House fire claims the life of Coupeville man

A Coupeville man perished Friday night in the third house fire in less than 48 hours on North and Central Whidbey.

Central Whidbey Fire & Rescue and two other agencies began arriving on the scene after 8 p.m. to find flames shooting from the rear of a one-story house on NE 4th St.

After knocking the fire down, firefighters did a search and discovered the body of a deceased man in the home, said Ed Hartin, Central Whidbey fire chief.

Island County Coroner Robert Bishop said the body was consistent with the description of a male living at the residence but added it might be a couple days until his identity would be publicly released.

Detective Gene Martin with the Island County Sheriff’s Office said the focus will now shift to investigating the cause and origin of the fire.

Firefighters from North Whidbey Fire and Rescue and South Whidbey Fire/EMS also assisted at the scene.

Hartin couldn’t recall the last fatal fire in Coupeville, but said his department responded to a fatal fire in Greenbank two years ago.

Friday night’s blaze was the third house fire that North Whidbey Fire had responded to since Thursday morning.

One occurred at a home on Boe and Taylor roads at 3 a.m. Thursday and the second one off State Highway 20 near the 29400 block of State Highway 20 near Grace Community Church 12 hours later.

Neither of those fires resulted in injuries.

 

Capt. Jerry Helm, center, with Central Whidbey Fire & Rescue, walks away from a house where a man was found dead after a house fire in Coupeville Friday night. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times