Family pet warns owners of attic fire at Crockett Lake home

A family cat woke its owners when a fire sparked in an attic last week.

At 3:08 a.m., Jan. 24, Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue responded to a reported residential fire in the 900 block of Gainsborough Road in Crockett Lake Estates.

The first arriving engine found a fire in the attic with smoke from the gable ends of the roof, according to a news release from the fire department. Three engines, a water tender and chief officer quickly extinguished the fire that was burning the roof trusses and insulation in the attic.

The fire likely occurred as a result of a defect in the metal chimney where it penetrated the ceiling, officials said. Heat from the chimney ignited wood trusses and insulation above the ceiling and burned unnoticed for a considerable time. The fire developed slowly due to its location under a layer of insulation, according to the news release.

Smoke filled the attic and then pushed down into the living area of the residence. The home was equipped with a smoke detector, but it failed to activate.

The family cat woke the occupants and they were able to escape from the smoke-filled home.

Before the fire department arrived, the owner opened the front and rear doors to clear smoke and attacked the fire with water from a garden hose. While resident’s actions had a positive impact on the outcome of the incident, under slightly different conditions opening doors and re-entering a burning building would have been extremely dangerous, the news release stated.

For assistance in developing a home escape plan or in checking smoke detectors, contact Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue at 360-678-3602, or email Chief Ed Hartin at 360-678-3602.


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