Flames ravage the remains of the Deer Park Road A-frame. Margaret McKenzie/Peninsula Daily News

Flames ravage the remains of the Deer Park Road A-frame. Margaret McKenzie/Peninsula Daily News

UPDATED — Fire razes A-frame home on historic property on Deer Park Road

PORT ANGELES — An A-frame home burned to the ground Monday morning on the historic Danz Ranch property, high on Deer Park Road near the Olympic National Park boundary.

When firefighters from Clallam County Fire District Nos. 2 and 3 arrived at 8189 Deer Park Road, the home was already engulfed in flames, Fire Chief Steve Vogel said.

The resident caretaker, Dee Byrne, said she started a fire around 9 a.m. in the house’s woodstove, which lit the creosote-filled chimney and spread to the roof.

The well had run dry, and there was no running water, so after attempting to put the fire out with bottles of water, they went to a neighbor and called 9-1-1, Bryne said.

Because of the remote location of the property, it took the firefighters at least 22 minutes to reach the property located at the end of a long, narrow road.

About 1,300 feet of hose had to be laid to get water to the fire, Vogel said.

Firefighters isolated the fire to keep it from spreading to the forest or to other structures on the property, he said.

The response included four water tenders, two from District 2 and two from District 3, four engines from District 3, and a number of chiefs and medical personnel.

Danz Ranch was owned by Col. Peter N. Rose, a Vietnam Veteran and retired horse trainer, until his death earlier this year.

The date of his death was not immediately available.

Vogel said Byrne and Bob Schrum are caretakers for the property, which is to be donated by Rose’s estate to The Nature Conservancy, a wildland conservation group.

The Red Cross was not called for assistance, Vogel said.

The caretakers returned to their own home in Clallam Bay and did not need alternative housing assistance.

Byrne was a former neighbor and friend of Rose and had recently returned to the area from Florida, Byrne said.

The pair were able to save some of Rose’s personal property that was still in the home, including his military medals and other Vietnam War mementos, Byrne said.

A century-old homestead site, there are several other buildings on the property, including a fire lookout tower and a homestead cabin, which has a bronze plaque describing the history of the property.

The site was first purchased in 1889 by Julius Danz of Cleveland, Ohio, and occupied in 1891, according to the plaque.

The property stayed in the Danz family until 1953, when it was sold to Doug Wallis, grandson of an area pioneer who may have helped to build the earliest home on the ranch.

The home was purchased by Rose in 2001, according to Clallam County Assessor’s Office records.

________

News Editor Margaret McKenzie contributed to this report

Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

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