through the front window, smoke and flames.”
Once inside, firefighters saw the fire was contained to an area near a bathroom and hadn’t extended much beyond that general area.
“All indicators [of the fire’s source] lead to that direction,” Cate said.
Firefighters found a cat inside and tended to the animal with supplemental oxygen using a kit donated by a local veterinarian, Andrews said.
Williams said she has two other cats, but she and firefighters were unable to find them Thursday morning.
“They’re pretty skittish,” Williams said.
A neighbor said she saw smoke coming from the residence as she was driving eastbound on Highway 101 and backtracked to get a closer look, then called 9-1-1.
Andrews said the residents and fire district were fortunate that the call came in during a shift change. The timing meant the district could have four firefighters available on their main engine, a minimum personnel requirement before entering a structure, he said.
Had it occurred a little later, the district would have had to wait for other firefighters from another station, delaying a full response, Andrews said.
Assistant Chief Dan Orr said he anticipates a busy weekend for firefighters, as an anticipated winter storm and corresponding snowfall means more county residents using wood stoves and heaters — and more potential fires.
Orr said the district canceled all CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) classes in anticipation of the winter weather.
Fire District 3 responded with two engines, a water tender, rescue truck, a medic unit and duty chief. Olympic Ambulance responded with an ambulance and the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office assisted with traffic control.
One westbound lane of Highway 101 was closed for about 90 minutes.
Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].