Sequim man badly burned in Third Avenue house fire

SEQUIM — A Sequim man in his mid-80s was airlifted to a Seattle hospital after he suffered severe burns over more than half of his body in a house fire, firefighters said.

Neither the man’s name nor his condition at Harborview Medical Center were available on Wednesday after the Tuesday night blaze. Clallam County Fire District 3 can’t release the name because of federal privacy law, and the Sequim Police Department said the case is still under investigation and no details can be released. Hospitals will not provide a condition unless a name is given.

The fire destroyed the man’s doublewide modular home in the 900 block of South Third Avenue, firefighters said.

Fire District 3 units were dispatched at about 9:24 p.m. to find the house 70 percent involved in flames.

The owner had managed to leave the burning building but was so severely burned that he was immediately taken to the Sequim emergency helistop at the Jamestown Medical Center campus and flown to Harborview.

Fire investigators were on site on Wednesday, said Assistant Chief Dan Orr. They believe the blaze started around a chair in the living room.

“How it started, we may never know,” Orr said.

He added that the owner was apparently a fairly heavy smoker.

More than 20 personnel had the blaze nearly extinguished by 11 p.m. “after a hard-fought defensively attacked fire” in the house, which contained a lot of fuel, Orr said.

Preliminary damage reports are $120,000 for the structure and $40,000 for the contents.

During the fire, South Third Avenue was shut down so a fire hydrant could be accessed across the street from the blaze, district officials said.

Fire District 3 had four fire engines, a water tender, two fire district chiefs and a paramedic unit on scene; Olympic Ambulance responded with two ambulances.

Because of the extended on-scene time, East Jefferson Fire and Rescue was summoned to provide a paramedic unit to assist in managing medical calls. The fire district also received assistance from the Sequim Police Department and Clallam County Public Utility District.

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