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December 8, 2020

Team effort beats odds to rescue man from Puget Sound

(KINGSTON, Wash.) — A 24 year-old was rescued successfully despite long odds after spending as long as 30 minutes in Puget Sound’s frigid waters when he fell overboard from a sailboat near here last evening — thanks to the response of other boaters, including a Washington State Ferry crew.  The Vancouver, Washington man was not wearing a life-jacket and rescuers say he is lucky to have escaped more dire consequences.

At 3:25 p.m. Monday, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called to a location off of Apple Tree Point, about a mile northeast of the Kingston Ferry Terminal and almost mid-channel, where a boat was disabled with one of its occupants in the water, according to a radio report to the U.S. Coast Guard. Firefighters sped to the Port of Kingston Marina to get NKF&R’s fire-rescue boat underway, and Marine 81 was on its way to assist within 8 minutes of dispatch.

Peter Horsman, the operator of the 23-foot motor vessel Moondance, was on his way from his home port at Seattle’s Queen City Yacht Club to Edmonds when he heard the distress call, and set a course toward the sailboat’s position.  Horsman established a search pattern in an effort to find the man. Darkness began to fall and sea conditions worsened; he later told officials that he was ready to give up after 20 – 30 minutes of searching when he spotted the man in the water.  Horsman brought him aboard and started to help him get warm. The small boat from the ferry Walla Walla, which had diverted from the Edmonds-Kingston route to assist, came alongside and offered to take the man to the ferry where medical equipment was available.  The man was passed to that crew and, after the small boat returned, the ferry headed into the Kingston Ferry Terminal. An off-duty firefighter/paramedic from Clallam County Fire District #3 (Sequim) also helped, having answered the ferry crew’s call when they asked for medical personnel.  An NKF&R paramedic unit provided care to the man when the boat arrived in Kingston.  He ultimately declined ambulance transport, opting instead to meet his brother in Edmonds where the boat was being towed. Firefighters got the man dry clothes and a meal while making sure he had a warm place to wait for the ferry across.

Officials are calling the man lucky, noting that it’s remarkable to make a successful rescue under these conditions.  The chilly waters can hamper the abilities of even the strongest swimmers in as little as 15 minutes and, absent a life jacket, it can be difficult to remain afloat and visible.  Puget Sound’s vast area, the approach of nightfall and rough waters further decreased the chances for a good outcome.

The pair had been taking the 22-foot sailboat from Blaine to Edmonds and were headed for a stop in Kingston when the mishap occurred.  The brother who remained aboard the boat was unable to make a rescue due in part to the afternoon’s windy conditions but his radio report spurred firefighters’ response as well as that of other boats in the area including the Moondance.  As the incident illustrates, it takes a team effort to make a difference — especially when circumstances make the odds long.

Firefighters sometimes refer to their fire engines as big toolboxes on wheels. Several of those tools were put into action to free a man from beneath a rolled tractor near Kingston today. Clockwise from left is the Hi-Lift Rescue Jack, step chocks, ratchet straps and chain.

November 21, 2020

Firefighters free man trapped under rolled tractor

(KINGSTON, Wash.) — A Kingston man appears to have escaped serious injury after becoming entrapped under a 2,500-pound tractor when it rolled over onto him near here today. Firefighters used a variety of rescue tools to rapidly free the man, and believe that he may have been protected by the thick vegetation that filled the roadside ditch where the man and the tractor landed.

An NKF&R lieutenant works to position a jack in preparation for lifting a rolled tractor off its operator near Kingston today.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called to Leyman Lane at 11:46 a.m. on Saturday after the man used his cell phone to call 9-1-1.  The first unit arrived on scene within four minutes and crews had freed the man just ten minutes after that. The same conditions that cushioned the man complicated the rescue; working in the vegetation-filled ditch six feet below the road surface, firefighters used ratchet

straps secured to the fire engine to stabilize the tractor and gradually raised it off the man using a specialized jack, slipping step chocks underneath as space was created.

Once freed, the man declined medical treatment or transport. He told crews that he’s been operating the tractor along the side of the roadway when the shoulder gave way, causing the mishap.

Cracks in a pellet stove’s chimney pipe likely led to an attic fire in Hansville.

November 9, 2020

Damage limited in Hansville attic fire

(HANSVILLE, Wash.) — Early detection and a fast fire department response kept a chimney-sparked attic fire from causing much more serious damage here this morning.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were initially dispatched to a possible chimney fire at a home on Twin Spits Road at 7:50 a.m. Monday.  Based on additional information provided as crews sped to the scene, the incident was upgraded to a structure fire and more units from Poulsbo Fire Department as well as from NKF&R were called to the scene. The first crew arrived in just over 5 minutes.  Light smoke was coming from the eaves and the home was evacuated.  Twin Spits Road was blocked by fire engines as well as by hose lines as crews tied into a nearby hydrant.  Firefighters were able to make access to the attic and snuff the incipient fire quickly, using less than five gallons of water.  Other crews still en route to the scene were returned to their stations.

Twin Spits Road was closed for about an hour while firefighters worked to snuff an attic fire there.

It appeared that several cracks in a pellet stove’s chimney pipe had allowed superheated air to reduce the ignition temperature of wooden structural members nearby in the attic.  These items were just starting to burn when the problem was detected; the ensuing fire’s damage was likely limited because the occupants were home, noticed smoke coming from the house’s eaves and got firefighters on their way with an early 9-1-1 call.

Officials recommend that all chimneys be swept and inspected annually by certified professionals who have the equipment to detect dangerous defects before a problem arises.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians, and Twin Spits Road reopened to traffic after about an hour.

November 9, 2020

After working to extinguish a brush fire in a Little Boston ravine for over two hours on Sunday evening, an NKF&R firefighter rolls one of the multiple sections of hose that had to be deployed to reach and snuff the blaze.

Brush fire scorches an acre near Kingston

(KINGSTON, Wash.) — About an acre of vegetation was scorched but no structures were damaged in a brush fire on the Port Gamble S’Klallam Reservation on Sunday evening. Fire officials say the blaze likely resulted from an outdoor burn pile near an adjacent home.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called to a Boston Lane address at 4:38 p.m. after a neighbor called to report a possible fire in the woods. The first units arrived to find flames of 3 – 4 feet and spreading at a moderate pace in a ravine.  High winds were fanning the fire and carrying embers.  While one crew pulled 500 feet of hose into the gully to begin extinguishing the fire from its north side, another crew tied into the nearest hydrant about 400 feet away. Others pulled 500 feet of hose to attack the blaze from its south side. Two hours and an estimated 15,000 gallons later, the fire was extinguished.

The homeowner told fire officials that he’d been burning a stump and other natural vegetation earlier in the week, and fully extinguished the fire on Thursday.  Since that time, he’d smelled smoke in the area and had searched for its source multiple times without ever finding flames or embers. Though firefighters were unable to pinpoint the fire’s cause but evidence at the scene and the homeowner’s statements suggest that it may have been sparked when fire spread underground into the ravine through the root system of a stump that was part of last week’s burn pile.

The fire came within about 100 feet of structures.  Officials note that the outcome could have been much worse had the blaze broken out before this fall’s rains.

Despite darkness and uneven terrain, there were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

September 30, 2020

We have an update to the September 27 story about the heat lamp fire; NKF&R officials learned today that the chicks did survive the fire. Good news!

September 27, 2020

Another heat-lamp fire sparks warning from fire officials
No injuries to firefighters or civilians, but 25 baby chicks perish

(Between KINGSTON and SUQUAMISH, Wash.) — Damage from the latest in a string of heat-lamp-related fires in Kitsap County was minimal because it was discovered and squelched quickly, but similar incidents have been far more destructive. Officials urge care with these and all heat-generating appliances.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and others were dispatched to the possible house fire on Indianola Road near its intersection with Miller Bay Road just after 10 p.m. on Thursday after a family member who happened to be outside noticed flames and alerted others. They evacuated, called 9-1-1 and successfully knocked down the fire using water and fire extinguishers. Fire crews arrived to find the fire mostly out; they finished snuffing hot spots and ventilated the home.  Damage was limited to a small portion of the home’s exterior with light smoke affecting the interior.

The family told crews that the heat lamp they’d been using to keep 25 chicks warm appeared to have fallen into and ignited the chicks’ nesting material. NKF&R crews have responded to at least four similar events in recent years (see the district’s press releases dated 6/24/16, 6/16/18, 9/9/18 and 2/18/20) while other county fire districts have responded to several more in the same time period (see this 2019 story in the Kitsap Sun).

Officials suggest keeping chicks warm with safer alternatives such as hot water bottles.  If heat lamps are used, the fire risk can be reduced by following the manufacturer’s directions, avoiding the use of extension cords/plugging the appliance directly into a fixed outlet, ensuring the appliance is secure to prevent tipping or falling and well clear of combustible materials.

September 25, 2020

Kitsap County outdoor burn bans lifted
Return of wet fall weather eases fire danger

(PORT ORCHARD, Wash.) –The Kitsap County Fire Marshal announced this morning that, effective immediately and due to the return to fall weather patterns, the summer’s outdoor burn bans have been lifted.

As of Friday, September 25, 2020 all outdoor burning may resume subject to the normal rules and regulations. Land clearing burning is still prohibited throughout the county and burning permits are required for general outdoor burning. Permits are available free of charge through local fire districts’ websites. Recreational burning (fires of less than 3’x3’x2′ in a designated pit and containing only seasoned firewood or charcoal) may be conducted without permits.

A Stage 1 Outdoor Burn Ban was implemented on July 30 due to rising fire danger and the risk posed by outdoor burning.  Between 80 – 90% of all wildfires are human-caused and escaped outdoor fires are the leading source. The ban was elevated to Stage 2 on September 8 due to worsening conditions that included stretched firefighting resources as wind-driven fires broke out across the state. “The return of fall rains has decreased fire danger enough to allow outdoor burning again,” says Kitsap County Fire Marshal David Lynam. He adds his appreciation for everyone’s patience as officials waited for moisture levels to be restored to the region’s parched landscape. Until earlier this week, less than an inch of rain had fallen since the end of June.  “I know there has been rain, but it has taken some time for the moisture to soak in.”

Despite the improvement in fire danger, Lynam urges the public to exercise caution when burning and to consider the impact of smoke on neighbors. Find links to local fire districts and the outdoor burning rules on the fire marshal’s web page.

September 9, 2020

NKF&R Hosts Virtual 9/11 Remembrance
Firefighters overcome obstacles to continue 18-year tradition

(KINGSTON, Wash.) — Their usual plans nixed by the pandemic, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) firefighters and staff have found a way to continue their long-standing practice of marking the solemn anniversary by gathering community for a good cause in the names of those lost in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in-person attendance is limited to NKF&R personnel and this year’s event won’t include the traditional breakfast. Instead, the community is invited to gather virtually for a brief ceremony via Facebook LIVE beginning at 7 a.m. Assistant Chief Rick LaGrandeur will offer short remarks before the on-duty crew raises and, then, lowers the station flag to half-staff. Viewers will be invited to join firefighters in a moment of silence for the September 11 victims. This year, firefighters have chosen to honor Boys & Girls Club of North Kitsap (BGCNK) for their invaluable service to the community’s families during the pandemic. LaGrandeur will welcome BGCNK Director Chelsea Tate and present her with a donation from NKF&R’s firefighters, staff, volunteers and commissioners. The public will be invited to support the club, too.

In 2003, NKF&R began hosting the public for breakfast every September 11. Using a fund supported primarily by gifts from members, firefighters have provided free breakfast to the community while accepting donations for the charity chosen as that year’s beneficiary. Past charities have included the American Red Cross, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Kitsap Humane Society, Kitsap Mental Health Services, Kingston High School ASB, Kingston Cooperative Preschool, Village Green Foundation, Coffee Oasis, North Kitsap Schools Foundation, YWCA Alive Shelter, and Tuesday’s Children/Snowball Express.

To join in the event, go to www.facebook.com/nkfire. To join firefighters in supporting the local club, send a donation to the club at 26159 Dulay Rd NE in Kingston, WA 98346. Be sure to note “North Kitsap” on the check’s memo line.

September 8, 2020

Fire Danger on the Rise; Burn Ban Expanded to Stage II

(KITSAP COUNTY, Wash.) — Due to rising fire danger and stretched resources, the Kitsap County Fire Marshal is expanding the current burn ban to prohibit all outdoor fires, effective immediately and until further notice.

The move is prompted by several factors. Hot and dry weather has made conditions ripe for ignition and fast fire spread, and forecasts predict more of the same. Multiple local brush fires broke out over the weekend, underscoring the danger. Large fires in progress across the state have depleted all but local firefighting resources. “Escaped outdoor fires are a leading cause of wildland fires,” notes Kitsap County Fire Marshal David Lynam. “Given these circumstances, the best way to prevent a big incident in our county right now is by preventing it from starting in the first place.”

Under a Stage II Fire Danger Burn Ban, no open burning is allowed. All outdoor burning permits remain suspended, recreational fires are prohibited, and only propane or natural gas-fueled cooking fires are allowed.

While outdoor fires are to blame for many dangerous brush fires, there are other causes as well and Lynam says, “The situation is serious, and we really need everyone’s help limiting all ignition sources.” Dispose of smoking materials properly. Secure trailer chains to prevent sparks. Practice fire-safe target shooting (where target shooting is allowed). Defer mowing until conditions improve.

To check on the current status of the outdoor burn ban, contact the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office at (360)337-5777 or your local fire district.

April 28, 2020


(SUQUAMISH, Wash.) — When a damaged battery on a charger apparently sparked a fire here Sunday afternoon, a detached garage and most of its contents were saved thanks to a working smoke alarm, alert neighbors and firefighters’ fast response.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R), Poulsbo Fire Department and Bainbridge Island Fire Department crews were dispatched to a possible house fire at an Angeline Avenue address just after 3 p.m. The first unit, from NKF&R’s Suquamish station, was on scene in just over four minutes. They found light smoke coming from the single-car garage and a smoke alarm sounding. Making entry through the structure’s mandoor, they were able to quickly extinguish the growing fire — but not before the blaze had destroyed most of the shelving and materials in the small garage’s southeast corner. Having snuffed the flames, crews returned most of the units to their stations while several other firefighters remained on scene to ensure the fire was completely out.

The homeowner told crews that the battery had fallen into Puget Sound and, after retrieving it, he attempted to restore its charge. He’d been inside his adjacent home when neighbors, having heard an activated alarm in the garage, knocked on his door to inform him of the problem.  The homeowner called 911 to get fire crews on their way.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

April 21, 2020


An early 911 call, residents’ fire extinguishers and firefighters’ response helped keep this outbuilding fire from spreading to involve another outbuilding and two adjacent homes.

(KINGSTON, Wash.) — A small outbuilding was seriously damaged when a boiler’s compromised smokestack allowed hot gases to ignite the structure but the occupants’ quick actions and the fire department response kept the blaze from spreading to adjacent buildings.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department (PFD) crews were called to a home off of Kingston View Court, about 2 miles NNW of Kingston at 4:11 p.m. on Monday after a resident at the home found smoke and flames coming from the 10′ x 12′ shed and called 911 to report the blaze. Family members used five fire extinguishers and a garden hose to hold the flames in check while firefighters made their way to the scene. The first crew arrived in just over 8 minutes, and reported fire coming from the small building. Firefighters were able to quickly snuff the flames and, assured that the fire wasn’t spreading to other nearby structures, returned the units not yet on scene to their stations.

This hole in a boiler’s exhaust stack is thought to have allowed heat to escape and spark a fire in an outbuilding near Kingston on Monday afternoon.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the incident. Based on witness statements and evidence at the scene, the investigator believes that the fire was accidental and sparked by a flaw in a boiler’s exhaust stack. Housed inside the wooden shed and used to heat water that supplies heat to the adjacent large residence, the thermostat-controlled boiler had been idle for a period of time before working since starting up again that morning. The investigator found a hole in the pipe that likely allowed heat to escape, eventually lowering the ignition temperature of surrounding materials in a process called pyrolysis.

Officials recommend that all chimneys and stacks be cleaned and examined by certified chimney sweeps at least once a year. Such inspections are key to preventing these types of fires.

The family is insured. Although a small amount of smoke made its way into the main home through the conduit that carried the pipes of heated water in from the boiler, there was no significant damage to the residences and the family was not displaced.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

April 8, 2020


(KINGSTON, Wash.) — Firefighters rescued three adults from their foundering 65′ vessel off of President Point, about 4 miles south of here early this morning.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department (PFD) crews were dispatched at 5:17 a.m. Wednesday after the U.S. Coast Guard received a distress call from the vessel Kathleen, reporting that the boat was aground and taking on water. Upon receiving additional information indicating that the vessel’s occupants weren’t in immediate danger, officials reduced the size of the response and returned PFD crews to their stations. One NKF&R crew got underway from Port of Kingston in the district’s fire-rescue boat, Marine 81, while others headed to a land-based vantage point. A fishing vessel located the distressed boat first but, due to shallow waters in the area, was unable to provide direct assistance. For the same reasons, Marine 81 couldn’t get to the Kathleen so her crew deployed a life raft and climbed aboard. Marine 81’s crew got a line to the raft and pulled it in, bringing the Kathleen’s three occupants onto the fire-rescue boat for the trip back to Kingston.

The boat’s owner and operator told firefighters that he likely he fell asleep while underway from Gig Harbor and was awakened only when the bilge alarm sounded as the grounded and listing vessel began taking on water.

High tide in the area was at about 5:30 a.m.

Upon their departure, NKF&R crews noted no evidence of leaking or spilling fuel but, as a precaution, have turned the incident over to the U.S. Coast Guard and Washington State Department of Ecology.

For video, click here. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

April 3, 2020

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue Firefighter Harrison Hause moves through the narrow spaces of a 40′ sailboat where a blaze scorched the vessel’s interior on Friday evening at the Port of Kingston Marina.

Combustibles too close to heat source thought to be cause

(KINGSTON, Wash.) — A small fire, thought to have been started when a diesel heater sparked nearby combustibles, displaced a couple and their pets from their 40′ liveaboard sailboat at Port of Kingston Marina here this evening.  While there were no injuries to firefighters or civilians, the family cat was hurt. A small dog apparently escaped without harm.

A fire in the cabin of a 40′ sailboat, left, drew North Kitsap Fire & Rescue firefighters and their fire boat, right, to the Port of Kingston Marina on Friday evening.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were called to the moorage facility’s guest dock just before 5 p.m. Friday after a bystander called Kitsap 911 to report a possible marina fire. The first units arrived on scene in just over five minutes, and found only light smoke.  The bystander met them to report that the boat owner had squelched the flames with a nearby garden hose before leaving to rush his injured cat to a vet.  NKF&R’s fire-rescue boat, Marine 81, also responded to the incident. Upon determining that the fire was out, crews canceled units still en route from Poulsbo. Firefighters finished extinguishing remaining hot spots and removed as much smoke as possible from the cabin.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue’s boat, Marine 81, is cross-staffed by firefighters assigned to the district’s South Kingston Road station. When a fire broke out aboard a vessel at Port of Kingston Marina early Friday evening, crews responded to the harbor and had the boat underway less than seven minutes after dispatch.

The boat owner later returned, telling officials that he’d lit the boat’s heater and went ashore to use the marina’s restrooms. When he returned, he found smoke and flames. It appeared that clothing was ignited by the hot appliance and spread to involve other nearby combustibles. The fire caused significant interior damage but the vessel’s hull was not affected.

Even in small spaces like boat cabins, firefighters recommend keeping combustibles well clear of heat sources.

The American Red Cross is assisting the couple who is thought to have been uninsured.

March 30, 2020

Bremerton Fire Department, Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue, Poulsbo Fire Department and South Kitsap Fire & Rescue all participating in the program

(KITSAP COUNTY, Wash.) — We will always respond when you need us. With COVID-19 cases present in our community, there’s a new opportunity for you to help your first responders stay safe when responding to your home. Community Connect bridges the information gap before 9-1-1 is called, allowing you to share specific information about your household so that we may better serve you during an emergency.

Now, there’s a special section for COVID-19. By answering a few questions regarding the health of members in your household, our crews will know what precautions they need to take when responding while also gaining visibility into how this health crisis is affecting our community as a whole. This information remains private and is only accessible when responding specifically to your address.

To begin, just visit Community Connect and enter your address.  The program will make sure you’re directed to the correct fire department that serves your location.

You may already be familiar with Community Connect if you have already completed your home’s profile or even if you’ve applied for a burn permit online.  If so, the same login will give you access to fill out different sections such as pet information, functional needs in the household, where the gas and water shutoffs are located, and more. If not, everyone nationwide now has access to self-report their COVID-19 related information in addition to the Community Connect instances already up and running in some districts such as Kitsap County, many departments in Pierce County, Lacey, and Eastside.

Community Connect comes to you after more than a year of collaborative work between Kitsap County’s public safety agencies and First Due, a provider of cutting edge technology for our first responders and builders of Community Connect programs around the country.

So please, take a few minutes to visit Community Connect to #selfreport. Beating COVID-19 will take everyone’s help, and your first responders are already thankful for yours.

February 26, 2020

NKF&R firefighters willl demonstrate both medical and firefighting skills in a public event on March 4, 2020 from 2 – 3 p.m. at the district’s headquarters station.

March 4 demonstration to showcase program that’s helped more than 180 alumni get hired into the industry

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) is accepting applications for its highly-regarded and effective Volunteer-Intern Firefighter Training Program through March 27. To help inspire potential candidates, the district is hosting a demonstration of firefighting and emergency medical skills on Wednesday, March 4 from 2 – 3 p.m. at the district’s headquarters fire station (26642 Miller Bay Road NE).

The event, which is open to the public, will include the opportunity to observe on-duty crews conducting a typical firefighting training exercise. Next, firefighters will simulate the resuscitation of a cardiac arrest victim. Senior staff members will be on-hand to explain the activities during the drills and available afterward to answer questions.

Program participants receive training, education and certifications that would otherwise cost thousands of dollars. They also receive reimbursement for food and emergency responses while serving on shift. In exchange, they provide volunteer service to the community and gain real-life experience serving alongside the district’s veteran paid personnel. These valuable assets help participants gain an edge over others in the highly-competitive fire service job market — as demonstrated by the many program graduates working in the field.

Graduates of the program, which started in 1987, are working in all of Kitsap County’s fire agencies as well as at Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Everett, Kirkland, Redmond, Eastside Fire and Rescue, Lacey, Tukwila, West Pierce, South Snohomish, Snohomish County Fire District #7, South King, Puget Sound Fire Authority, Valley Regional Fire Authority, Port Ludlow, East Jefferson, Port Angeles, Pasco, Richland, Portland and beyond.

To apply to the program, candidates must include a valid CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) card along with their application, due March 27. The test is available in the region through at least two independent testing companies: Public Safety Testing and National Testing Network. Candidates must also possess a valid driver’s license and a high school diploma or GED certificate. Applicants meeting the minimum requirements will participate in a written test of general knowledge on Saturday, April 4; those passing the written exam will be interviewed by a panel of veteran firefighters on Sunday, April 5.

For more information, see the district’s web site at www.nkfr.org or call (360)297-3619.

February 18, 2020

Baby chicks perish but closed doors and fast fire department response limits damage to home

(INDIANOLA, Wash.) —  Working smoke alarms are being credited with saving a home’s occupant but several baby chicks died and the house’s interior sustained significant damage in a fire that appears to have started when a heat lamp’s clip failed, dropping the hot light into a box of combustibles here on Monday evening.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R), Poulsbo Fire Department and Bainbridge Island Fire Department crews were dispatched  to the residence on Loughrey Avenue at 9:42 p.m. on Monday after a woman inside called 911 to report being awakened by activated smoke alarms and finding flames in her home’s living room. She also told call receivers at Kitsap 9-1-1 that she might not be able to get out as the fire was between her and the home’s exits.  The first personnel, coming from NKF&R’s headquarters station, were on scene in less than seven minutes; they found the woman safely outside.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire quickly. They say the flames were easily snuffed because the blaze’s spread was held in check by the door, closed behind the woman as she exited and depriving the flames of the airflow needed to grow.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the incident.  Witness statements and evidence at the scene point to the home’s living room as the area of the fire’s origin and a heat lamp in use to keep baby chicks warm there as the likely ignition source.  The investigator, Deputy Fire Marshal Ken Rice, said that the incident’s outcome would almost certainly have been tragic without working smoke alarms; according to the National Fire Protection Association, the chances of surviving a home fire are doubled when working smoke alarms are present.  NKF&R firefighters will provide smoke alarms free of charge upon request.  Call (360)297-3619 to schedule an installation.  Firefighters also recommend making and practicing fire escape plans that include at least two different ways out of every room and one meeting place outside.

In 2018, a Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputy saved a Port Orchard family of seven from a fire that is thought to have been sparked by a heat lamp in use to keep chicks warm.  That same year, NKF&R firefighters responded to at least two similar and significant fires caused by heat lamps.  Because these types of fires have become increasingly common around the county, officials encourage chicken-keepers to use other means (hot water bottles, bringing the brood box into a warmer space, etc) to keep the young birds warm.  If heat lamps must be used, officials recommend carefully following the manufacturer’s directions for securing the devices and ensuring clearance between the lamp(s) and combustible materials such as shavings or the boxes themselves.

The woman was transported to a local hospital as a precaution, and released shortly thereafter.  While fire damage was mostly limited to the room where the fire began, heavy smoke and water damage has affected most of the 1,900 SF structure. As of last evening, one of the family’s two cats had been located and was apparently uninjured.  The other, a large white male with golden eyes and named “King,” had not been found. Two of seven baby chicks were recovered alive, and transported to an emergency vet clinic.

The woman’s husband was not at home at the time of the fire.  There were no other injuries to firefighters or civilians and the family is insured.

February 7, 2020

Taken as firefighters sped to the scene, this photo shows heavy fire engulfing a sleeping cabin after a cell phone charging cord apparently sparked a blaze in the 12’ x 12’ wooden structure.

Teen’s possessions and pets lost in the blaze

 (KINGSTON, Wash.) – Two pet reptiles perished and most of a teen’s possessions were destroyed when a cell phone charging cord, left plugged in and on a bed, apparently sparked a fire in his sleeping cabin here on Wednesday morning.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called to a reported shed fire off of Timber Lane at 10:43 a.m.  The first crews arrived on scene less than seven minutes after dispatch and found the 12’ x 12’ structure fully-involved in flames.  They had the fire under control in minutes, containing it to the shed and preventing its spread to adjacent vehicles.

The 16 year-old occupant of the cabin told crews that about 15 minute prior to discovering the fire, he’d left the cabin to go into the main home for a shower.  When he returned, he found black smoke coming from the wood structure and, after a brief attempt at extinguishing the blaze, called 9-1-1 to report the fire.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene.  Based on witness statements and physical evidence at the scene, she believes that the fire likely started with a cell phone charging cord that had been left on the cabin’s bed and plugged into an extension cord.

The charging cord may have been damaged prior to the fire. Firefighters stress the importance of ensuring that cords are in good condition, noting that use of damaged cords increases fire risk.  Officials also caution against leaving any electronic equipment – cell phones, tablets, laptops or their charging cords – on a bed or other soft surface; doing so increases risk of fire because the soft surfaces prevent heat from dissipating and provide readily-combustible fuel to feed flames. In a Facebook post, the teen’s father wrote, “Almost all the teens I know have had their phone charging on their bed at some point – don’t do it! If this had happened an hour or two earlier while he was sleeping, things could have been much worse.”

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians in the incident.

November 11, 2019

Avoid similar incidents with safe disposal 

(KINGSTON, Wash.) — Improperly-discarded woodstove ashes are thought to have sparked a late Monday night fire that attracted lots of attention in a North Kitsap neighborhood and drew a large fire response.  Firefighting efforts were hampered by access and, as a result, water supply issues but the fire destroyed only a small enclosure, in use to store trash, and caused no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R), Bainbridge Island Fire Department and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were originally (and erroneously) called at 11:31 p.m. to a commercial structure fire off of Foxglove Lane after a friend of the property owner  called 9-1-1.  Multiple additional callers also reported the incident. The first crew to arrive, from NKF&R’s Miller Bay Road headquarters station, got on scene in a little over 11 minutes as they were slowed by narrow, steep and slippery roads leading to the incident location. Confirming that the fire was much smaller than initially reported, firefighters canceled most of the units still en route. There were no nearby fire hydrants and water tender trucks couldn’t make it down the driveway. Crews used the water aboard two engines (about 1,500 gallons) to handle the blaze.  Though the 200 SF enclosure was completely destroyed, there was little of value within and no other buildings were damaged.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene.  There was no electrical power to the enclosure, and the homeowner told the investigator that he’d disposed of woodstove ashes there earlier that afternoon.  Based on witness statements and physical evidence, the investigator believes that the fire was sparked by the discarded ashes and coals.

Even when cool to the touch, ashes and coals — from fireplaces, woodstoves, barbecues, etc. — can retain enough heat in their cores to ignite combustibles under the right conditions. Officials recommend that ashes be placed into a water-filled, metal can with a tight-fitting lid and away from anything that can burn.  For more details, see this informative page from Portland Fire & Rescue:  https://www.portlandoregon.gov/fire/article/387766

November 6, 2019

Prevent similar fires; give plenty of space to heat-generating appliances and candle with care

(KINGSTON, Wash.) — A bedroom was charred, and the rest of the home inundated with smoke and water after combustibles stored too close to a wall heater apparently caught fire here this morning. Firefighters credit early reporting, closed doors and quick response for limiting damage to the unit of origin. Early Tuesday morning, a candle burning unattended sparked a smoky fire in a Jefferson Beach home with no working smoke alarms.  Also, a Little Boston home sustained heavy smoke damage on Wednesday after a burner was inadvertently turned-on when a cardboard box was set atop a stove.

Damage from a Kingston Meadows fire was limited this morning thanks to an alert neighbor who spotted smoke from the adjacent unit and called 9-1-1 quickly, giving NKF&R firefighters the chance to respond fast and snuff the flames quickly.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called to a duplex on Kingston Meadow Circle at 7:28 a.m. Wednesday after the building’s other occupant called 9-1-1 to report a fire in her neighbor’s unit.  She had heard banging sounds coming through the shared wall between the two 1,273 SF, two-story dwellings and, knowing there was no one home next door. she went outside to investigate.  She found smoke coming from the other unit, heard an alarm sounding from inside and retreated to her own unit to make the call.

This door was closed when a blaze broke out in a Kingston Meadows duplex in Kingston this morning, containing the fire’s heat and smoke until just before firefighters arrived to squelch the flames.

The first crews to arrive were on scene less than five minutes after dispatch.  Noting signs that there was a fire inside, a crew forced open the locked front door to find the smoke’s source and to search for occupants.  Firefighters made their way upstairs and located the fire behind a closed door in one of the home’s three bedrooms.  Though it had grown to involve most of the small space, the fire was quickly snuffed and heat damage was limited to the adjacent ceiling areas. No one was found inside; the homeowner, who had been away at the time of the fire, returned later to confirm that the place was unoccupied.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene. Physical evidence and witness statements point to a cardboard wardrobe box, stuffed with clothing, against a thermostat-controlled wall heater as the likely origin of the fire.  The wall heater’s controller was severely damaged by the flames, but the homeowner told the investigator that it was in the “off” position.  Officials emphasize the importance of keeping combustibles clear rather than relying on thermostats to prevent the activation of heating devices.

This morning’s incident was NKF&R’s second fire response this week.  Tuesday morning, an unattended candle filled a Jefferson Beach home with smoke.  Because that residence had no working smoke alarms, it was only because one of the sleeping occupants was awakened by a phone alarm that the problem was discovered.  Damage in that fire was limited to the effects of smoke throughout the 1,500 SF structure. Candles are among the top five fire causes in the United States, sparking an average of 8,200 home fires every year, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

A passerby and automatic stove top extinguishers kept a Little Boston house fire in check this afternoon.

This afternoon at 2:11 p.m., crews from across North Kitsap made their third house fire response this week when they were dispatched to a fire in Little Boston.  The first unit arrived at the Tidewind Loop residence to find that smoke remained visible but flames were out.  A passerby apparently saw smoke coming from the home and took a closer look.  When he found flames coming from the kitchen stove, he used water from the adjacent kitchen sink in an effort to extinguish them.  The home was outfitted with over-the-stove automatic units that, when exposed to high heat, release extinguishing agent. Still, heavy smoke impacted the small residence throughout. Today’s incident marks the fourth time that these devices have been part of thwarting a house fire in NKF&R’s response areas.  An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office is at the scene. It appears that, just before the occupant left the residence, a cardboard box may have been placed atop the stove, activating one of the burners when pushed to the back.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians in any of the incidents.

October 31, 2019


We’re pasting copies of social media posts here about our crews at the 2019 California Fires. Posts appear in order, from oldest to newest.

October 28 * 9:47 a.m.
Five NKF&R members left early this morning to join the fire-fight in California. Four are staffing one of the brush engines in a five-engine strike team that also includes crews from East Jefferson Fire Rescue, Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue, Bainbridge Island Fire Department, Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue and South Kitsap Fire and Rescue. An NKF&R lieutenant is leading the strike team.

It has been difficult to watch what’s happening to the south, and we’re proud that we’re able to help. Interstate agreements ensure that participating districts will be reimbursed for the costs associated with this deployment.

October 29 * 9:52 a.m.
NKF&R crews are a part of Washington State Strike Team 5. Along with six other strike teams from the state, they rested in Redding last night. This morning, they’re en route to the #kincadefire in Sonoma County.

October 31 * 9:42 a.m.

Our crews and their colleagues on Washington Strike Team 5 are working hard and doing well.

For up-to-date general facts about the #kincadefire, see CalFire’s official information site for the Kincade Fire.


November 1 * 1:30 p.m. 

NKF&R crews, assigned to the #KincadeFire on Washington Strike Team 5 along with firefighters from five other Kitsap and Jefferson County agencies, are snuffing hot spots and checking structures in an area just east of the town of Windsor, California today.

For more info, see this interesting map of current conditions on the #KincadeFire: https://tinyurl.com/kincadeincidentmap


November 2 * 1:45 p.m.

The members of Washington Strike Team 5, assigned to the #KincadeFire, are working outside the town of Geyserville today, patrolling for smoke and hot spots.


November 4 * 1:02 p.m.

Our firefighters have been demobilized from the #KincadeFire and are on their way back. We’re wishing them safe travels and are so looking forward to having them return to their families here and at home!

November 4 * 4:07 p.m.

Our crews, who were on their way home along with their colleagues on Washington Strike Team 5, have been reassigned to a fire that broke out today about 25 miles southwest of Red Bluff, California.

November 4 * 6:19 p.m.

Our crews (part of Washington Strike Team 5, which also includes firefighters and equipment from South Kitsap Fire and Rescue – Official SiteCentral Kitsap Fire & Rescue – Official SiteBainbridge Island Fire DepartmentPort Ludlow Fire & Rescue and East Jefferson Fire Rescue) and their colleagues have been working hard all day to slow the spread of the #RanchFire near Red Bluff, California.

The blaze was first reported yesterday and has already grown to 750 acres with just 15% containment. Get up-to-date info on this incident at the CalFire incident site: https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2019/11/3/ranch-fire/

November 8 * 11:39 a.m.

EDIT: It might have seemed like they were gone for much longer, it’s actually only been twelve days. Regardless, we’ll be glad to have them back!

We’ve got more good news to share today; our crews (along with the other members of Washington Strike Team 5) are on their way home after more than two weeks working on fires in California!

November 8 * 4:53 p.m.

Our brush engine and its crew were just spotted in Purdy! If you see them, be sure to wave them a “welcome home!”

November 8 * 5:40 p.m.

The crews are back from California. But, before they can go home, there’s more work to be done. Thankfully, there’s also help from the firefighters that have been on-duty here today.

October 23, 2019


(KITSAP COUNTY, Wash.) — North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) has received numerous complaints this morning from individuals reporting significant smoke in the vicinity of Miller Bay and Indianola or Gunderson Roads. It appears that the smoke is from an accidental fire in one of A & L Topsoil’s large natural vegetation piles. The fire, which was first reported to NKF&R on Sunday morning, likely started through spontaneous ignition — a common phenomenon in these types of piles — and today’s heavier smoke is probably due to a temperature inversion over the region. As of noon on Wednesday, the smoke is dissipating but weather forecasts suggest that a temperature inversion may affect us again on Thursday morning.

The fire is contained within well-established perimeters. Because it is burning inside a 600,000 cubic foot mass of large stumps and chipped materials, it cannot be easily or quickly extinguished. Applying water to the pile will only increase the volume of smoke in the area as the fire cools. Heavy equipment must be used to pull apart the debris so remaining hot materials can finish burning quickly and cleanly.

It is the business’s responsibility to resolve this problem. A & L Topsoil has been working on the pile since Sunday, remaining on-site continuously and NKF&R personnel have visited regularly to check on the progress. NKF&R officials have made it clear to A & L personnel that the situation must be handled quickly and with as little additional smoke as possible.

Spontaneous ignition (also known as “spontaneous combustion”) in natural vegetation debris piles is most common in the fall when the combination of moisture, heat from decomposition and insulation is conducive to fire. NKF&R crews responded to a similar incident in a smaller pile at Olympic Organics earlier this month.

Until the issue is resolved, NKF&R officials will be visiting the site several times a day to monitor progress and to reassess the plan.

September 26, 2019


(KITSAP COUNTY, Wash.) – Three of Kitsap County’s six public fire departments are asking voters to renew the long-standing property tax that provides funding for the area’s emergency medical services (EMS). Bremerton Fire Department, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department have each placed a measure on the November 5 general election ballot that will reauthorize their community’s EMS levy at $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation – the same rate that’s been regularly approved by voters for more than three decades – and continue these services for another six years.

About two-thirds of each agency’s total emergency responses are for medical incidents. All local firefighters are trained to at least the emergency medical technician level with many holding more advanced certifications as paramedics. The EMS levies provide dedicated funds for their training as well as for medical equipment and supplies. All of Kitsap County’s public fire agencies maintain an EMS levy. South Kitsap Fire and Rescue successfully renewed theirs in 2014 while Central Kitsap passed theirs in 2015. Bainbridge Island Fire Department renewed their EMS levy earlier this year.

Bremerton Fire Department serves the City of Bremerton. NKF&R serves northeastern Kitsap County and the communities of Hansville, Kingston, Indianola, Miller Bay and Suquamish. Poulsbo Fire serves northwestern Kitsap County and the communities of Port Gamble, Lofall, Vinland, Poulsbo and Keyport.

The EMS levy rates for the three departments have fallen since the measures were last reauthorized. State law limits the increase on each property tax to 101% of the previous highest levy. As property values increase, the levy rate must drop to keep that levy’s total tax revenue within the 101% cap. However, growth in the local consumer price index (CPI) has been more rapid; U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that Seattle’s CPI has increased by an average of 2.24% per year since 2013. Renewal of the EMS levies will also reset the levy rate back to $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Bremerton Fire’s EMS levy is currently at about $0.36 per $1,000. In the areas served by Poulsbo Fire, the current EMS levy rate is about $0.40 per $1,000. In NKF&R’s service area, the rate is currently about $0.39 per $1,000. The November measures, if approved, will replace the current EMS levies and result in an increase of $10.00 – $14.00 per $100,000 of assessed valuation for property taxes payable in 2020.

Exemptions from taxes may be available to homeowners who are 61 years or older, or disabled, and who meet certain income requirements. Additional information about tax exemptions is available through the Kitsap County Assessor’s Office at (360)337-7160. Additional information about the upcoming ballot measures is available by contacting the fire departments: Bremerton Fire Department, (360)473-5380; North Kitsap Fire & Rescue, (360)297-3619; and Poulsbo Fire Department, (360)779-3997.

September 9, 2019


(KINGSTON, Wash.) — About 1,200 SF of vegetation was charred in a Sunday brush fire that firefighters believe started with a lightning strike to a large maple tree here late Saturday evening.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called to a Barnswallow Way address off of Norman Road near Kingston just after 2:30 p.m. after the property owners discovered the slow-moving fire..  Upon arrival, firefighters reported active fire with flames reaching 2 – 4 feet in height, burning out from the base of a maple tree. The tree was split and its bark was charred, suggesting that it was struck during the previous evening’s lightning storm.  A large hemlock that appeared to have fallen long ago was also burning.  Although crews were able to quickly stop the fire’s progress and no structures were threatened by the flames, complete extinguishment of the fire was challenging.  The closest vehicle access was 400′ away and water for the suppression effort was provided by a tender truck.  Extinguishing hot spots deep in the forest floor required six firefighters about two hours and about 6,000 gallons of water.  Crews returned to the scene periodically during the rest of the day to ensure that the fire hadn’t reignited.

With the exception of a lightning-sparked house fire in Suquamish on Saturday evening, no other weather-related incidents have been reported to NKF&R crews.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians in Sunday’s incident.

September 9, 2019

Homeowners’ actions, quick response limit fire damage


(KINGSTON, Wash.) – An investigator with the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that a recalled generator was the likely cause of a September 5 blaze at an off-duty firefighter’s home near Kingston. A garage was gutted and its contents were mostly destroyed, but damage was limited by the homeowners’ actions and the fire department’s quick response. Although the flames didn’t spread beyond the detached structure to the family’s nearby home and no one was injured in the incident, officials hope to prevent future incidents by calling attention to generator safety tips.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were called to a Norman Road home at 7:55 p.m. on September 5 after the off-duty NKF&R lieutenant saw flames coming from his home’s detached garage. He immediately asked his wife to call 9-1-1 and evacuate the home’s other occupants while he attempted to attack the growing fire with extinguishers. Those efforts slowed the fire’s growth but weren’t sufficient to stop it so when the first crew arrived from NKF&R’s headquarters station, flames involved the far half of the two-car, single-story structure which is situated about ten feet from the residence. Firefighters, using large volumes of water, were able to quickly squelch the flames to prevent further damage or spread.

Evidence at the scene and witness statements point to the fire’s origin in the location of the generator which was operating due to Thursday evening’s power outage. Furthermore, the particular model of generator was under recall as a potential fire hazard, according to Kitsap County Deputy Fire Marshal Ken Rice. It was positioned outside the garage and adjacent to an exterior wall. From there, it appears that the fire spread rapidly and entered the structure’s window to involve the garage interior. Generators are very useful tools — especially in communities where power outages are common — but these appliances also pose serious risks. Rice notes that generator fires are unfortunately common. He says that many problems could be avoided if users observed the manufacturer’s recommendations which usually include the following points:

  • Operate generators, which produce considerable heat, at least three feet away from combustibles.
  • Never operate generators inside or where exhaust and dangerous carbon monoxide could enter living spaces.
  • Ensure that the area around generators is well-ventilated to allow heat and exhaust gases to dissipate.
  • Do not add fuel to a hot generator.
  • Register new appliances, including generators, with manufacturers to help ensure you’re informed if the item is recalled.
  • Prevent shock and electrocution by following electrical safety practices as outlined in this Occupational Safety and Health Administration flyer on Portable Generators.

The family is insured. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

September 8, 2019



(SUQUAMISH, Wash.) — No one was injured and, thanks to early detection and fast fire department response, damage was limited after a small fire was sparked by an apparent lightning strike at a Suquamish home yesterday evening.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were called to the Soundview Boulevard residence at 9:04 p.m. Saturday at the height of the evening’s thunderstorm. The occupant of the 1,200 SF cottage heard a sudden loud crack and, upon investigating its source, found fire burning on the exterior wall of the structure. She called 9-1-1 and evacuated the residence. The first unit to arrive came from NKF&R’s Suquamish fire station, and was on scene in about five minutes. That crew was able to quickly knock down the flames which had scorched about 30 SF of exterior siding as well as sections of adjacent cable and propane supply lines. Luckily, only the exterior coating of the propane line was damaged, and the pipe wasn’t compromised.

Although the fire was extinguished quickly and the home remains liveable, firefighters spent another hour thoroughly checking for any other hot spots and installing new smoke alarms.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

September 4, 2019

Donations to benefit Greater Kingston Kiwanis will be accepted

(KINGSTON, Wash.) — As has been their annual tradition for seventeen years, the firefighters, staff, commissioners and volunteers of North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) are hosting a free community breakfast in quiet commemoration of those lost in the September 11, 2001 attacks. The light continental fare will be served from 7 – 10 a.m. at the fire district’s headquarters station (26642 Miller Bay Road NE near Kingston). The event is open to the public and, although there is no charge for the breakfast, donations will be accepted to benefit Greater Kingston Kiwanis and that club’s efforts to improve the lives of children in our own community and around the world.

NKF&R members started the tradition on the second anniversary of the 2001 attacks. The goal has been to mark the solemn date in a way that is both meaningful and sustainable over time. The fire district’s members fund the meal, often in partnership with Port Madison Enterprises and the Clearwater Casino Resort. The breakfasts bring community members together in support of a good cause. There’s

Firefighters and community members came together to benefit NKF&R members’ Community Partnership Fund at the district’s 2018 9/11 breakfast.

never a charge for guests, but NKF&R personnel always accept donations to benefit the charity they’ve chosen to support each year. Since the first 9/11 breakfast in 2003, the event has raised funds to support a variety of community organizations, including Village Green Foundation, Kingston High School ASB, Kingston and Hansville Cooperative Preschools, Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, American Red Cross, Tuesday’s Children, Snowball Express, Kitsap Mental Health Services, Kitsap Humane Society, Coffee Oasis and the members’ own Community Partnership Fund which pays for many of the district’s programs such as bike helmets, life jackets, smoke alarms, address signs, cab rides home from the hospital and more.

August 28, 2019

NKF&R Lieutenant Chris Smith looks for hot spots in the remnants of a small shed that was destroyed when a controlled fire, prohibited under the current burn ban, escaped and spread up a waterfront embankment near Kingston on Tuesday morning.

Fire danger on the rise, Phase 1 Outdoor Burn Ban still in effect

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – A small shed and its contents were destroyed and about 2,500 square feet of vegetation burned after a controlled fire escaped to ignite grasses, bushes and small trees along the shores of Puget Sound south of here Tuesday morning.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were initially called to an address in the 22000 block of Jefferson Point Road to investigate smoke from an unknown source in the area at around 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Shortly thereafter, the incident was upgraded to a brush fire response after multiple callers reported seeing flames. The first crew on scene found the shed fully-involved and flames spreading quickly up an embankment. Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to involve the homes at the top of the bank despite the site’s steep terrain. Tender trucks provided the water supply. Eleven fire personnel spent 2-1/2 hours in the effort to fully extinguish the fire.

A neighbor told crews that he’d been burning on the beach and thought the pile was out when he looked away to weed-eat nearby. The morning’s breeze apparently fanned the smoldering fire and, soon, was spreading it through the dry landscape up the bank. After an unsuccessful attempt to squelch the fire, the man called 9-1-1.

Due to elevated fire danger and the fact that escaped controlled burns are a leading cause of wildland fire, a Phase 1 Outdoor Burn Ban has been in effect for Kitsap County since June 28. Under a Phase 1 ban, only small recreational fires (made of dry, seasoned firewood or charcoal and less than 3’ x 3’ x 2’ in a designated fire pit) are allowed. Although the summer’s temperatures have been cooler than expected, fire danger remains a concern — as underscored by Tuesday’s blaze. Furthermore, fire danger is expected to increase further as warm and dry weather is forecasted across the region for the coming holiday weekend and beyond.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians in Tuesday’s incident.

August 8, 2019

Passerby’s 9-1-1 call gets firefighters to the scene in time


(LITTLE BOSTON, Wash.) – An older pick-up was destroyed by flames that firefighters believe was started by an extension cord but a nearby home escaped damage — thanks to a passerby who called in the fire, and alerted the family sleeping inside the house.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Bainbridge Island Fire Department (BIFD) crews were initially dispatched to the Little Boston Road location at 1:45 a.m. Thursday after a 9-1-1 caller reported a brush fire also involving a vehicle.  As crews made their way to the scene, 9-1-1 call-receivers got more information suggesting that the fire was about to spread to the adjacent occupied home. The duty chief upgraded the response to include additional units from NKF&R, BIFD and Poulsbo Fire that would be needed to battle a full structure fire. Less than ten minutes after dispatch, the duty chief arrived on scene and reported the vehicle fully involved with flames headed toward the now-evacuated home.  An engine from NKF&R”s Kingston station got to the scene just three minutes later and quickly squelched the flames before any damage impacted the structure. Crews believe that, without the passerby’s timely 9-1-1 call at an hour when most are asleep at home, the fire would have quickly spread to the home and threatened the lives of those inside.

Firefighters found an extension cord in the area of the fire’s likely origin.  Although it didn’t appear to be providing power to anything at the time of the fire, it was energized — plugged into an outlet — and the associated circuit breaker was tripped.  The cord was also pinched beneath a heavy piece of equipment (a gas-powered crabpot puller) that was also destroyed in the fire. Officials believe that the blaze likely started where the cord was damaged and its spread was aided by the gasoline inside the pot puller.

To prevent this type of fire, extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis and unplugged from the power source whenever not in direct use.  All electrical cords should be protected from over-insulation, pinching or other mechanical damage.

It is unknown if the family is insured; there were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

July 15, 2019

Popular Kingston-area eatery remains closed at this hour

(KINGSTON, Wash.) — A sprinkler system saved Kingston’s Puerto Vallarta restaurant after a pan on the stove caught fire today but the popular spot is closed until the resulting smoke and water can be removed from the building, and the fire protection systems can be restored.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews as well as others from Poulsbo Fire Department, Bainbridge Island Fire Department and Port Ludlow Fire – Rescue were called to the restaurant off of State Route 104 for a fire alarm activation with water flow at 12:44 p.m. on Monday. The first unit to arrive happened to be in the same shopping center as the restaurant at the time of the incident, arriving on scene in less than two minutes to find the building’s alarm sounding and occupants outside. Once crews determined that there was no longer any active fire, they were able to shut down the sprinkler’s water flow.

Restaurant employees told officials that a large pan of beans caught fire while it was cooking on the range. An employee carried the flaming pot to a prep sink where he attempted to extinguish the flames with water. Officials say that the employee narrowly escaped burn injuries. Still, the resulting cloud of steam caused three of the building’s fire sprinkler heads to activate, snuffing the fire.

Contrary to common myths about fire sprinkler systems, sprinkler heads only activate when subjected to heat or, more rarely, mechanical damage. Had the employee slid a lid over the pot to smother the flames or simply allowed stove’s automatic hood-and-duct extinguishing system to squelch the blaze, the fire would likely have been snuffed before generating enough heat to trip the sprinklers.

NKF&R firefighters plan to partner with officials from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office to provide Puerto Vallarta’s employees with additional training on how to handle fire emergencies at the restaurant.

Restaurant managers hope to re-open by late Tuesday.

July 14, 2019

Occupants, away for the day, alerted by “smart” system; security video shows fire cause

> NKF&R Firefighter Hayden Smallbeck removes a section of a Kingston home’s dining room floor after a child’s toy sparked a fire there on Sunday evening.

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – After a child’s toy apparently started a fire on a Kingston home’s deck, damage was limited because of early detection and notification as well as the rapid response of nearby firefighters.

A North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crew was called to a fire alarm activation at the small rambler off of Klabo Road at 4:35 p.m. on Sunday. The family, away for the afternoon, was alerted by a “smart” smoke detector system that uses the Internet to send notification to occupants’ cell phones, called 9-1-1 to report a possible problem after receiving the alarm. The first engine was on scene in just under seven minutes. As firefighters approached, they noted a haze in the area and called for the additional resources needed to fight a structure fire. Personnel responded from Poulsbo Fire Department as well as from NKF&R’s Hansville, South Kingston, Miller Bay Road and Suquamish stations. Three large dogs were outside the structure upon crews’ arrival but ran inside during the fire-fight. Once the fire was under control, firefighters administered oxygen to the animals using pet masks donated by a local business and turned them over to their owners’ care. Crews extinguished flames on the home’s back deck as well as immediately inside the door serving the deck. Fire damage was limited to these areas while light smoke damage affected most of the 1,600 SF home’s interior spaces. To locate and snuff remaining hot spots, crews removed small sections of the deck, exterior wall and dining room floor.

Deputy Fire Marshal Kristi Wlodarchak examines the debris from a fire, stopped before it caused more damage due to a combination of technology and fast firefighter response, at a Kingston-area home Sunday evening.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office
responded to the scene in an effort to determine the fire’s area of origin and its cause. Video from security cameras, in addition to physical evidence at the scene, was reviewed and showed how the fire started. A child’s toy, commonly referred to a bug trap and composed of a clear cover on a removable plastic tray so it can be used to capture and examine insects, was left outside on the back deck. The video shows sunlight hitting the toy’s plexiglass dome, causing it to heat until the plastic began to smoke and burn. The flames consumed the toy and spread from there, burning about 90 minutes before enough smoke had entered the structure to trip the alarm system.

Technology played an important role in today’s incident, providing early notification of a fire that otherwise might not have been discovered until the owners returned home 30 minutes after firefighters arrived. Technology, in the form of the security cameras, also helped the investigator quickly determine the fire’s cause.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians; the family is insured.

June 13, 2019

Results of similar fires have been catastrophic in the past but damage in yesterday’s two unrelated incidents was limited

(SUQUAMISH, Wash.) – Two fires, just hours apart, were stopped before causing serious damage here yesterday but firefighters want to make sure the public knows how to avoid similar events with outcomes that may be worse. In the first incident, flames from butane torch being used to burn weeds zipped through dry vegetation to threaten a nearby home’s porch. In the second incident, stain-soaked rags wadded up in a plastic bag spontaneously combusted to cause a fire inside another home’s garage.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called to an unknown-type fire in the yard of a home on Center Street at 2:47 p.m. on Wednesday. Crews arrived to find the homeowner using a garden hose to thwart the 5’ x 10’ torch-sparked brush fire that was stopped just inches from the structure. Firefighters ensured that hot spots were snuffed and the fire was completely extinguished. Officials say that, despite last week’s rains, the landscape is parched – as illustrated by yesterday’s incident — and they urge the public to use extreme caution with ignition sources.

Kitsap County Deputy Fire Marshal Ken Rice examines the likely area of origin for a fire, thought to have been sparked by stain-soaked rags, that singed a garage in Suquamish on Wednesday evening.

A fire, thought to have started when stain-soaked rags spontaneously combusted, caused limited damage to a home’s garage and its contents here this afternoon because the blaze was discovered and snuffed before it could spread. Other similarly-sparked incidents, including a March 2018 blaze that destroyed a Kingston home, have had more devastating consequences than today’s fire and officials want to call attention to the dangers of oil and stain-soaked rags.

NKF&R and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were dispatched to the Angeline Avenue home at 4:12 p.m. on Wednesday after the homeowner’s 9-1-1 call. The man told crews that he’d returned from work and discovered the flames when he opened one of the roll-up doors on the home’s attached two-car garage. He used a garden hose to slow the fire’s progress and called for help. Firefighters arrived to finish extinguishing the small fire which destroyed several pieces of furniture and the garage door openers, inundating the garage as well as its contents with smoke. An extra-thick sheetrock wall and self-closing door between the garage and the home prevented any damage from impacting the home’s living spaces.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office was called to the scene. The homeowner told officials that a contractor had been installing wood floors at the home. The contractor confirmed that a bag containing used rags was left in the garage. This information, as well as evidence at the scene, suggests that the fire started when a not-uncommon process called spontaneous heating of the stain-soaked rags led to combustion.

A close-up view of a pile of stain-soaked rags, thought to have sparked a fire in a Suquamish home’s garage on Wednesday, shows the discoloration caused by heat.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an average of 900 home fires per year are caused by this type of spontaneous combustion. The components of oil-based stains, paints and solvents release heat as they dry. NFPA writes that “If the heat is not released in the air, it builds up. That’s why a pile of oily rags can be dangerous. The heat builds up and finally causes a fire.” Officials recommend that oil-soaked rags never be left in a pile but taken outside and hung or spread on the ground. Once dry, the rags can be placed in a metal container with a tight cover, and filled with water and detergent to break down any remaining oils. For more information on safety with oily rags, see this information sheet from NFPA.

Both the homeowner and the contractor are insured. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians in either incident.

March 7, 2019

NKF&R’s Volunteer-Intern Firefighter Training Program participants receive free training, education and certifications in exchange for their volunteer service to the community. Here, the members of the program’s 2018 class paused for a picture after a weekend of live fire training at the Washington State Fire Training Academy near North Bend.

Nearly 200 program alumni working for emergency services agencies across Washington state and beyond

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) is accepting applications to test for admission into its highly regarded volunteer-intern firefighter program through April 1.   The program provides training, education and certifications along with real-life experience serving the community as volunteers alongside the district’s veteran paid personnel.  These valuable assets help program participants gain an edge over others in the highly-competitive fire service job market — as demonstrated by the hundreds of program graduates working in the field.

To apply, candidates must include a valid CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) card along with their application, due April 1.  The test is available in the region through at least two independent testing companies: Public Safety Testing and National Testing Network.  Candidates must also possess a valid driver’s license and a high school diploma or GED certificate. Applicants meeting the minimum requirements will participate in a written test of general knowledge on Saturday, April 6; those passing the written exam will be interviewed by a panel of veteran firefighters on Sunday, April 7.  If selected to join the program, recruits will spend the month of May in training Monday through Thursday.  In June, they’ll be assigned to one of the district’s three shifts to continue their training.  NKF&R crews work a 48-hours-on/96-hours-off schedule.  During certain parts of the program such as emergency medical technician training and firefighting academy, participants hours may vary to match each course’s schedule.

NKF&R’s volunteer-intern program started in 1987.  Since then, nearly 200 former members have gone on to emergency services careers.  Program graduates are working in all of Kitsap County’s fire agencies as well as at Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Everett, Kirkland, Redmond, Eastside Fire and Rescue, Lacey, Tukwila, West Pierce, South Snohomish, Snohomish County Fire District #7, South King, Puget Sound Fire Authority, Valley Regional Fire Authority, Port Ludlow, East Jefferson, Port Angeles, Pasco, Richland, Portland and beyond.

For more information, see the district’s web site at www.nkfr.org or call (360)297-3619.

February 19, 2019


(KINGSTON, Wash.) – A damaged chimney assembly, compromised when the weight of recent heavy snowfall bowed the home’s roof, is thought to have been the cause behind a fire that displaced a family of five here on Sunday evening.

Firefighters were summoned to the Glavin Lane residence when a family member returned to find flames visible from the manufactured home’s roof and alerted the four family members inside. The fire resulted in serious damage to the structure and to many of the family’s possessions but there were no injuries to firefighters or civilians, and the family is insured.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office (KCFMO) responded to the scene. Physical evidence at the site and witness statements point to the area of the chimney as the probable origin. The aging equipment, installed about 40 years ago, was most likely already weakened when last week’s snow further damaged the roof and the chimney. The home’s occupants told officials that they’d had a fire going in the woodstove all day. The KCFMO investigator believes that heat escaped from the compromised chimney to ignite adjacent combustible materials in the home’s attic, spreading undetected until flames became visible from the outside.

See the press release below, dated February 17, for additional details about the event.

Officials recommend that chimneys be cleaned and inspected annually by certified professionals.

February 17, 2019


(KINGSTON, Wash.) —  A family, unaware as they sat inside that the attic of their manufactured home was ablaze, escaped without injury when another family member saw flames as he returned to the house and alerted the two adults and one child to the danger overhead here this evening.   The cause of the fire, which displaced the family and destroyed many of their possessions, is still under investigation.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R), Poulsbo Fire Department, Bainbridge Island Fire Department and Navy Region Northwest Fire Department crews were called to the Glavin Road residence just after 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.  The first unit arrived in just under 8 minutes, and reported flames visible across the roof of the 1,700 SF structure.  All occupants and their pets were safely outside. With the closest fire hydrant over 2,000 feet away and down a long driveway, crews used water tender trucks to deliver water supply for the fire fight.

An investigator from  Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office is on scene and working to determine the point of origin and the cause for the fire. The home is insured, and those displaced are staying with family.  There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

February 5, 2019


Firefighters have been busy since winter weather arrived in North Kitsap on Sunday night, responding to almost triple the average number of incidents.  The majority have been responses to wires and trees down across roadways, non-injury car crashes and injuries from falls on ice and/or snow. However, as of Tuesday afternoon, there have been three weather-related incidents of special note.

Vehicle rolls onto driver in icy conditions
(KINGSTON, Wash.) — North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) were dispatched to the 90-degree corner on Jefferson Point Road NE, near its intersection with Rosemond Place, at 10:39 a.m. on Monday morning where it was reported that a woman was pinned under a car. Firefighters, responding in very difficult road conditions, were on scene within ten minutes and found her conscious and alert but trapped face-down in a drainage ditch with the vehicle atop her lower extremities. A bystander was comforting her and trying to ensure that she remained clear of the ditch’s running water. As quickly as possible, firefighters (assisted by deputies from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office) used a range of techniques and tools to first stabilize the vehicle and, then, to lift it enough to free the patient. The Kingston resident was then transported by paramedic unit with injuries not thought to be life-threatening.  She told crews that the mishap occurred after she’d slid towards the ditch while driving in yesterday’s treacherous conditions.  In an effort to more easily push the car away from the ditch, she had put it into neutral.  As she stepped out, the vehicle started to roll and knocked her down.

 Cooking interrupted by power outage, sparks fire when power restored
(INDIANOLA, Wash.) — Just after 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon, NKF&R crews along with firefighters from Poulsbo Fire Department, were called to a home on Spirit Hawk Lane for a reported kitchen fire. Hampered again by challenging conditions on the roads, the first unit arrived on scene in just over nine minutes to find no active flames.  The home’s two adult occupants told crews that they’d been cooking earlier in the day when the power went out.  They apparently neglected to turn off the appliance before taking a nap.  While they were asleep, power was restored to the home and the stove.  The family’s two children were alerted to the resulting fire by sounding alarms and noticeable smoke.  They woke the parents who, then, used a fire extinguisher to knock down the flames. The family called 9-1-1 and evacuated the home. Fire damage affected the stove and areas immediately above, beginning to spread into the attic before it was stopped with the extinguisher. It is unknown if the family is insured; they were not displaced by the incident and there were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

Tree into house
(POULSBO, Wash.) – NKF&R crews were called to this home off of Miller Bay Road shortly before 8:30 p.m. Monday after a large tree of 18 – 24” in diameter came down onto an attached garage, punching an approximately 2’ x 4’ hole in the roof and causing minor damage to a car inside.  The tree also struck the home’s power meter, and narrowly missed two large propane tanks.  No one was injured; the family is insured and was not displaced by the incident.

With additional cold temperatures and precipitation in the forecast, officials urge the public to be prepared for winter weather. For winter safety tips and resources, see NKF&R’s website: www.nkfr.org/be-ready-for-winter-storms.

January 6, 2019


(KINGSTON, Wash.) – A 43 year-old Poulsbo man was sent by helicopter to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center this evening after he was apparently struck by a car along Hansville Road between its intersections with 288th Street and Sunnywoods Lane.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were dispatched to the incident at about 5:12 p.m. Sunday. Crews found the unconscious man lying on the roadway. Witnesses at the scene, including the driver of the car involved, told crews that the man had been struck and thrown into the air. Airlift Northwest was summoned to meet NKF&R’s paramedic unit at David Wolfle Elementary, and the patient was transferred to the helicopter crew’s care.

Investigators from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) remained on scene, working to determine the cause of the incident. Contact KCSO for additional information about the event.

January 5, 2019


(KINGSTON, Wash.) – Despite the considerable efforts of his colleagues and emergency responders, a 35 year-old Tulalip man has lost his life following an apparent diving mishap in the waters of Puget Sound, near here this morning.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department personnel were dispatched to the incident at 10:01 a.m. on Saturday. The caller reported that CPR was in progress. NKF&R crews, responding from their South Kingston Road station to get the district’s fire-rescue boat underway from the Port of Kingston Marina, reached the patient (just off Jefferson Point, at the south end of Apple Tree Cove) within 11 minutes of dispatch. NKF&R firefighter/emergency medical technicians got the man aboard the fire-rescue boat and continued CPR as they sped back to the marina. NKF&R’s paramedic unit was already on another call, but the neighboring paramedics from Poulsbo were ready to assist when the fire-rescue boat docked. Unfortunately, the resuscitation effort wasn’t successful.

Others aboard the dive boat told officials that they’d been doing dive training in anticipation of the coming shellfish harvest season when the man became entangled in gear below the surface and lost his mask. His companions got him to the surface after an estimated five minutes, but couldn’t get him back aboard the boat. Instead, they fashioned a harness to keep the man in place and allowed them to perform CPR in the water. Officials say that the man’s colleagues worked extraordinarily hard to rescue him under very difficult circumstances.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office is investigating; for any additional information about the incident, contact that office.

2018 Press Releases

2017 Press Releases

2016 Press Releases

2015 Press Releases