2016 Press Releases

 

December 23, 2016

ONE HOSPITALIZED AFTER HOUSE FIRE

Occupants barely escape home without working smoke alarms

(HANSVILLE, Wash.) – A 26 year-old man is hospitalized and a family is displaced after a fire caused significant damage to a home in this community’s Shorewoods neighborhood last evening. Crews were unable to find any working smoke alarms inside the home so, despite the family’s losses, firefighters say they are very lucky to have escaped the flames. The fire’s cause remains under investigation.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R), Poulsbo Fire Department, Bainbridge Island Fire Department and Puget Sound Federal Fire Department at Subase Bangor crews were called to the Ponderosa Boulevard home at 10:09 p.m. Thursday evening. The injured young man’s mother was on the second floor of the three story, 1,500 SF home and had not yet fallen asleep for the evening when she heard a series of crashing noises coming from the ground floor. Upon investigating the sounds’ source, she heard her son calling for help from his bedroom downstairs. She attempted to reach him, but was thwarted by heavy smoke and heat. The woman returned to the second floor for a phone to call 911 and evacuated. The first crew on scene came from NKF&R’s Hansville station, and arrived in about 6 minutes. Heavy flames were visible from the back of the home. There was thick black smoke filling the first floor to within three feet of the ground. The mother met firefighters, and reported that her son was still inside. Crews called for more resources by striking a second alarm; as additional firefighters sped to the scene and the initial crew was preparing to do search and rescue, the young man exited on his own through the exterior door on the home’s street side.

While a paramedic attended to the young man, other firefighters worked to extinguish the flames using water from nearby hydrants. Crews called for a medical airlift but, due to unfavorable weather conditions, their request was denied. The man was taken by ground ambulance to Bremerton’s Harrison Medical Center where he’s expected to remain for several days. The fire was out within 40 minutes of crews’ arrival but spent an additional two hours on scene to extinguish any remaining hot spots.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene. Based on physical examination of the scene and witness statements, it appears that the fire started in the young man’s bedroom. Evidence points to several possible accidental causes there. When he’s recovered sufficiently to be interviewed by investigators, it’s hoped that the young man can provide the additional information investigators need to determine what sparked the fire.

Fire damage was limited to approximately one-half of the first floor’s interior spaces, and the exterior of the home’s back side. Water and heavy smoke damage affected the entire structure, except for the attached garage which appeared to have been protected by a closed, heavy-duty door connecting directly to the hallway adjacent to the fire.

The young man’s mother was examined by crews but declined medical treatment or transport. There were no other injuries to firefighters or civilians. The home is insured. The family, which also includes the man’s father – away at work at the time of the fire – is also receiving help from the American Red Cross.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that all homes be outfitted with a smoke alarm in every bedroom and on every level of the home. Smoke alarms more than double the chances of surviving a home fire, providing vital early warning of trouble. Test smoke alarms monthly, and replace the devices after ten years. For more information or to have smoke alarms installed in your home, contact your local fire department. Many – including NKF&R — will install alarms and/or replace batteries free of charge.


December 10, 2016

VACANT STRUCTURE DESTROYED IN SUSPICIOUS EARLY MORNING FIRE


(EGLON, Wash.) – A single-wide mobile home, thought to have been unoccupied, was consumed in a fire here early this morning that officials are calling “suspicious.”

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were called to a property off of Hansville Road near its intersection with Eglon Road shortly after 4:30 a.m. on Saturday when the trailer’s owner, sleeping in a nearby home, was awakened by an unknown noise. She called 911 after looking out the window to see the trailer’s wall ablaze. While crews were still making their way to the incident, the owner told the 911 call-receiver that fire had grown to fully involve the structure. First units to arrive were on scene in a little over 7 minutes, and reported that flames were coming through the 15’ x 50’ structure’s roof. The owner assured crews that there was no one inside. Given this and the fire’s ferocious growth, firefighters focused their efforts on preventing the blaze from spreading beyond its building of origin. They were successful, keeping the fire contained and avoiding damage to the property’s other structures.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office (KCFMO) responded to the scene. Based on witness statements and physical evidence at the scene, she was able to rule out all possible accidental causes. There was no electrical power or propane to the trailer, and no woodstove or fireplace in use. Absent other explanations, the investigator believes the fire may have been intentionally-set. Officials with NKF&R as well as with KCFMO encourage anyone with information about the fire to call the Arson Hotline at (800)55-ARSON, KCFMO at (360)337-5777 or 911.

The property was insured. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.


December 8, 2016

TWO DISPLACED, HOME DAMAGED IN EARLY MORNING FIRE


Kitsap County Deputy Fire Marshal Tina Turner sifts through the debris left after a fire swept through a home’s attached shed, destroying it and damaging the adjacent structure. Although Turner could not specify the fire’s exact cause, she believes that it began near a space heater and the extension cords supplying it with power.

Kitsap County Deputy Fire Marshal Tina Turner sifts through the debris left after a fire swept through a home’s attached shed, destroying it and damaging the adjacent structure. Although Turner could not specify the fire’s exact cause, she believes that it began near a space heater and the extension cords supplying it with power.

(MILLER BAY ESTATES, Wash.) — A couple was displaced but the majority of their home was saved from a fire in an attached shed this morning, despite frigid temperatures and a lack of fire hydrants in the area. Though the investigator says that the precise cause of the blaze remains undetermined, it appears to have been accidental in nature.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were called to the Wavecrest Avenue home at 5:44 a.m. Thursday. Because the fire started outside the home, no smoke alarms activated initially. Instead, the occupants smelled smoke and heard unusual noises coming from outside. Upon investigating, they found flames and called 911. The couple evacuated themselves and the majority of their pets – three dogs and some turtles – but were initially unable to find the family cat. After crews left the scene, the feline reappeared and was apparently uninjured. The first engine arrived on scene in just over nine minutes after dispatch. Flames were visible from several blocks away and, upon crews’ arrival, heavy smoke was coming from all of the 1,200 SF single-story house’s attic vents. With only two hydrants in the Miller Bay Estates development, firefighters had to use the limited water available in the fire engines’ tanks – about 500 gallons each – to knock down the fire while they awaited arrival of water trucks carrying 2 – 3,000 gallons each.

The shed and its contents, which included a large volume of heirloom antiques, were almost entirely consumed by the fire. Strengthened by the significant amount of combustible materials inside, the shed fire spread to the home’s wall, eaves, into the attic and through a small portion of the roof. To reach and fully-extinguish hot spots in the overhead spaces, crews had to remove the ceiling in the room closest to that wall. The rest of the small home’s structure survived intact but the interior spaces sustained smoke and water damage throughout.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene. Based on occupants’ statements and physical evidence, she was able to rule out arson as a possible cause. It is also clear that the fire started in the small shed where a series of extension cords was providing power to a space heater. With the onset of cold weather earlier this week, the couple had started using the heater at night to protect the stored items inside the shed. The investigator couldn’t determine whether the cords or the appliance was responsible for the fire. NKF&R Spokeswoman Michele Laboda says, “Though we can’t be certain of this fire’s exact cause, we know that space heaters and extension cords are responsible for many fires – especially in cold weather.” Space heaters are most safely operated when plugged directly into a fixed outlet. They also need room; officials recommend keeping combustibles at least three feet away from all heat sources, including space heaters. Use of extension cords should be limited. Cords should not be chained together or subjected to mechanical damage from overinsulation or pinching. To protect families from fire whatever the cause, Laboda says that working smoke alarms are essential as is a practiced fire escape plan.

The couple is insured, and volunteers from the American Red Cross responded to provide immediate assistance to the couple. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.


December 2, 2016

COUPLE SICKENED, ATTIC SCORCHED BY SMOLDERING BLAZE


(EGLON, Wash.) – A couple was sickened and a home was scorched in an attic fire here yesterday evening. The slow blaze, most likely sparked when heat from an adjacent chimney pipe ignited nearby structural components, had probably been smoldering and emitting fumes for more than a day before one of the occupants called 911. Crews were able to stop the fire, limiting damage to the attic and a small section of the roof. Though both reported symptoms consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning, both declined medical treatment or transport.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called just after 5:30 p.m. on Thursday to a possible chimney fire in a small split-level home off the north end of Little Boston Road. As the first unit arrived on the scene, the crew saw no flames or smoke showing. However, the homeowner met them to report that he’d opened the attic scuttle near the chimney and found embers in that hidden space. The first-in engine officer upgraded the incident to get additional resources from NKF&R, Poulsbo Fire Department and Bainbridge Island Fire Department in case the fire started spreading. Quickly getting the fire under control, firefighters were able to cancel crews from other areas but the complete extinguishment proved more complex due to the insulation-filled tight spaces around the chimney.

The couple told crews that they’d noticed light smoke inside the residence when using the woodstove over the past several days, but felt it was a normal side effect of the appliance’s operation. Yesterday morning, both awoke with headaches and nausea – which are among the early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is one of the main by-products of fire. Thursday evening with symptoms and light smoke continuing, one of the occupants called for firefighters. Crews encouraged the couple to seek medical treatment but the pair refused. They were also advised to install carbon monoxide detection and to upgrade the home’s smoke alarms which never activated despite persistent fumes.

Officials encourage homeowners to have chimneys professionally cleaned and inspected annually. Additionally, carbon monoxide detectors are now required in single-family residences with fuel-burning appliances or an attached garage. Smoke alarms should be tested monthly. If outfitted with traditional 9Vs, smoke alarm batteries should be changed annually when clocks turn back in the fall. When outfitted with long-life batteries, the entire smoke alarm should be replaced when it emits a low-battery chirp or when the device no longer passes its monthly test. All smoke alarms should be replaced after ten years.

The couple, who was not displaced by the incident, is insured. There were no other injuries to firefighters or civilians.


September 20, 2016

DELIVERY DRIVER CALLS IN BRUSH FIRE

NKF&R Firefighter Mike Cunningham scans the charred ground for any remaining hot spots after an outdoor fire apparently reignited to spread across a pasture near Kingston today.

NKF&R Firefighter Mike Cunningham scans the charred ground for any remaining hot spots after an outdoor fire apparently reignited to spread across a pasture near Kingston today.

Despite recent rains and cooler weather, outdoor fires can still spread out of control

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – A delivery driver is credited with sounding the alarm and getting firefighters en route to squelch an outdoor fire that was spreading across a field and threatening at least one nearby structure.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) personnel were called to an address off of Parcells Road after the FedEx driver called 9-1-1 to report flames spreading across a pasture. Firefighters arrived on scene to find a 100’ x 50’ grassy area charred with 10’ flames moving into taller grasses. Fire was also heading toward a small container of fuel that, once involved, would have speeded the flame’s spread into a small barn about nearby. Using about 1000 gallons of water supplied by the fire engine and a tender truck, crews were able to stop the blaze.

The homeowner returned home while crews were still there. He told firefighters that he’d had an outdoor fire on Saturday, and thought it was out. Based on evidence at the scene, officials believe that Saturday’s fire reignited and, aided by the day’s light breeze, moved across the field. “This incident was kept small, thanks to the FedEx driver’s report,” notes NKF&R Spokeswoman Michele Laboda. “But, despite the rain we’ve had and recent lifting of the burn ban, it’s clear that fire danger remains a concern and outdoor fires must be handled with caution.”


September 19, 2016

LIFE JACKET SAVES MAN AFTER KAYAKING MISHAP ON HOOD CANAL


(HANSVILLE, Wash.) – A man is safe on shore this evening, thanks to a life jacket that helped keep him afloat as his strength waned during a 50-minute swim following the sinking of his kayak in the waters of Hood Canal.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were alerted just before 4 p.m. on Monday by the man’s aunt after she’d received a call from him in which he stated that his small, older kayak was sinking. While a crew of firefighters got underway from Kingston in the district’s fire-rescue boat, another team tried to spot the man from shore. He had been unable to accurately describe his location when speaking with his aunt who, after calling 9-1-1, went in search of her nephew. While driving along Cliffside Road, something caught her eye and she spotted the man swimming toward shore in the vicinity of the road’s hairpin turn about a mile south of the Shorewoods neighborhood. Firefighters met the man as he made it to shore, and worked to warm him after nearly an hour in the canal’s frigid waters. He declined further treatment.

The man told crews that he’d left his aunt’s home along Skunk Bay around 3 p.m., heading around Foulweather Bluff to Port Gamble. He was on his way back when the kayak began taking on water. Before the boat sank, the man was able to retrieve his cell phone from a waterproof bag and place the call to his aunt. Shortly thereafter, the kayak sank and the man started his swim for shore.

NKF&R’s fire-rescue boat arrived at the scene shortly after the man was spotted. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and another fire-rescue boat from Port Ludlow were preparing to respond but stood down once the man was safely ashore.

“It takes time to find a lone person in vast expanses of water like Hood Canal or Puget Sound,” says NKF&R Battalion Chief Ken LeMay. “Despite our resources, we know that we might not get to people before the cold water destroys their ability stay afloat – unless they’re wearing a life jacket.” Though firefighters say that the man involved in this afternoon’s incident was in very good shape, they also note that the outcome might not have been as favorable without a personal flotation device. The man agrees; the first thing he said to firefighters was that he wouldn’t have made it without it.


September 15, 2016

NKF&R Lieutenant Alex Hickey and Firefighter Tyler Horner make sure any remaining embers are out within the collapsed remains of a barn that was burned by its owner Thursday morning near Port Gamble.

NKF&R Lieutenant Alex Hickey and Firefighter Tyler Horner make sure any remaining embers are out within the collapsed remains of a barn that was burned by its owner Thursday morning near Port Gamble.

INTENTIONALLY-SET, BARN BURNS NEAR PORT GAMBLE


(PORT GAMBLE, Wash.) — When firefighters from across North Kitsap responded to a State Route 104 address after multiple passersby reported flames leaping into the sky from a large detached barn, they arrived on the scene to find that the property owner had illegally lit the fire to dispose of the unwanted outbuilding.

Crews from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department (PFD) were dispatched to a property along Port Gamble Bay, near SR 104’s intersection with Waterview Way and across from Gracey Nursery just before 9:30 a.m. on Thursday. The first unit on scene arrived in about seven minutes, and found the old 20’ x 40’ structure fully-involved in fire and collapsed onto the ground. Adjacent trees were catching fire as well. The property owner told firefighters that, no longer needing the structure, he had removed all items from inside and set the 60-70 year-old building on fire. The blaze grew more quickly than he expected, he said. Firefighters quickly squelched the fire and prevented the flames from spreading further into the trees. It took another hour to fully extinguish the embers in the remains of the old structure. SR 104 was limited to one lane of travel while crews worked.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office also responded to the scene. That office imposed an outdoor burn ban on August 19 due to high fire danger. The ban, which remains in effect, prohibits all outdoor burning except recreational fires of dry seasoned wood or charcoal in designated fire pits less than 3’ x 3’ x 2’. Whether there’s a burn ban in effect or not, it is never legal in Kitsap County to burn anything except natural vegetation without a special permit. For further information about the consequences of illegal outdoor burning, contact the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.


September 6, 2016

NKF&R FIREFIGHTERS HOST ANNUAL SEPTEMBER 11 BREAKFAST

Honor the memory of those who died and no longer act for themselves by performing deliberate acts of kindness, community and compassion in their names


(KINGSTON, Wash.) — As they do every year, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) firefighters are marking the solemn anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks by bringing the community together over good food for a good cause. Join firefighters for a continental breakfast on Sunday, September 11 from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. at NKF&R’s headquarters station (26642 Miller Bay Road NE near Kingston). The meal, sponsored in part by Port Madison Enterprises and Clearwater Casino Resort, is free but donations will be accepted to benefit the firefighters’ North Kitsap Community Partnership Fund.

Supported primarily with donations from NKF&R members, the Partnership Fund is entirely separate from the district’s publicly-funded budget. It provides resources that allow firefighters to give emergency assistance beyond the traditional response – food, shelter, clothing, gas money, taxi fare, etc – to people in need. It also pays for the district’s smoke alarm, bike helmet, life jacket and car seat programs as well as for other safety initiatives. The Fund, overseen by a committee of department members, occasionally also makes donations to local charities.


August 15, 2016

From left to right: Newly-hired Firefighter Janelle Randles, Intern Firefighter Scott Bothe, Lieutenant Alex Hickey, Firefighter/Paramedic Craig Barnard, newly-promoted Assistant Chief Sean Moran, newly-hired Firefighter Kaleb Murray, Intern Firefighter Tyler Horner and newly-promoted Battalion Chief Ardyl Abrigo

From left to right: Newly-hired Firefighter Janelle Randles, Intern Firefighter Scott Bothe, Lieutenant Alex Hickey, Firefighter/Paramedic Craig Barnard, newly-promoted Assistant Chief Sean Moran, newly-hired Firefighter Kaleb Murray, Intern Firefighter Tyler Horner and newly-promoted Battalion Chief Ardyl Abrigo

THREE PROMOTED, TWO HIRED

In ceremonies at the end of July, NKF&R members celebrated these important milestones


Assistant Chief Sean Moran

Assistant Chief Sean Moran

(KINGSTON, Wash.) — Members of North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and their families came together at the new Kingston Village Green Community Center on July 30 for a short but meaningful ceremony marking the filling of management vacancies as well as the launching of new careers.

In an effort to save money and maintain levels of emergency service during the economic downturn, the district left staff positions unfilled for several years. Sean Moran, a 27-year NKF&R veteran, has been promoted to assistant chief for training and support services – a position that had been vacant since the end of 2013. The 53 year-old was raised in Everett and graduated from Cascade High School. Before joining the fire service, Moran began developing his leadership skills as a manager in the grocery business. His private sector experience with tight budgeting has come in handy as he has pared down and maintained the district’s supplies budget. Moran was one of the first participants in the district’s highly-regarded volunteer firefighter training program. He was hired in 1992, and promoted to lieutenant in 1995. Shortly after his promotion, Moran was sent to instruct at the Washington State Fire Training Academy. Ever since, he’s been a recognized leader in firefighter training; as a captain (2001 – 2008) and as a battalion chief (2009 – 2016), Moran and his crews have a reputation for excellent skills that comes from a commitment to training. Moran looks forward to improving the connection between the training program’s administration and its actual implementation to produce an even better outcome for personnel as well as the public. He lives in Kingston with his wife. When he’s not working, Moran spends as much time as possible with his family and is completely smitten by his two grandchildren.

Battalion Chief Ardyl Abrigo

Battalion Chief Ardyl Abrigo

Ardyl Abrigo has been named to fill the shift battalion chief position left vacant by Moran’s promotion. Abrigo, 42, was born and raised in the Philippines. With his parents and his sister, he immigrated to the United States at the age of 14. Abrigo graduated from Clover Park High School and, in 1995, became a U.S. citizen. While attending the University of Washington, he took a job at the school’s hospital and was introduced to the medical field as well as to the possibilities of applying those skills in emergency services. Abrigo joined NKF&R’s volunteer-firefighter training program in 1998. He was hired in 2000 and had been serving as a lieutenant since 2007. During that time, Abrigo has achieved associate’s degrees in fire command and fire science from Olympic College and a bachelor’s degree in fire command from Eastern Oregon University. As C-Shift’s new leader, he wants to do all he can to help his personnel reach their career goals. He also wants to deepen the district’s ties to community with more outreach activities. Abrigo lives in Gig Harbor with his wife and two kids; when he’s not on shift, he spends his time supporting his family in their activities.

Lieutenant Mark Cooney

Lieutenant Mark Cooney

The district’s newest lieutenant, Mark Cooney, was raised on Bainbridge Island. After spending years in the food and beverage industry, the 44 year-old was so certain of his desire to become a firefighter that he paid his own tuition to Bates Technical College’s training academy. He recalls arriving with all of the required gear, but without any idea of how to use it. Fellow students showed him the ropes and, by the end of the academy, he was named to the Chiefs Company – selected by the instructors as members of an ideal engine company. Cooney was hired in 2004 and, having served on all three of the district’s shifts, has had the opportunity to learn from a wide array of leaders. He will be one of the instructors for the district’s upcoming recruit academy. As a lieutenant, his goal is to keep personnel motivated, safe and happy to be at work. Reinforcing a positive atmosphere, Cooney says, brings additional health to the district. When he’s not on the job, Cooney loves to spend time traveling with his family. He also serves as a mentor to teens through his church’s youth group. Cooney lives in Poulsbo with his wife and daughter.

Firefighter Kaleb Murray

Firefighter Kaleb Murray

Both new hires, filling vacancies created by promotions, are graduates the district’s volunteer firefighter training program and first joined it in September 2015. During their recruit academy, both were recognized by their instructors with the Bulldog Award for exceptional determination and hard work. Additionally, both were named to the Chiefs Company. Kaleb Murray, 25, was raised in Poulsbo. After graduating in 2009 from North Kitsap High School, he attended Olympic College on a scholarship and subsequently completed his bachelor’s degree in communications at the University of Washington in 2014. The youngest of three, Murray joins his siblings in the helping professions; his brother, Steve, is a battalion chief for NKF&R and his sister, Becky, is an emergency room nurse at Harrison Hospital. As a new firefighter, he’s focusing on becoming a master of his craft. He is drawn to the fast-paced nature of the work, and to being the first to assist when emergencies strike. Murray is an accomplished snow skier and an avid movie fan. He lives in Poulsbo.

Firefighter Janelle Randles

Firefighter Janelle Randles

Janelle Randles, daughter of a Navy chief, has moved all over the country but is thrilled to be living and working in North Kitsap. The 21 year-old has an associate’s degree in arts and sciences from the Tri Cities’ Columbia Basin Community College where she also pitched on the school’s fast-pitch softball team. Randles sees firefighting as the best kind of team effort, involving intense coordination to get an important job done. When she’s not studying to be the best she can be in her new role, she is working out or playing bass guitar in an alternative rock band.

All five assumed their new roles on August 1.


A firefighter gets direction from an officer during this afternoon's battle against a fire that destroyed a Jefferson Beach States home.

A firefighter gets direction from an officer during this afternoon’s battle against a fire that destroyed a Jefferson Beach States home.

August 7, 2016

FAST-MOVING FIRE GUTS KINGSTON HOME

Structure is a total loss, but all occupants — including the family’s dogs — escaped safely


(KINGSTON, Wash.) – A Jefferson Beach Estates family lost their home and most of their possessions in a fast-moving fire here this afternoon. Those inside had just moments to spare when alerted to the danger by smoke alarms; they evacuated with only the clothes on their backs, their pets and their cell phones. Although a fire investigator was on scene into the early evening, the cause has not yet been determined.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue, Poulsbo Fire Department and Puget Sound Federal Fire Department crews were dispatched at 1:09 p.m. Sunday to the Virginia Avenue home after multiple 9-1-1 callers reported flames and smoke from the two-story house. The first unit arrived on scene in just under 8 minutes, coming from NKF&R’s South Kingston Road station; upon their arrival, the officer reported that over half of the 1,990 square foot structure was involved in flames. Using a fire hydrant directly across the street, crews wer

This afternoon's fast-moving fire in Jefferson Beach so seriously undermined the structure that firefighters couldn't work inside. Here, they work to snuff hot spots from a safer location outside the home's unstable interior spaces.

This afternoon’s fast-moving fire in Jefferson Beach so seriously undermined the structure that firefighters couldn’t work inside. Here, they work to snuff hot spots from a safer location outside the home’s unstable interior spaces.

e able to get water on the blaze quickly and had the main body of fire out within 20 minutes of their arrival. Firefighters kept the blaze from spreading beyond the house where it began, and no other structures were damaged though a truck stored in the garage was destroyed. Complete extinguishment of the fire proved far more difficult. The large volume of items inside the home provided fuel to the fire and complicated firefighters’ efforts to reach deep-seated hot spots. Furthermore, the heavy fire had so severely undermined the structure that crews could not safely operate inside. Firefighters, doing what they could from the outside, worked to snuff hot spots until early evening. Power was cut-off to the home as well as to three other residences, and Virginia Avenue was blocked in both directions for several hours.

Two of the occupants – a couple – were upstairs in their bedroom at the time of the incident. Upon hearing activated smoke alarms, they opened the bedroom door to investigate and found heavy smoke coming up the stairs. Meanwhile, a neighbor working on his roof spotted the flames and smoke coming from the home. He shouted to his family to call 9-1-1; the man’s son

Working from the back of the home, firefighters prepare to squelch remaining embers after this afternoon's fast-moving fire in Jefferson Beach.

Working from the back of the home, firefighters prepare to squelch remaining embers after this afternoon’s fast-moving fire in Jefferson Beach.

headed to the burning home to see if he could help. Heat and smoke kept him from entering through the home’s back door. Shortly thereafter, the couple and their dogs safely escaped. The home’s two other occupants – the couple’s adult son and his girlfriend – had gone out to brunch and returned to find the home and their things ablaze.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office came to the scene. She has not yet determined a cause or point of origin for devastating blaze.

The family, who is insured, is staying with relatives in the neighborhood.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.


June 24, 2016

ILLEGAL FIRE SAVES HOME

NKF&R Firefighter Sam Berni carries the baby chicks rescued from a near house fire this afternoon. The small blaze, sparked by a heat lamp warming the chicks, was discovered by accident as firefighters responded to the address to investigate an illegal outdoor fire.

NKF&R Firefighter Sam Berni carries the baby chicks rescued from a near house fire this afternoon. The small blaze, sparked by a heat lamp warming the chicks, was discovered by accident as firefighters responded to the address to investigate an illegal outdoor fire.


(INDIANOLA, Wash.) – Illegal outdoor fires are often the cause of destructive forest and structure fires but an illegal outdoor fire might have saved a home when it led firefighters to discover and solve a separate dangerous condition here this afternoon.

A North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crew was called to an Indianola residence for a burning complaint shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday. When firefighters arrived at the address, they found no one home and an outdoor fire burning. The lack of supervision alone rendered the fire illegal and, after attempting without success to get the attention of someone on the property, the crew extinguished the blaze. As they got close to the house in search of its occupant or occupants, they noticed the home’s smoke alarms were sounding. The home’s door was open and, for a moment, firefighters thought that the alarms had been tripped by stray smoke from the outdoor burn. When they opened a bedroom door and found smoke filling the space nearly to the floor, it was clear that this was the source of the alarm. Inside the room, the crew found a partially-melted plastic bucket containing a pair of young chickens and wood chips. A heat lamp had apparently fallen into the bucket and was on its way to sparking a dangerous fire. Firefighters used a small amount of water to cool the area, removed the chicks to the fresh air outside and used fans to eject the smoke from the home.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians, and damage to the home was minimal. The baby birds appear to have escaped serious injury as well.


June 10, 2016

FIRE COMMISSIONER AVERTS HOUSE FIRE

 

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – It wasn’t firefighters who made the difference at a house fire here this morning; it was one of their bosses – a fire commissioner – who averted a potential tragedy when she reported the flames while rousing the home’s occupants. As a result, damage was limited and there were no injuries to firefighter or civilians.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called to the corner of Bannister and Oregon Streets at 4:38 a.m. on Friday after the commissioner called 9-1-1 to say a house’s porch was ablaze. The first unit arrived on scene from the district’s Miller Bay Road headquarters station within 7 minutes of dispatch, and found the fire out. The occupant, an adult male who rents the 400 SF single-story home, told crews that he was awakened by someone pounding on the house’s door and windows. He, along with an adult female and two children, evacuated the house while he used a fire extinguisher and garden hose to snuff the flames. Had the fire grew any larger, the occupants’ only working door would have been blocked by flames. Firefighters checked to make sure the house had working smoke alarms and spoke with the occupants about the importance of having at least two ways out of every room.

The commissioner, a Kingston resident and nurse working in physician education at a Seattle hospital, had parked her car at a friend’s home nearby and was walking to the ferry when she spotted the fire. After making sure that all occupants were out and the fire was under control, she continued on to her destination. Fire commissioners, acting as volunteer representatives of the public, are responsible for the overall budgetary and policy direction of the fire district. She was initially appointed to the body in 1994 and subsequently re-elected three times.

Damage from the fire was limited to a small portion of the house’s porch and railing. The occupants were not displaced by the incident. Although officials could not pinpoint a definitive cause for the blaze, evidence at the scene suggests that it was accidental and, possibly, the result of a discarded cigarette. Firefighters say that smoking materials are best disposed of in a water-filled can with a tight-fitting lid.


June 3, 2016

Concrete blocks likely slowed this car's progress enough to stop it from plowing into a trailer and the occupied home just beyond. The crash took place Friday afternoon between Kingston and Suquamish, off of Miller Bay Road.

Concrete blocks likely slowed this car’s progress enough to stop it from plowing into a trailer and the occupied home just beyond. The crash took place Friday afternoon between Kingston and Suquamish, off of Miller Bay Road.

CAR NARROWLY MISSES TRAILER, HOME IN CRASH NEAR POULSBO

 

(POULSBO, Wash.) – A 65 year-old Poulsbo woman was transported to a local hospital after her vehicle plowed through a fence and narrowly missed striking a trailer at the foot of Gunderson Road here this afternoon.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called to Gunderson’s intersection with Miller Bay Road, which runs between the towns of Kingston and Suquamish, at 1:25 p.m. The first crew to arrive on scene found a section of 8-foot fence down and the newer sedan atop two large concrete barriers (commonly known as “ecology blocks”). The car’s nose had stopped just inches from a travel-trailer, parked in a private residence’s yard. Directly past the travel-trailer was a manufactured home which was occupied at the time of the crash. The car’s air bags had deployed, and an off-duty paramedic was inside the vehicle caring for the patient. Crews stabilized the car before moving the driver from the vehicle to a waiting ambulance. She was taken by paramedic unit to Harrison Medical Center as a precaution.

It appeared that the blocks had been placed behind the fence to protect the property from traffic incidents. Firefighters say that, in this case, it looks as though the blocks effectively slowed the car’s progress enough to prevent any damage to the trailer or the home.

Northbound travel along Miller Bay Road was disrupted for less than 30 minutes while crews worked. Deputies from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the cause of the crash.

There were no other injuries to firefighters or civilians.


June 3, 2016

MAN AIRLIFTED AFTER PUGET SOUND DIVING INCIDENT

Generally, crews use local school athletic fields as helicopter landing zones. On Friday, with a seriously-ill diver needing rapid transport to Seattle and few vehicles in the lot, Airlift Northwest was able to land adjacent to the Port of Kingston's boat launch.

Generally, crews use local school athletic fields as helicopter landing zones. On Friday, with a seriously-ill diver needing rapid transport to Seattle and few vehicles in the lot, Airlift Northwest was able to land adjacent to the Port of Kingston’s boat launch.

 

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – A 43 year-old Tulalip man was airlifted to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center following an apparent mishap during a commercial geoduck dive in the waters of Puget Sound.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called to Port of Kingston Marina this afternoon at 1:45 p.m. to meet an incoming vessel carrying the ill man. Updated information provided to responders as they awaited the patient’s arrival suggested that the man might need care that can only be provided in Seattle, and they called for an Airlift Northwest helicopter to land in the empty parking lot near the marina’s boat launch. The man was conscious and alert upon his transfer to an NKF&R paramedic’s care. He told crews that he’d IMG_0051been diving on surface-supplied air for 2-1/2 hours at depths ranging from 40 – 75 feet, about two miles north of the marina, and surfaced at the regular pace without incident. He began to feel ill once aboard his boat, and asked for help.

There are no further details about the patient or his condition at this time. If additional information becomes available, NKF&R will provide an update.


May 31, 2016

POULSBO AND NORTH KITSAP TEACHING RESIDENTS HOW TO PREPARE FOR WILDFIRES

Despite what you might think, wildfire CAN happen here

This year's wildland fire season is off to an early start and fire officials want to make sure the public has the info they need to prepare. Although this July 2015 beach fire was stopped before it could threaten homes, officials point to recent incidents around the west that show what can happen.

This year’s wildland fire season is off to an early start and fire officials want to make sure the public has the info they need to prepare. Although the July 2015 beach fire pictured here was stopped before it could threaten homes, officials point to recent incidents around the west with more tragic results and urge the public to do what they can to prepare.

(POULSBO, Wash.) –Despite the wet winter, wildfire is still a serious concern – even here, west of the Cascade Mountains. The unseasonably warm weather this past month spurred rapid growth of vegetation and spiked fire danger; already, large scale wildfires have broken out in forests around Oso and Gold Bar. Fire officials say that communities should take action now to prepare their homes and landscapes to withstand the wildfires that could strike, and they’re partnering with other groups to host informational meetings that will help citizens learn about wildland fire preparedness.

In a May 22 article by the Associated Press, state and federal fire officials expressed surprise and concern about the early start to the wildland fire season. They also noted that following the two worst wildland fire seasons in the state’s history, there is more interest in preparedness even in wetter Western Washington.

The Poulsbo Historical Society, Poulsbo Fire Department, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue, and the Suquamish Tribe, are partnering to host a series of free 50 minute wildfire safety information seminars around North Kitsap. The events will include information about wildland fire behavior, how to assess one’s own home and property for wildfire resistance, identification of individual and/or neighborhood strategies that can improve wildland fire safety and steps to prepare in advance of a wildfire evacuation order. There will be drawings for door prizes at each of the meetings.

Poulsbo Fire Department Battalion Chief Kurt Krech who, in addition to his service locally, deploys as a division supervisor on wildfires says, “Many people don’t realize that in wildfires, it’s not the wall of flames that engulf homes, it’s the burning embers that fly away to start spot fires. That’s what destroys most homes.” Krech adds that this type of disaster is preventable with advance strategies that include use of non-combustible construction materials, yard and house maintenance to provide firefighters with “defensible space,” and planting of fire-resistant vegetation.

The brief seminars will be offered in six convenient locations over a period of two weeks:

Poulsbo – City Hall Chambers (200 Moe St NE) on Monday, June 13 at 7 p.m.
Suquamish – House of Awakened Culture (7235 NE Parkway) on Tuesday, June 14 at 7 p.m.
Hansville – Hansville Community Center (6778 Buck Lane Rd NE) on Wednesday, June 15 at 7 p.m.
Keyport – Keyport Fire Station 1863 NE Pacific Ave on Monday, June 20 at 7 p.m.
Kingston – Village Green Community Center (26159 Dulay Rd NE) on Tuesday, June 21 at 7 p.m.
Port Gamble – Port Gamble Pavilion (Walker St) on Wednesday, June 22 at 7 p.m.

For additional information, contact Poulsbo Fire Department (360-779-3997) or North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (360-297-3619). Interested persons can also find valuable tips on the Washington Department of Natural Resources’ wildfire preparedness page or on the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise Communities page.


May 22, 2016

HELMET, OFF-ROAD-VEHICLE KEY TO APPARENT GOOD OUTCOME FOLLOWING TRAIL RIDE MISHAP

 

(PORT GAMBLE, Wash.) – The complicated rescue of a man who suffered injuries in a fall from a horse deep in the Port Gamble trail system drew multiple fire and aid units from two fire departments here this morning. Though initial reports suggested a life-threatening situation, the man’s riding helmet appears to have protected him from more serious injury.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called to a trailhead on Port Gamble Road, south of SR 104 and north of Bond Road/SR 307 at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday following a cellular phone call to 911. It was reported that a 57 year-old man had fallen from a horse about 1-1/2 miles from the nearest road access and was unconscious. The first crews arrived at the trailhead in less than five minutes to find that a gate with a difficult-to-operate lock barred vehicle access. The crew immediately set to loading necessary equipment onto the ambulance’s gurney, using it as a cart for the trip up the trail. Another member of the riding party led them as they rushed to the scene on foot where, about ten minutes later, they found that the patient was now alert and oriented. Meanwhile, Poulsbo Fire Department (PFD) offered assistance from their new trailerable off-road-vehicle (ORV 71) and, along with the PFD duty chief, arrived at trailhead quickly. After several more tries at opening the gate, crews were successful and used ORV 71 to meet the first crew and assist with the patient’s transport down the trail to the ambulance. In just under an hour, the now-stable patient was en route to Bremerton’s Harrison Medical Center via aid unit.

The group told firefighters that a dog had spooked the man’s horse, causing it to bolt. The man fell to the ground; the back of his helmet sustained significant damage. Officials credit the sturdy helmet with preventing a more serious head injury. They add that it’s often a challenge to reach patients who become ill or injured on one of the area’s many trails; groups can have difficulty reporting an exact location and/or many of the area’s trails aren’t wide enough to accommodate even the nimble ORV 71. Today, even though the group was able to provide rescuers with clear direction and the trails were sufficient for the ORV, response was still slower than it would be in more developed areas. To ensure the best outcome from a trail incident, firefighters encourage users to follow this group’s example: minimize delays by calling at the first sign of an emergency and provide dispatchers with location information that’s as accurate as possible.


April 28, 2016

NKF&R TO WELCOME NEW FIRE-RESCUE BOAT IN APRIL 30 EVENT

Grant-funded vessel will bolster region’s readiness, provide nimble platform for fire-rescue operations on water and near water

NKF&R's new grant-funded fire-rescue boat brings advanced capabilities to the fire district and surrounding areas.

NKF&R’s new grant-funded fire-rescue boat brings advanced capabilities to the fire district and surrounding areas.

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) will formally welcome its newest tool for protecting lives and property – a fire-rescue boat – with a christening ceremony and demonstration shortly after 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 30 at the Port of Kingston’s waterside Mike Wallace Park. Funded primarily by a federal port security grant and built by Oregon’s North River Boats, the Valor-class vessel was delivered in November. Since entering service early this year, the boat has already been used to help fight a shore-side blaze and to provide vital assistance at a recent marina fire.

The boat has a 38’ aluminum hull, with less than a 3’ draft. Including a protective cage around the vessel’s outboard motors, it has a 45’ overall length. Twin 300 hp Mercury Vercados produce cruising speeds in excess of 30 knots while carrying its full payload of about 8,000 pounds. The boat’s 10’ beam (width) includes a foam collar with air bladder that encircles the hull to provide protection, stability and – if necessary – flotation. Its on-board fire pump is rated at 1,500 gallons per minute, delivered through monitors (high capacity fire nozzles) on the vessel’s bow and stern. Though the boat’s decks provide plenty of room to work, the bow monitor can be operated remotely. The heated and spacious cabin has ample space for crew and, if necessary, patients; a navigation table inside can be quickly converted to accommodate a backboard or rescue, providing the district with another means of transporting the injured or ill from boats or difficult-to-access locations along the shore. Radar, sonar, global positioning (GPS), powerful lighting and infrared camera/thermal imaging are among its advanced navigation and search-and-rescue tools.

North River Boats in Roseburg, Oregon was selected to construct the vessel after a public and competitive bid process in which the company was a qualified builder and met the specifications for the lowest price. Including Washington state sales tax and delivery charges, the vessel and its equipment cost a total of $612,244. Funds from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) covered 75% ($409,813) of the craft’s base price ($512,266). NKF&R’s share was $202,431 and included taxes and delivery. According to its web site, the PSGP “ … is one of the … programs that directly support(s) maritime transportation infrastructure security activities. PSGP is one tool in the comprehensive set of measures authorized by Congress and implemented by the Administration to strengthen the Nation’s critical infrastructure against risks associated with potential terrorist attacks.”

NKF&R’s service area stretches across 46 square miles of the northeast side of the Kitsap Peninsula, and includes 75 miles of shoreline. Moored at the Port of Kingston and staffed primarily with crews from the district’s South Kingston Road station about 5 minutes away from the dock, the boat is well-positioned to fill gaps in the central Puget Sound region’s maritime emergency response resources. In addition to marine rescues, the vessel will be a boon to mitigation of shore-side incidents such as beach rescues, brush fires and structure fires. Already, it has been instrumental at a January 2016 structure fire on the tip of the Kitsap Peninsula that was nearly inaccessible; the cabin that burned was not served by a road. The boat also served as a vital asset in the effort to stop the March 20 blaze at Port Orchard Marina.
The new boat replaces and far exceeds the capabilities of NKF&R’s previous fire-rescue vessel. The 14 year-old craft began service in 2001. Powered with an in-board jet drive, the 28’ boat topped out at about 20 knots. Its firefighting capabilities were less robust; it could deliver only 250 gallons per minute from one monitor on the bow. NKF&R’s Board of Fire Commissioners hasn’t yet made a decision on the future of the previous boat.

The ceremony, which follows the 2 p.m. dedication of Kingston’s new community center situated within walking distance of the marina, will include brief remarks from officials including U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer whose 6th Congressional District includes NKF&R’s service area, and USCG Captain M.W. “Joe” Raymond, Commander of Sector Puget Sound. There will be songs from the Port Gamble S’Klallam and Suquamish Tribes as well as a demonstration of the boat’s capabilities and opportunity to tour the vessel. For further information about the event, call (360)297-3619.


April 21, 2016

FIREFIGHTERS SQUELCH LARGE BRUSH FIRE

Firefighters spent over three hours, digging and deploying nearly 5,000 gallons of water, to snuff a fire that started with a controlled outdoor burn.

Firefighters spent over three hours, digging and deploying nearly 5,000 gallons of water, to snuff a fire that started with a controlled outdoor burn.

Controlled burn piles get out of control to scorch nearly a half-acre near Hansville

(HANSVILLE, Wash.) – Hot and dry weather can quickly change the level of fire danger – even when there’s been recent heavy rainfall – as illustrated by this afternoon’s large brush fire near Hansville. Nearly a half-acre was burned after controlled fires, being used to dispose of natural vegetation debris on the property, spread. Nine firefighters spent three hours and 4,500 gallons of water to thoroughly douse remaining hot spots.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called to Pegasus Lane, about 2.5 miles south of Hansville and off of Hansville Road, at 12:50 p.m. after a member of the public became concerned about smoke and flames coming from a property and called 911. Firefighters arrived on the scene to find at least two large piles ablaze with no one watching the fires. Smoke was issuing from the ground across a wide expanse. Two homes on adjacent parcels as well as forested land could easily have been threatened by the spreading fires.

Crews eventually located one of the owners inside a home on the property; another returned home while crews were on scene working. Firefighters explained some of the outdoor burning rules to the couple.
• Permits, available free of charge at any staffed fire station, are required for all outdoor fires over 3’ in diameter.
• All fires must be attended at all times.
• A means of extinguishing the fire must be available on site.
• Only one pile at a time can be burned.
• Only natural vegetation, dry and seasoned wood, or charcoal can be burned.

Although the region received record rainfall this spring, conditions can shift rapidly with a few days of high temperatures and low humidity as we experienced this week. In an effort to limit the risk posed by outdoor burning, officials urge the public to follow the rules and pay close attention to conditions.

No structures were damaged, and there were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.


April 16, 2016

BOILER MALFUNCTION SPARKS FAST-MOVING FIRE

No one injured and fire damage limited but home sustains heavy smoke damage throughout

(CLIFFSIDE, Wash.) – A young couple and their pets escaped safely this afternoon after a diesel-fueled boiler, used to warm water for the home’s in-floor heating system, malfunctioned and sparked a fast-moving fire. Cliffside Road at Hood Canal Drive was closed for as long as 90 minutes while firefighters worked.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were called to the 5000 square foot, multi-level Hood Canal Drive residence at 1:51 p.m. Saturday following a 9-1-1 call from the house’s occupants. The woman, still sleeping after working late last evening, was awakened by unusual noises coming from a room below that houses the boiler.  After finding no fire or smoke but noting a puddle of fuel on the floor under the boiler, she awakened the male who went downstairs just moments later to find smoke billowing from the utility room.  The usual escape route cut-off by heavy smoke, the home’s smoke alarms began sounding as the pair fled with their pets from a window about eight feet above the ground.  The female called 9-1-1 once outside; she, her boyfriend, their standard poodle and a parrot were uninjured.

Cliffside is situated between Hansville and Kingston.  The first arriving firefighter was NKF&R’s duty chief, already en route from the district’s Kingston headquarters to the Hansville fire station when the incident was dispatched, arrived on scene just over five minutes after dispatch.  He found heavy smoke coming from the home’s eaves but no flames were visible.  When additional personnel arrived shortly thereafter, a team of firefighters entered the home to quickly squelch the main body of fire which had consumed the 8’ x 8’ utility room and its contents. The home’s ventilation ducts originated in the utility room, providing an easy path for smoke spread throughout the structure. Fire also climbed this route to the floors above, scorching structural elements along the way and into the attic.  It took much longer for crews to find and snuff these hot spots.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office came to the scene.  Based on information from the occupants and the firefighters as well as the physical evidence, the investigator determined that the fire likely began with the boiler’s failure.  The resulting diesel leak probably fed the blaze as did baskets full of laundry situated nearby.

The home is uninhabitable but insured.  The couple declined assistance with lodging, and will be staying with family.

This afternoon’s fire, officials say, underscores the importance of planning at least two different ways out of every room.  “It’s not enough to plan two ways out of the house,” says NKF&R Spokeswoman Michele Laboda, “You must identify at least two ways out of every room.”  Today, thick and noxious smoke blocked the couple’s access to all four of the home’s exterior doors; the home’s upper windows were their only remaining escape.


April 12, 2016

An NKF&R firefighter, visible through broken windows and doors, pauses from the hard work of digging through debris to snuff hotspots remaining after a fire of unknown origin destroyed a garage in Suquamish on Tuesday evening.

An NKF&R firefighter, visible through broken windows and doors, pauses from the hard work of digging through debris to snuff hotspots remaining after a fire of unknown origin destroyed a garage in Suquamish on Tuesday evening.

QUICK WORK CONTAINS FIRE TO GARAGE

(SUQUAMISH, Wash.) – An alert neighbor’s quick actions and the fire department’s fast response ensured that a garage fire of undetermined origin didn’t spread to an adjacent rental home here this evening.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were called to Harris Avenue address at 5:31 p.m. on Tuesday.  A neighbor saw smoke and fire coming from the detached 10’ x 20’ garage, pounded on the nearby home’s door to warn any occupants and called 911.  The small dwelling is home to an adult woman and her 16 year-old daughter.  Neither were there at the time of the incident but a friend was inside.  He grabbed a garden hose and successfully kept the flames from traveling across the ten-foot wood canopy between the burning garage and the house.  The first unit to arrive on scene was there within five minutes, coming from NKF&R’s nearby Suquamish station; that crew reported the garage to be well involved in flames. When the second crew arrived about four minutes later, the first crew already had the fire knocked down.  Complete extingiushment of the fire took much longer as crews worked through the large volume of stored and singed tems inside the structure.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office also responded to the incident.  In addition to its use as a storage space, the garage had electrical power and also served as a shop.  As of this hour, investigators have not pinpointed the cause of the fire; it remains undetermined.

The home’s occupants, covered by renters insurance, weren’t displaced by the incident.  There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

 


 

March 14, 2016

PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE

(KINGSTON, Wash.) — Notice is hereby given that the North Kitsap Fire & Rescue Board of Commissioners has set March 28, 2016 at 7:15 p.m. at the Paul T. Nichol Headquarters Station 81, 26642 Miller Bay Road, Kingston, Wash., as the time and place for the public hearing to adopt Resolution 2016-04 authorizing the transfer of any interests and liabilities in the assets of CenCom from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue to Kitsap County for the reorganization and re-establishment of CenCom as a separate legal entity.

A copy of the resolution is available to any citizen at Paul T. Nichol Headquarters Station 81 located at 26642 Miller Bay Road NE, Kingston, Wash. or on our website at www.nkfr.org.  All interested citizens may appear at the public hearing and be heard for or against the resolution.


March 3, 2016

YOUNG FAMILY DISPLACED IN HOUSE FIRE

A family was displaced and a dog killed in a house fire Wednesday evening off of Miller Bay Road near Kingston.

A family was displaced and a dog killed in a house fire Wednesday evening off of Miller Bay Road near Kingston.

(KINGSTON, Wash.) —  Two adults and two children were displaced from their rental home and the family pet perished in a blaze that may have started as chimney fire here on Wednesday evening.  While the uninsured family’s loss is devastating, officials say it could have been much worse had the fire broken out when the occupants were home and asleep.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called to the residence, situated down a long driveway in the 22000 block of Miller Bay Road, at 5:24 p.m. on Wednesday after a neighbor spotted flames coming from the 1,300 SF manufactured home.  The first unit arrived on scene less than four minutes after dispatch, and found the structure fully-involved in flames.  Trucks (known as water tenders), each carrying thousands of gallons of water, ferried water to the scene for the firefight as there were no hydrants close by.  Despite the fact that several portions of the single-story structure had collapsed, firefighters were able to control the fire within twenty minutes of their arrival on scene.  Sadly, most of the family’s possessions were destroyed and their dog, a rescued mixed-breed named Tug, did not survive the blaze.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene.  Through evidence at the scene and interviews with the home’s occupants, the investigator was able to locate the fire’s origin in the living room around a woodstove’s chimney. The family hadn’t been home since earlier in the day. The adult male was the last to leave, loading the woodstove and dampering it down prior to leaving for work at about 12:30 p.m.  According to the couple, the woodstove was their primary source of heat and it is unknown when the chimney was last professionally cleaned and inspected.  While investigators haven’t pinpointed the exact cause, it appears that the fire may have begun in the chimney and spread across the small attic space to involve the whole structure.  Had the same fire broken out while the couple and their two small children (ages six weeks and three years) were home and asleep, firefighters say that the results might have been tragic.

Officials say that chimney fires can be avoided with regular cleaning and inspections by certified professionals.  Once a fire breaks out and regardless of its cause, they say that working smoke alarms and practiced fire escape plans are especially vital for families with young children. To get help with smoke alarms and fire escape planning, firefighters urge the public to contact their local department.  Most will install the life-saving devices and provide escape planning materials free of charge.

Though the structure was insured by the property owner, the young couple didn’t have renters’ insurance.  The home is uninhabitable.  Volunteers from the American Red Cross responded to the scene to offer assistance.    There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.


 

February 26, 2016

NKF&R TO WELCOME NEW FIRE-RESCUE BOAT IN MARCH 12  APRIL 30 EVENT

Grant-funded vessel will bolster region’s readiness, provide nimble platform for fire-rescue operations on water and near water

NKF&R's new grant-funded fire-rescue boat brings advanced capabilities to the fire district and surrounding areas.

NKF&R’s new grant-funded fire-rescue boat brings advanced capabilities to the fire district and surrounding areas.

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) will formally welcome its newest tool for protecting lives and property – a  fire-rescue boat – with a brief ceremony and demonstration beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 12  3 p.m. on Saturday, April 30 at the Port of Kingston’s waterside Mike Wallace Park.  Funded primarily by a federal port security grant and built by Oregon’s North River Boats, the Valor-class vessel was delivered in November. Although it won’t officially enter service until early March, the boat has already been used to help fight a shore-side fire.

The boat has a 38’ aluminum hull, with less than a 3’ draft.  Including a protective cage around the vessel’s outboard motors, it has a 45’ overall length.  Twin 300 hp Mercury Vercados produce cruising speeds in excess of 30 knots while carrying its full payload of about 8,000 pounds.  The boat’s 10’ beam (width) includes a foam collar with air bladder that encircles the hull to provide protection, stability and – if necessary – flotation.  Its on-board fire pump is rated at 1,500 gallons per minute, delivered through monitors (high capacity fire nozzles) on the vessel’s bow and stern.  Though the boat’s decks provide plenty of room to work, the bow monitor can be operated remotely.  The heated and spacious cabin has ample space for crew and, if necessary, patients; a navigation table inside can be quickly converted to accommodate a backboard or rescue, providing the district with another means of transporting the injured or ill from boats or difficult-to-access locations along the shore.  Radar, sonar, global positioning (GPS), powerful lighting and infrared camera/thermal imaging are among its advanced navigation and search-and-rescue tools.

North River Boats in Roseburg was selected to construct the vessel after a public and competitive bid process in which the company was a qualified builder and met the specifications for the lowest price.  Including Washington state sales tax and delivery charges, the vessel and its equipment cost a total of $612,244.  Funds from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) covered 75% ($409,813) of the craft’s base price ($512,266).  NKF&R’s share was $202,431 and included taxes and delivery.   According to its web site, the PSGP “ … is one of the  … programs that directly support(s) maritime transportation infrastructure security activities.  PSGP is one tool in the comprehensive set of measures authorized by Congress and implemented by the Administration to strengthen the Nation’s critical infrastructure against risks associated with potential terrorist attacks.”

NKF&R’s service area stretches across 46 square miles of the northeast side of the Kitsap Peninsula, and includes 75 miles of shoreline.  Moored at the Port of Kingston and staffed primarily with crews from the district’s South Kingston Road station about 5 minutes away from the dock, the boat is well-positioned to fill gaps in the central Puget Sound region’s maritime emergency response resources.  In addition to marine rescues, the vessel will be a boon to mitigation of shore-side incidents such as beach rescues, brush fires and structure fires. Already, it was instrumental at a January 2016 structure fire on the tip of the Kitsap Peninsula that was nearly inaccessible; the cabin that burned was not served by a road.

The new boat replaces and far exceeds the capabilities of NKF&R’s current fire-rescue vessel.  The 14 year-old craft began service in 2001. Powered with an in-board jet drive, the 28’ boat tops out at about 20 knots.  Its firefighting capabilities are less robust; it can deliver only 250 gallons per minute from one monitor on the bow.  NKF&R’s Board of Fire Commissioners hasn’t yet made a decision on the future of the current boat.

The ceremony will include brief remarks from officials including U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer whose 6th Congressional District includes NKF&R’s service area.   There will be songs from the Port Gamble S’Klallam and Suquamish Tribes as well as a demonstration of the boat’s capabilities and opportunity to tour the vessel.  For further information about the event, call (360)297-3619.


 

February 20, 2016

Quick action by a Suquamish police officer limited the damage to the kitchen of a manufactured home after a cooking-sparked fire.

Quick action by a Suquamish police officer limited the damage to the kitchen of a manufactured home after a cooking-sparked fire.

COOKING FIRE SCORCHES HOME; DISPLACES FOUR

Suquamish police officer, first on scene, makes big difference using fire extinguisher before crews’ arrival to slow blaze’s progress

(SUQUAMISH, Wash.) – Four young adults were displaced and their rental home sustained moderate damage after a pan of cooking oil caught fire, rapidly spreading flames up adjacent walls and into the ceiling here this evening.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R), Poulsbo Fire Department and Bainbridge Island Fire Department crews were dispatched to the older 1,000 SF manufactured home on Center Street at 9:11 p.m. Friday when one of the occupants called 9-1-1 to report the spreading pan fire.  The crew from NKF&R’s Suquamish station was already on another call; an officer from Suquamish Police Department heard the incident dispatched and, within minutes, was on scene.  After determining that there was no one left inside the structure, he used his portable fire extinguisher to knock down the fire.  Firefighters arrived shortly thereafter to finish squelching the flames.  Within fifteen minutes of the first fire unit’s arrival, the fire was completely out.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene, determining that the fire was accidental and cooking-related.  The only person home at the time of the fire told officials that she’d been heating oil on the stovetop while preparing potatoes for frying. Looking back at the stove after turning away for just a moment, the woman found the pan ablaze.  After an unsuccessful attempt to douse the flames with flour, she evacuated the structure and called for help.  Cooking-related fires remain the most common cause of residential fires in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association.  Firefighters say that the most effective way to stop a pan fire is by smothering it with a lid or cookie sheet.

Most of the three-bedroom home escaped fire or heat damage, but smoke affected the entire building.  The kitchen – especially the area immediately above the stove – sustained the heaviest damage.  Four cats living in the home appear to have escaped the incident without injury. The building’s owner is insured, but the occupants did not have tenant insurance.  All are staying with friends and family.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.


 

January 13, 2016

CLEAN AUDIT REPORT FOR NKF&R

The report is the latest in a long-string of positive reviews from auditors

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) has received a clean report following the latest routine biennial examination of the local fire protection district’s financial and accountability practices. The review was conducted by officials from the Washington State Auditor’s Office (WSAO). The report, issued on December 31 and covering the WSAO’s late 2015 inspection of the district’s records for the years 2013 and 2014, marks the latest in consistently positive reports from similar tests administered by WSAO over the past twenty-plus years.

According to the agency’s website, WSAO is required by state law to “examine the financial affairs of local governments.” Frequency of audits varies based on things such as prior history and the size of the government entity. Given NKF&R’s track record of clean reports and its small size, an auditor visits only every two years. The process takes several weeks while the auditor comes to the district offices to examine a wide range of documents and records to assess practices and procedures. Cindy Moran, head of NKF&R’s administrative services, credits the district’s team for consistently achieving good marks. “The team works hard to make sure that we’ve got the right systems in place to be good stewards.” The audit process is time-consuming, she notes, but it has great value for the taxpayers as well as for district staff. Moran adds, “Not only does the public get confirmation that we’re handling their resources properly, we get the opportunity to learn from the auditors.”

The district’s audit reports are available at the WSAO web site under “Kitsap County Fire Protection District #10,” NKF&R’s legal name.


January 11, 2016

CABIN DESTROYED, MAN INJURED IN TOUGH-TO-REACH FIRE

Icy roads and unusual safety concerns also hampered firefighting efforts

NKF&R firefighters use hoses deployed from the district’s new fire-rescue boat and water from Hood Canal to battle a fire in a cabin that had no usable road access or fire hydrants nearby.

NKF&R firefighters use hoses deployed from the district’s new fire-rescue boat and water from Hood Canal to battle a fire in a cabin that had no usable road access or fire hydrants nearby.

(HANSVILLE, Wash.) – A 800 square-foot waterfront cabin was destroyed and an adult male was transported to a local hospital after a fire of undetermined origin early this morning on the northern-most tip of the Kitsap Peninsula. Firefighters’ initial response was delayed because there was no road access to the structure and there were warnings about responder safety associated with the address. After the scene was secured by deputies from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), twelve firefighters made their way to the cabin by trekking over ½ mile across the beach and, using water supplied by a fire boat, extinguished the fire. An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office (KCFMO) has also responded to the scene and begun the effort to find the origin and cause of the blaze.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department (PFD) crews were called to the 40000th block of Foulweather Bluff Road at 4:55 a.m. on Monday. A neighbor reported seeing flames and hearing a man yelling from the beach below the bluff. Crews, also challenged along the way by icy roads, couldn’t attempt immediate access but instead staged near the address due to the reported threats against emergency responders. Additional information about the concerns and the deputies’ work to make the scene safe for firefighters can be obtained from KCSO.

The first officers to arrive found the building fully-involved in flames. With only a dangerously narrow and unimproved switchback trail stretching thousands of feet from the bluff to the beach, crews sought alternatives to reach the fire. A crew responded in NKF&R’s new fire-rescue boat from the Port of Kingston Marina while other firefighters used Twin Spits Road to access the beach for the long hike to the scene. PFD personnel trailered an off-road vehicle from their Poulsbo headquarters to help ferry firefighters and equipment across the long distance. Crews used sea water supplied by the marine unit to fully extinguish the fire.

The man was transported by PFD paramedics to Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton with injuries that were thought to be serious but not immediately life-threatening.

This is the first emergency response for NKF&R’s new fire-rescue vessel. The 38-foot boat, funded largely by a federal Department of Homeland Security Port Security grant, was delivered in November but won’t officially enter service until later this month when crews have completed training and mechanics have finished equipping it. Three fully-trained personnel happened to be available this morning to respond with the new asset. Powered by twin 300 hp outboard motors, the vessel can make the trip from Kingston to the entrance of Hood Canal in about 25 minutes. The district plans to officially welcome the boat in a February public event.

Crews cleared the fire scene shortly after 10 a.m. There were no other injuries to firefighters or civilians. No cause has yet been determined, and it is unknown if the home is insured.