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For 2018 and 2019 Press Releases, see below.

August 8, 2019

EXTENSION CORD SPARKS VEHICLE FIRE, THREATENS HOME WITH SLEEPING FAMILY
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

SPRINKLERS SNUFF RESTAURANT FIRE
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

TECHNOLOGY LIMITS DAMAGE, POINTS TO CAUSE IN SUNDAY EVENING HOUSE FIRE
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

TWO SMALL FIRES, TWO BIG PREVENTION MESSAGES
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.

TINDER-DRY VEGETATION LIGHTS OFF DURING WEED-BURNING TO THREATEN HOME
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.

OILY RAGS SPARK YET ANOTHER LOCAL FIRE
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.

NKF&R RECRUITING CANDIDATES FOR FIREFIGHTER TRAINING PROGRAM
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

CAUSE DETERMINED IN SUNDAY EVENING BLAZE THAT DISPLACED KINGSTON FAMILY

(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

FAMILY DISPLACED BY ATTIC FIRE

(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

NKF&R WEATHER-RELATED INCIDENTS TO DATE

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

MAN AIRLIFTED AFTER APPARENT CAR VS. PEDESTRIAN CRASH

(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

MAN PERISHES IN DIVING MISHAP

(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.


December 29, 2018

OCCUPANTS ESCAPE MORNING FIRE IN INDIANOLA HOME

(INDIANOLA, Wash.) – Four adults and a dog escaped without injury from a small fire that is thought to have started when an electrical short caused a long unused propane fireplace to activate, igniting adjacent combustibles here this morning.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R), Bainbridge Island Fire Department and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were called to the two-story and approximately 1,300 SF rental home at about 7:35 a.m. on Saturday morning after occupants called 911 to report it on fire. The first crew, from NKF&R’s South Kingston Road station, was on scene less than nine minutes after dispatch.  They found only smoke and a smoldering fire; one of the home’s occupants had successfully used fire extinguishers to keep the flames in check. With the blaze under control, units from the neighboring departments were returned to their stations.  NKF&R firefighters turned their attention to ensuring the fire was completely out and removing as much smoke as possible from the home.

One of the home’s occupants told officials that she became aware of a problem when, after awakening this morning, she heard an alarm sounding.  She opened her closed bedroom door to find “a wall of smoke,” and began yelling to ensure that the rest of the occupants evacuated. She used a dry chemical extinguisher to knock down the flames around the fireplace.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene.  The occupants told officials the fireplace had stopped functioning a couple of years ago.  They also explained that one of the home’s rooms was under renovation so its contents were being stored on the hearth of the inoperative fireplace. Based on evidence at the scene and statements from the occupants, the investigator believes that this morning’s fire started when an electrical short likely caused the fireplace to light.  The resulting heat ignited papers and furniture stored in direct contact with the appliance’s glass front.

Fire officials say that it’s not uncommon for fires to start in this way and recommend that, even when thought to be inoperative, any heat-generating appliance be completely secured from power and/or fuel sources. Furthermore, they recommend keeping combustibles well clear in the event that the device is accidentally turned on.

Heat damage was limited to a small area around the fireplace but light smoke damage affected the entire home.  The family was not displaced and the homeowner is insured. Although there were no injuries to firefighters or civilians, an indoor cat (a tabby-Siamese cross) is thought to have escaped the home during the morning’s commotion.


October 3, 2018

NKF&R HOSTING FIRE STATION OPEN HOUSES
First of four events this Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m.

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – The first of four fire station open houses takes place at North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) headquarters (26642 Miller Bay Road) this coming Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m.  Officials are hoping that the public will take advantage of these opportunities to tour the facilities, get important safety information, enjoy light refreshments, meet firefighters, see fire engines and ambulances, learn about the district’s upcoming ballot measure and ask questions.

Additional open house events are scheduled as follows:

  • Wednesday, October 10 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the South Kingston fire station (23260 South Kingston Road)
  • Saturday, October 13 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Hansville fire station (4911 Twin Spits Road)
  • Monday, October 15 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Suquamish fire station (18533 Augusta Avenue)

Although the public is welcome to stop by their fire stations at any time, officials note that these planned events constitute a special opportunity to learn more about NKF&R.  The district’s Proposition 1 will be on the fall ballot as a replacement measure for two expiring levies.

For more information about Proposition 1 or the open houses, contact NKF&R at (360)297-3619.


September 19, 2018

REPLACEMENT LEVY ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT

We’ve placed a measure on the upcoming ballot that, if approved, will replace two expiring taxes. Passage of the measure will help the district to maintain current levels of service by providing necessary resources to fund both operations and capital needs.

The proposed maintenance and operations (M&O) levy would allow the district to collect an additional $1.6 million in annual revenue for four years, beginning in 2019. The estimated 2019 tax rate would be about $0.48 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. However, because two of the district’s voter-approved measures are expiring and increasing assessed valuations are causing other levy rates to fall, it’s estimated that approval of the new M&O will result in a total fire tax rate for most of the district’s property owners that’s about the same as the 2018 rate.

NKF&R’s 1999 voter-approved bonds will be paid off at the end of 2018. Because the citizens served by the former Kitsap County Fire District #14 (Hansville/Eglon) were not yet a part of NKF&R when the bonds were approved, properties there couldn’t be levied for the bonds’ repayment. The $5.5 million issue funded construction and furnishing of the Kingston headquarters and South Kingston satellite fire stations, a training tower and apparatus maintenance facility as well as the purchase of apparatus. The 2018 rate on the bond repayment is about $0.15 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation.

The district’s 2014 voter-approved M&O levy also expires at the end of 2018. The 2018 rate is about $0.20 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. Furthermore, rising assessed valuations are driving down existing fire and EMS levy rates. If approved, the proposed M&O levy rate will be the same on properties across the entire district (including on properties in Hansville, Cliffside and Eglon that previously couldn’t be levied to repay the 1999 bond) but the effects on individual taxpayers will vary with property location as well as with increases or decreases to each property’s assessed valuation. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the district for information on impacts to their specific tax bill.

The November request is part of the district’s continued effort to recover from the lingering effects of the recession that started in 2008. By state law, fire protection districts are limited in their revenue sources. NKF&R receives 82% of its operating funds through property taxes so when property values plummeted, so did tax revenues. Fire and emergency medical taxes average about 15% of each property tax bill. Between 2009 and 2014, the district collected $2.5 million less in funding than it would have during normal economic conditions. Although valuations are now recovering, statutory caps on tax increases prevent the district’s revenues from recovering at the same rate.

The majority of Proposition 1’s funding will be applied toward capital projects that the district was forced to defer as it diverted resources in an effort to maintain levels of service during the recession and its aftermath. Three ambulances, one water tender truck, one fire engine, several support vehicles as well as a long list of smaller capital items are all slated for replacement over four years at a total cost of about $2.6 million. Also planned are about $1.3 million in maintenance and improvements over four years on the district’s five fire stations, including HVAC and roof replacements as well as some remodeling that will increase available work and storage spaces in existing facilities. The remaining $2.6 million will replace the funding provided by the expiring maintenance and operations levy to ensure continuation of current levels of service.

In an effort to make sure that the public has all of the information needed to make a decision on the proposal, NKF&R is attending other groups’ meetings and hosting a series of open houses:

– Saturday, October 6 from 3 – 6 p.m. at the headquarters fire station (26642 Miller Bay Road)

– Wednesday, October 10 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the South Kingston fire station (23260 South Kingston Road)

– Saturday, October 13 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Hansville fire station (4911 Twin Spits Road)

– Monday, October 15 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Suquamish fire station (18533 Augusta Avenue)

The open houses will feature staff members who can explain the details of the ballot measure and help you estimate its effect on your property taxes. There will also be light refreshments, opportunities to tour the facilities and information to help keep you and your family safe. Unable to attend? See the district’s web site at www.nkfr.org, tell us about another meeting we should attend or invite us over for coffee with your neighbors. We’d be happy to come and answer questions for any group of ten or more. Call us at (360)297-3619 to schedule.


September 9, 2018

COOP DESTROYED, CHICKENS KILLED IN FIRE
Heat lamps and extension cords among possible causes

(HANSVILLE, Wash.) — A large chicken coop was destroyed and an estimated 30 chickens were killed here in a Saturday afternoon blaze that was thought to have been sparked by heat lamps or by a failure in the series of cords used to power the lamps.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department (PFD) crews were called to reported house fire at a Buck Lake Road address just after 2 p.m. when a neighbor spotted flames, and called 9-1-1. The first unit to arrive on scene – from NKF&R’s Hansville station – was on scene within ten minutes and found not a house but a 300 square foot coop fully-involved in flames. Surrounding trees were starting to ignite. There were no nearby fire hydrants but the initial crew was able to knock down the fire and prevent its further spread using the 750 gallons of water that’s carried aboard most of NKF&R’s fire engines. With the fire largely out, other units (with the exception of water tender trucks) were canceled and returned to their stations. Crews remained on scene for another two hours, sifting through the debris to fully snuff all hot spots.

An adult male at the property told crews that two heat lamps had been operating in the coop. The lamps were plugged into a power strip that was, in turn, plugged into an extension cord that ran to an outlet on the exterior of the nearby home. Firefighters note that heat lamps have figured in multiple fire incidents around Kitsap County this year. Extension cords are an even more common cause of fire; officials say that they should only be used for temporary power and not as substitutes for permanent wiring.

The home was 150 feet away from the coop, and not damaged in the incident. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.


September 7, 2018

PHASE II BURN BAN ENDS, PHASE I BAN STILL IN EFFECT
Recreational fires allowed again but most other outdoor fires still prohibited

Shorter days and cooling temperatures have started to improve conditions so the Kitsap County Fire Marshal has lifted the ban on recreational fires as of today. However, fire danger remains high and most outdoor fires will not be permitted again until the region gets some significant rain fall.

To learn more about what’s allowed and what’s not, visit our web site’s outdoor burning page.


September 4, 2018

NKF&R FIREFIGHTERS HOST ANNUAL 9/11 BREAKFAST
Meal is free to the public, but donations accepted to benefit the NKF&R Community Partnership Fund

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – The members of North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) are once again inviting the public to remember September 11, 2001 attacks by joining with firefighters and other neighbors at a free breakfast on Tuesday from 7 until 10 a.m. in NKF&R’s headquarters fire station at 26642 Miller Bay Road NE near Kingston.

NKF&R’s members are partnering with Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort to provide the food – light, continental fare – and there is no charge to attend. Donations will be accepted to help the firefighters’ NKF&R Community Partnership Fund. The Fund is supported primarily by donations from the firefighters, staff, volunteers and commissioners of NKF&R and provides resources for emergency assistance to incident victims and their families, cab rides home from the hospital, bike helmets, smoke alarms, address signs, car seats, life jackets and much more. The Fund, managed by a team of five department members, also donates to local charities.

Tuesday’s event will mark the sixteenth time that the fire district’s members have invited the public to observe the solemn anniversary through community building and support of charitable causes. In the past, firefighters have raised funds to benefit organizations such as the North Kitsap Schools Foundation, Village Green Foundation, Kingston Cooperative Preschool, Kingston High School PTA and ASB, Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, American Red Cross, Kitsap Mental Health Services/Crisis Line, Kitsap Humane Society, YWCA Alive Shelter, Tuesday’s Children, Snowball Express and Coffee Oasis. The idea behind the event is honoring the memory of those who died that day and can no longer act for themselves by performing deliberate acts of kindness, community and compassion in their names.

All are welcome to attend; for additional information about the event, call (360)297-3619.


August 16, 2018

PHASE TWO BURN BAN BEGINS FRIDAY

(PORT ORCHARD, Wash.) –   A Phase Two burn ban begins Friday at 8:00 a.m. in Kitsap County. “Elevated temperatures for extended periods, and our lack of precipitation has created a high fire danger in Kitsap County, and across the region,” according to David Lynam, County Fire Marshal.

During a Phase Two burn ban no outdoor fires of any kind are allowed. This includes recreational fires as well as the use of backyard fire kettles, chimneys, or fire pits.  Cooking fires in contained barbecue units are permitted during a Phase Two burn ban.

“Light fuels including grass, dead brush, leaves, and pine needles, are extremely dry and susceptible to ignition from any type of spark. Even residential fires can ignite light fuels which readily spread to heavier items,” Lynam said. “Conditions are just too dangerous to continue any outdoor burning – and resources to respond to a fire if one breaks out are very limited,” he added.

No major change in weather conditions is forecasted.

Resources from surrounding communities are extremely limited and help from state and federal agencies is not immediately available. Similar bans are already in effect throughout all lands protected by the Department of Natural Resources and throughout Mason county.

The current ban is likely to remain in effect until conditions improve with significant and sustained rainfall.


August 8, 2018

NKF&R PROPOSES REPLACEMENT FOR EXPIRING LEVIES
If approved, funding will maintain current levels of service by supporting both day-to-day operations and long-deferred capital needs

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – Officials at North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) announced today that the district is placing a measure on the November general election ballot that, if approved, will replace two expiring taxes. Passage of the measure will help the district to maintain current levels of service by providing necessary resources to fund both operations and capital needs.

The proposed maintenance and operations (M&O) levy would allow the district to collect an additional $1.6 million in annual revenue for four years, beginning in 2019. The estimated 2019 tax rate would be about $0.48 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. However, because two of the district’s voter-approved measures are expiring and increasing assessed valuations are causing other levy rates to fall, it’s estimated that approval of the new M&O will result in a total fire tax rate for most of the district’s property owners that’s about the same as the 2018 rate.

NKF&R’s 1999 voter-approved bonds will be paid off at the end of 2018. Because the citizens served by the former Kitsap County Fire District #14 (Hansville/Eglon) were not yet a part of NKF&R when the bonds were approved, properties there couldn’t be levied for the bonds’ repayment. The $5.5 million issue funded construction and furnishing of the Kingston headquarters and South Kingston satellite fire stations, a training tower and apparatus maintenance facility as well as the purchase of apparatus. The 2018 rate on the bond repayment is about $0.15 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation.

The district’s 2014 voter-approved M&O levy also expires at the end of 2018. The 2018 rate is about $0.20 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. If approved, the proposed M&O levy rate will be the same on properties across the entire district (including on properties in Hansville, Cliffside and Eglon that previously couldn’t be levied to repay the 1999 bond) but the effects on individual taxpayers will vary with property location as well as with increases or decreases to each property’s assessed valuation. For detailed examples of the proposal’s effects, see the illustration at left. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the district for information on impacts to their specific tax bill.

The November request is part of the district’s continued effort to recover from the lingering effects of the recession that started in 2008. By state law, fire protection districts are limited in their revenue sources. NKF&R receives 82% of its operating funds through property taxes so when property values plummeted, so did tax revenues. Between 2009 and 2014, the district collected $2.5 million less in funding than it would have during normal economic conditions. Although valuations are now recovering, statutory caps on tax increases prevent the district’s revenues from recovering at the same rate. Fire and emergency medical taxes average about 15% of each property tax bill.

To ensure that the public has all of the information needed to make a decision on the proposal, NKF&R is hosting a series of public meetings. The most current list of those events as well as many other resources will be available on the district’s web site at www.nkfr.org.

State law requires the district to appoint committees to write both pro and con statements by August 14. Individuals interested in volunteering for either committee are encouraged to contact District Secretary Cindy Moran at (360)297-3619.

NKF&R serves the communities of Hansville, Kingston, Miller Bay, Indianola and Suquamish across a 46 square mile area. A board of five commissioners, elected at large, oversees the district. That body meets on the second and fourth Mondays of every month at 7 p.m. in NKF&R’s headquarters fire station (26642 Miller Bay Road NE). The district’s 2018 operating budget is $6.9 million. In 2017, crews responded to 3,052 incidents from four staffed fire stations. About two-third of all calls were for emergency medical services.


August 2, 2018

ARSON FIRE SCORCHES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Fire sprinkler system holds flames in check until firefighters arrive

(SUQUAMISH, Wash.) – After someone apparently set a couch ablaze outside a local elementary school late last night, the building’s fire sprinkler and monitored fire alarm system summoned firefighters and kept the flames from causing serious damage.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were initially called to a fire alarm activation at the North Kitsap School District’s Suquamish Elementary School at 11:51 p.m. Wednesday. While en route, firefighters learned that a neighbor had called to report flames coming from the northwest corner of the structure and they upgraded the incident to a full commercial fire response. Firefighters from the district’s closest station in Suquamish were already on a medical call so the first unit on scene came from the Miller Bay Road headquarters, arriving in about 10 minutes. They found heavy smoke, water flowing from a sprinkler head and glowing embers in the remains of a discarded couch, but no flames. As soon as fire officials determined that the blaze hadn’t spread, additional resources from Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island Fire Departments were returned to their stations.

About 100 SF of the building’s exterior finish was blackened. School officials believe that the couch, which was destroyed in the incident, was dumped by unknown person(s) in or near the building’s dumpster.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene. He was unable to find an accidental ignition source for the blaze, and has determined that the fire was intentionally-set. Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call Deputy Fire Marshal Ken Rice at (360)337-5777.

There were no injuries to firefighters and no known injuries to civilians.


August 1, 2018

EXPLOSION, FIRE SINKS FISHING BOAT
Adult male burned in incident

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – A Tulalip man was injured and a boat was lost to an explosion and ensuing fire on the waters of Apple Tree Cove here early Wednesday morning in what is thought to have been an accident stemming from accumulated gasoline fumes in the vessel’s bilge.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were dispatched to the cove just after 2:30 a.m. when multiple 9-1-1 callers reported an explosion and flames aboard a boat at anchor. Units responded from the district’s South Kingston and Miller Bay Road stations with the first crews at the marina and getting NKF&R’s fire-rescue boat underway in just under eight minutes. Witnesses report that firefighters had the flames out within 30 minutes of the initial explosion.

Initially, crews didn’t know how many occupants had been aboard the boat at the time of the incident and they found no one in the boat or the surrounding waters. Shortly after beginning firefighting operations, officials learned that the vessel’s operator and only occupant had been rescued from the burning boat by his uncle whose own boat had been rafted to it. They sped into Port of Kingston Marina fuel dock to seek treatment for the burns sustained by the younger man in the incident. A paramedic crew met them and, unable to get an Airlift Northwest helicopter to fly due to unfavorable weather conditions, transported the injured man by ground ambulance to Bremerton’s Harrison Medical Center. The man’s injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

The 32 year-old man told crews that he and his uncle were fishing and had just anchored in the cove for the night when he smelled gasoline. The explosion occurred when he opened a hatch in an effort to find the source of the odor.

Ultimately, the severely-damaged 30 foot boat sank. It’s unknown if it was insured.

Firefighters have access to containment booms and other materials to provide first response to hazardous materials incidents on the waters of Puget Sound, thanks to a Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) equipment trailer prepositioned at the Port of Kingston. However, when volatile fuels like gasoline are involved, booms may actually increase the risk of secondary fire/explosion and DOE officials recommend allowing the material to evaporate instead. Furthermore, the vessel’s operator told crews that there had been less than 30 gallons of gasoline aboard prior to the fire. Firefighters, noting that much of the fuel was likely consumed in the blaze and finding no sheen on the water, turned the incident over to Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management, the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard.

There were no other injuries to firefighters or civilians.


July 11, 2018

After a day of live fire training at the Washington State Fire Training Academy in North Bend, the recruits from NKF&R’s 2016 volunteer-intern firefighter academy paused to have their class photo taken with the training facility and surrounding natural beauty in the background.

NKF&R RECRUITING CANDIDATES FOR RENOWNED VOLUNTEER-INTERN FIREFIGHTER PROGRAM
Nearly 200 program alumni working for emergency services agencies in 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 July 20.

The program provides training, education and certifications along with real-life experience as participants serve the

The members of NKF&R’s 2017 volunteer-intern firefighter academy, held in partnership with East Jefferson Fire Rescue, line up to march in for their December graduation and awards ceremonies. Candidates who successfully complete the academy get more than certifications; graduates earn a sense of true achievement to carry them forward as they pursue their dream of a fire service career.

community alongside the district’s paid personnel, earning an edge over other aspirants in the highly-competitive fire service job market. Candidates must include a valid CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test, available in the region through at least two independent testing companies — Public Safety Testing and National Testing Network) card along with their application, and be available for written general knowledge testing on July 21. Those passing the written exam will be interviewed by a panel of veteran firefighters on July 22.

If selected to participate in the program, recruits will join one of the district’s three shifts in August to begin preparations for participation in an October – January firefighter academy. NKF&R crews work a 48-hour-on/96-hour-off schedule. During the academy, participants are on site four days and at least forty hours for each of the ten weeks that it’s in session.
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NKF&R’s volunteer-intern firefighter 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, West Pierce, South Snohomish, South King, Puget Sound Fire Authority, Valley Regional Fire Authority, Port Ludlow, East Jefferson Fire Rescue, Port Angeles, Lacey, Pasco, Richland, Portland and beyond.

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


July 7, 2018

KAYAK-LIKE BOAT OVERTURNS, DUMPING TWO INTO AGATE PASS
Life jackets, bystander’s help key in pair’s rescue

 

(SUQUAMISH, Wash.) – Two Bainbridge Island men were chilled but otherwise uninjured — thanks to life jackets and a bystander’s quick and effective actions — after a mishap landed them in cold water here last evening.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called to the shores of Agate Pass off of Sandy Hook Road just before 7 p.m. on Friday after 9-1-1 callers reported two boaters in the twater about 100 yards offshore in choppy waters. The district’s fire-rescue boat, responding from its berth at the Port of Kingston Marina, was speeding toward the scene but wasn’t needed; a local resident, observing the incident from shore, launched his own dinghy and rowed out to help the men.

The boaters told crews that their outing on the water, which started in Bainbridge Island’s Manzanita Bay, took a negative turn when their kayak-like craft’s outrigger/stabilizer broke off in rough seas, causing the boat to flip and sending them into Agate Pass.

Even with several emergency response boats positioned around Puget Sound, officials say that bystander assistance and life jackets are the most critical factors for ensuring good outcomes in water rescues. Even strong swimmers are at risk of drowning as Puget Sound’s frigid waters impair muscle function in as little as 15 minutes. Yesterday’s incident exemplifies these points; with a rescue boat at least twenty minutes away, the boaters’ life jackets and the bystander’s actions made the difference.

The rescuer brought both men and the boat ashore which wasn’t an easy feat. Once all were safely ashore, an NKF&R paramedic and his crew spent a half-hour with the boaters, helping them to get warm again after the incident.


June 16, 2018

NKF&R Firefighter Scott Trueblood removes glass remaining in a door that shattered when a chicks’ brood box heat lamp caught fire on Saturday morning in Kingston.

HEAT LAMP SPARKS FIRE

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – A heat lamp used to keep young chicks warm is likely to blame for a fire that damaged a rental home here this morning.  Neither the birds nor the humans who live in the home were hurt in the incident which is thought to be the sixth of the year started this manner.   Damage to the house was minimal so only the chickens were displaced; both the renters and the homeowners are insured.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R), Poulsbo Fire Department and Bainbridge Island Fire Department crews were called to a Tuckerman Avenue residence at 10:18 a.m. on Saturday when an 11 year-old boy saw smoke outside and, upon investigation, discovered a growing fire on the wooden deck of the 2,600 SF split-level home.  Although the deck faced the street in the densely-populated Kingston Hill neighborhood, a thick screen of trees likely blocked the flames from the view of passersby.   The boy awoke his older sister and the pair alerted their step-father.  The boy called 9-1-1 to get firefighters on their way while the adult effectively used a garden hose to squelch the fire. When the first unit arrived on scene about 8-1/2 minutes after dispatch, no fire was visible.  All out of district resources were returned to their stations.  Firefighters turned their attention toward

Seven one month-old chickens apparently escaped without injury when a heat lamp that was keeping them warm overnight sparked a fire that singed a Kingston Hill home on Saturday morning.

ensuring that the fire hadn’t spread further into the home’s structure, and removing smoke that had gotten inside after a glass door adjacent to the fire shattered during the man’s efforts to put out the blaze.

Smoke damage to the home was minor. Fire burned through about 10 SF of the wooden deck and singed the patio door frame as well as siding in the immediate area.

An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene.  The family members told officials that the heat lamp had been affixed to chicken wire over a shavings-filled plastic bin.  Seven month-old chicks were inside the makeshift brooder.  The lamp had been turned on last evening.  Based on evidence at the scene, the investigator believes that the lamp came loose from the wire somehow and fell into the shavings to start the fire.  Surprisingly, the chicks escaped with just a few singed feathers.

Earlier this month, 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.  Because these types of fires are increasingly common in 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.


June 5, 2018

ONE INJURED, THREE DISPLACED IN SUQUAMISH HOUSE FIRE

NKF&R Battalion Chief Ken LeMay confers with Lieutenant Todd Bailey as crews work to snuff hot spots following a fire that displaced three in Suquamish on Tuesday evening.

Cause remains undetermined

(SUQUAMISH, Wash.) – A visitor was injured and at least three adults were displaced in a structure fire near Suquamish that closed Columbia Street for over three hours this evening. Firefighters were able to save the estimated 4,800 square foot, two story and three unit building but the interior spaces were either destroyed or significantly affected by heat and smoke. No cause has yet been determined.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R), Bainbridge Island Fire Department (BIFD) and Poulsbo Fire Department (PFD) crews were dispatched to the Columbia Street address at 5:26 p.m. after several 9-1-1 callers reported the structure ablaze. The first crew on the scene came from NKF&R’s nearby Suquamish fire station, arriving just over 5-1/2 minutes after dispatch. They reported heavy smoke with flames coming from the building’s lower story windows and spreading up to the upper story. With no fire hydrants in the immediate area, the first firefighters drew from the 750 gallons of water aboard their engine to knock down the flames from outside the building. A BIFD ambulance, staffed with firefighter/EMTs, was returning from the hospital and close by; they arrived to help shortly after the first crew. Water tenders, trucks carrying thousands of gallons of water to fires in areas not served by hydrants, provided as much as 5,000 additional gallons of water to fully squelch all hot spots. A total of 21 personnel from the three fire agencies responded, assisted by officers from Suquamish Police Department and an investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Firefighters were able to save a 4,800 square foot structure that caught fire in Suquamish on Tuesday evening, but the interior spaces and the occupants’ possessions suffered serious damage.

According to the building’s occupants, there were two women in the lower level unit at the time of the fire. One was napping while the other was taking a shower. The second woman, a guest of the first woman, told the investigator that she came out of the shower to find signs of fire. She said she fled the building but returned several times in an effort to make sure the first woman safely escaped. The second woman was found outside with signs of smoke inhalation and taken by paramedics to the hospital for treatment. The first woman denied any injuries and declined treatment or transport. The occupants of the two apartments on the upper story were apparently not home at the time of the fire.

The lower story suffered the most severe fire damage in the living room area. Despite fiery destruction in the adjacent room, other lower story spaces with closed doors were somewhat protected. The upper story apartments were impacted by smoke as well as by firefighters’ efforts to chase down hot spots; the fire had traveled into the building’s eaves and voids under the roof before it was fully extinguished.

Neither the building’s owner nor the tenants are insured. The Suquamish Tribe is providing temporary lodging for at least two of the displaced occupants. The Red Cross will provide additional assistance upon the occupants’ request. The building has been secured and investigators will continue their efforts to determine a cause in the morning.


June 5, 2018

POORLY-EXTINGUISHED BONFIRE SPARKS BLAZE ON INDIANOLA BEACH
As summer fire season begins, officials urge the public to observe outdoor burning

The structures of Camp Indianola, about 300 yards away, weren’t threatened by a driftwood fire that charred a large section of the estuary that lies between Jefferson Head and Indianola last Thursday morning.

rules and take precautions to prevent similar incidents

(INDIANOLA, Wash.) – A 100’ stretch of beach was scorched after an incompletely-snuffed bonfire apparently reignited Thursday morning and spread through driftwood along the shores of Port Madison between the communities of Indianola and Jefferson Beach.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were dispatched to Jefferson Beach at 5 a.m. on May 31 after a caller at Shilshole (Northwest Seattle) called to report smoke and flames visible in that neighborhood. After searching in the vicinity for thirty minutes, firefighters were unable to find any smoke or flames. There is no direct route between Jefferson Beach and the estuary to the west; the estuary and adjacent beaches are not visible from the western end of Jefferson Beach’s Marine View Drive. At about 6 a.m., another caller reported smoke in the Indianola area. With the help of law enforcement, crews were able to locate the smoke’s source coming from the remote location.

Firefighters spent nearly three hours at the scene, and used about 6,000 gallons of water – supplied by a tender truck – to fully extinguish the embers in a smoldering 20’ x 100’ area. Several more tenacious hot spots involving larger logs were snuffed when firefighters cut the timbers into manageable pieces that could be immersed in the waters of Puget Sound. Remnants of a bonfire were found near the center of the burned area. No structures were threatened by the fire.

Beach fires such as this one are not uncommon, increasing in frequency as people take to the region’s many shores with the onset of warmer weather. Already, the state has experienced its first large wildfire of the season; the Les Blair Fire in Benton County had scorched more than 250 acres as of yesterday. Officials urge the public to learn the outdoor burning rules for the area and to check whether a burn ban is in effect. The property owner’s permission is required; outdoor fires are prohibited in many public spaces such as on the Port of Kingston’s beaches and in Kitsap County Parks. Thursday’s beach fire took place on lands owned by the Suquamish Tribe. To fully extinguish a beach fire, douse thoroughly with water.


May 20, 2018

This photo, taken by neighbor Bill Thornton, shows Friday evening’s destructive fire prior to firefighters’ arrival at the scene – just over eight minutes after the first 9-1-1 call, and just under eight minutes after dispatch.

COUPLE DISPLACED AFTER BARN FIRE SPREADS TO TRAILER
Evidence shows fire started in workshop but exact cause undetermined

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – A couple and their dog safely escaped flames that destroyed an adjacent historic barn and spread to consume their trailer-home near here Friday evening, but the pair lost nearly all of their possessions.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department crews were dispatched to a home near the intersection of Rash Road and Nature Way at about 9:47 p.m. where it was reported that a barn was fully involved in flames.  The caller also indicated that a fifth-wheel trailer was within three feet of the fire building.  Knowing that the closest fire hydrant was almost two miles away, crews

NKF&R Lieutenant Kris Osera uses a hosestream to extinguish flames in a barn fire that also destroyed an adjacent fifth wheel trailer near Kingston on Friday evening.

made sure that water tender trucks – each carrying between 2,500 – 3,500 gallons – from NKF&R and Bainbridge Island Fire Department were on their way, too.

The first unit to arrive on scene, less than eight minutes after dispatch, was an engine from NKF&R’s Miller Bay Road headquarters fire station. They reported that the barn, situated about 50 feet behind the property’s main residence, was fully involved in flames which had already spread to the trailer.  The trailer’s occupants were confirmed to have safely exited. Despite limited water supplies until the arrival of the tender trucks, firefighters were able to knock down the flames within about twenty minutes of their arrival on scene.  Complete extinguishment took several more hours as crews had to remove the barn’s collapsed metal roof and other materials to expose all remaining hot spots.

NKF&R Firefighter Kaleb Murray and Lieutenant Todd Bailey work as a team to uncover and snuff buried hot spots on the scene of a fire that destroyed a barn and an adjacent fifth wheel trailer near Kingston on Friday evening.

Investigators from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene. They learned that the barn, estimated to be over 100 years old and constructed entirely of wood, was moved to its present site from Minder Road.  The fire appears to have started in a portion of the structure that was used as a workshop.  One of the trailer’s occupants told officials that some welding had been done in the workshop earlier in the evening.  Although sparks falling onto the workshop’s wooden floors are a possible cause, due to the level of fire damage, investigators could not rule out other accidental causes such as electrical issues.

The property is owned by the displaced couple’s relatives. Although the barn was covered under the property owner’s insurance, the trailer and its contents were not. Volunteers from the American Red Cross came to the scene and are working to assist the couple who’ll be staying with family.

There no animals in the barn at the time of the fire and no injuries to firefighters or civilians.  The property’s main residence was not affected.


April 23, 2018

NKF&R TO HOST PREVENTION-ORIENTED PUBLIC MEETING FOLLOWING LARGE BLAZE
Family’s beach home lost to flames, thought to have been sparked when oily rags caught fire

(KINGSTON, Wash.) —  In the wake of a fire that destroyed a Washington Boulevard home on March 30 (see below for more information about the incident), officials from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office (KCFMO) are hoping to prevent future blazes by sharing information about the incident that will help others avoid similar losses.

Monday, April 30 at 7 p.m.
Village Green Community Center
26159 Dulay Road NE in Kingston

Delayed detection, difficult access and limited water supply all contributed to the fiery destruction of the Kingston waterfront home on a Friday evening. No one was home at the time of the incident, and the blaze wasn’t reported until flames were visible by neighbors.  Despite challenges presented by the narrow roadway and lack of fire hydrants, firefighters were able to keep the large fire from spreading to adjacent structures.

Investigators believe that the blaze likely started on the exterior of the structure on a covered porch at the house’s north side.  Evidence at the scene and interviews with witnesses suggest that the fire may have started when rags, used during wood staining earlier in the day and thrown into a plastic trash bag on the porch, caught fire in the evening.   The not-uncommon process is called spontaneous heating.  In the March 30 fire, it appears that circumstances were right for the process to spark the destructive fire.

At the meeting, fire officers will provide a brief overview of the incident’s operations and investigators will discuss the fire’s cause.  A prevention specialist will share strategies for avoiding fire tragedies.

For more information, contact NKF&R at (360)297-3619.


April 3, 2018

FRIDAY NIGHT FIRE LIKELY STARTED ON AN EXTERIOR PORCH
Evidence points to spontaneous combustion of oily rags as possible cause for blaze

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – Investigators from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office have completed their work at the scene of a March 30 fire that destroyed a family’s Washington Boulevard waterfront home, and determined that the blaze likely started on the exterior of the structure on a covered porch at the house’s north side. Renovations were underway at the nearly 80 year-old house and, in the area of the fire’s origin, investigators found multiple potential causes related to the on-going construction. Evidence at the scene and interviews with witnesses suggest that the fire may have started when rags, used during wood staining earlier in the day and thrown into a plastic trash bag on the porch, caught fire in the evening when a not-uncommon process called spontaneous heating of the oily rags led to combustion.

Spontaneous heating, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), occurs when materials exposed to air release heat as they oxidize. Spontaneous combustion results when the resulting heat can’t dissipate due to insulating factors around the material. Materials prone to the process include hay, other agricultural products such as wood chips or compost, and oily rags. According to a 2011 report by the (NFPA), about 14,000 fires per year are sparked in this manner. Locally, spontaneous combustion was to blame for a large January 2018 wood chip fire off of Ecology Road near Kingston. A new house in Indianola was destroyed before its builders could even move in when rags, left from staining the home’s wood floors, caught fire in April 2012. Cedar Farm, a Suquamish wood siding company, burned to the ground in 2004 after oily rags sparked a blaze there.

Fire officials recommend disposing of oily rags in a metal container filled with water and capped with a tight-fitting lid. For further information about the fire, see previous press releases below.


Daylight reveals the extent of devastation inflicted by a Friday night fire in a Washington Boulevard waterfront cabin.

March 31, 2018 * 2:30 p.m.

BLAZE DESTROYS BEACH HOME – UPDATE

 

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – After grabbing a couple of hours rest during Saturday’s early hours, firefighters were back on the scene to finish squelching hot spots in the remains of a Washington Boulevard home that caught fire last evening. Although fire investigators worked through the night and into this morning, no cause has yet been determined in the incident that completely consumed the 2,200 SF two-story beach house, originally built in 1939.

Officials believe that wind in addition to the home’s highly-combustible cedar shake siding and limited interior sheetrock may have contributed to the blaze’s rapid growth. It wasn’t reported until the flames were visible from the waterfront structure, tucked in below a hillside and somewhat hidden from the view of nearby houses.

[Firefighters faced significant challenges from access to the home as well as water supply, and the house is a total loss. However, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) officials are grateful that no one was in the house when the fire began. Though the man and his wife who owned the property used the place as their vacation home, the woman’s brother had been living there most of the time. Officials also note that firefighters succeeded in preventing the fierce blaze from spreading to adjacent homes – a task that would have been even more difficult had the fire occurred during the dry season. Then, it’s possible that the flames would have spread up the embankment through parched vegetation to threaten multiple additional structures. Furthermore, no one was hurt in the effort despite steep terrain and the hundreds of feet of stairs and ramps that had to be traversed to reach the home.

The couple is insured and the displaced man has declined any assistance from the Red Cross. See the original press release on the incident, below.


Christen Price, a local resident and the photographer for this shot, says that it was taken just as fire engines arrived at the scene of a house fire on Washington Boulevard on Friday evening.

March 31, 2018 * 3:30 a.m.

BLAZE DESTROYS BEACH HOME

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – Delayed detection, difficult access and limited water supply all contributed to the fiery destruction of a waterfront cabin here on Friday evening. Firefighters are remained on scene until 3 a.m. as they worked to extinguish hot spots; investigators are remaining at the site but, as of this hour, a cause of the blaze has not yet been determined.

With the lights of King and Snohomish Counties visible across Puget Sound, an NKF&R firefighter works amid smoke from a Friday night Kingston waterfront cabin fire to douse remaining embers.

The first report of the fire came from a neighbor who called 9-1-1 to say that the whole house was on fire. A second caller said that fire was coming from all parts of the house. North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R), Poulsbo Fire Department and Bainbridge Island Fire Department crews were called to a residential structure fire at the Washington Boulevard home just before 8 p.m. Washington Boulevard is a single-lane road serving tens of homes perched over the shores of Puget Sound, just north of Kingston. The first crew arrived on scene at 8:09 p.m. and reported that the home was fully involved in fire with flames reaching as high as 80 feet. The cabin, said to have been built in the 1930s, sat about 50 feet below Washington Boulevard and couldn’t be reached by vehicle; a series of switchbacked stairs and ramps provided the only land access. Firefighters

NKF&R Lieutenant Dan Upton directs a powerful hose stream into smoldering debris in an effort to snuff hot spots after a fire destroyed a waterfront cabin in Kingston on Friday evening.

attempted to use NKF&R’s fire-rescue boat to battle the blaze, but they couldn’t get close enough due to the low tide. Crews’ efforts to squelch the flames were further hampered by water supply problems. With no nearby fire hydrants, tender trucks supplied water for the fire fight but these large vehicles had difficulty maneuvering on the narrow roadway.

The owner, who was not at the cabin at the time of the fire, told crews that there were no people or pets inside the structure. According to neighbors, the house does not serve as a full-time residence but is a weekend or vacation home. It is unknown if the owner is insured. Investigators with the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office are working to determine the fire’s cause.

There have been no injuries to firefighters or civilians.


March 22, 2018

NKF&R TO HOST PREVENTION-ORIENTED PUBLIC MEETINGS FOLLOWING STRING OF HOUSE FIRES
Presentations sparked by three unrelated house fires over just four days earlier this month

(KINGSTON, Wash.) — In the wake of a string of house fires that struck here during the first week of March (see below for more information about the fires), officials from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office (KCFMO) are hoping to prevent future blazes by sharing information about the incidents that will help others avoid similar losses. Two separate meetings – one for each of the larger fires – are set, and recognition is being planned for a police officer whose actions kept the third fire contained:

Marine View Drive Fire
Tuesday, March 27 at 7 p.m.
Jefferson Beach Estates Clubhouse
Marine View Drive near Jefferson Beach Road

Sandy Beach Lane Fire
Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m.
Village Green Community Center
26159 Dulay Rd NE

At each meeting, fire officers will provide a brief overview of the incident’s operations and investigators will discuss the fire’s cause. A prevention specialist will share strategies for avoiding fire tragedies.

NKF&R responds to an average of 15 – 20 house fires per year and, though it’s increasingly common for the district to be responding to multiple medical calls at once, this is only the second time that the district has had simultaneous major events. The first incidence was on the morning of April 8, 2012 when unrelated fires struck two structures in Indianola.

For more information about the meetings, contact NKF&R at (360)297-3619.

Marine View Drive fire on March 1
The Marine View Drive fire, thought to have been sparked by an electrical problem in a clothes dryer, was reported just after 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 1. Crews from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) and Poulsbo Fire Department (PFD) responded. The homeowner (an elderly widow) and her caregiver were inside when the home’s smoke alarms activated and smoke was visible. While investigating the source, the caregiver found sparks and flames between the washer and the dryer. The latter was in use at the time. The caregiver called 9-1-1 to report a dryer fire, and opened the home’s doors and windows to clear the accumulating smoke from the structure before safely evacuating with the homeowner and her dog. The first crew arrived in just under ten minutes, responding from NKF&R”s South Kingston Road station. They reported the 1,405 SF single-story home to be fully-involved in flames. As firefighters sped to the rather remote location from across North Kitsap, the crews on scene worked to secure water supply from a nearby hydrant. The flames were so powerful that the officer who first arrived could not complete his 360-degree survey of the structure. With the home where the fire started already seriously damaged and the occupants safe, crews focused their attention on preventing the flames from spreading to an adjacent structure. They were successful at containing the blaze. Complete extinguishment of the fire proved far more difficult. The fierce flames emitted so much heat that portions of the structure collapsed early in the battle, burying hot spots beneath several layers of heavy building materials. The homeowner’s husband had been a history buff; a large volume of artifacts were stored inside the house’s attic, adding considerable fuel to the fire. Firefighters remained on scene into the evening in the effort to uncover and fully snuff any remaining fire. Though the homeowner is insured, the home and its contents – many irreplaceable – were total losses. She is now staying with her daughter. Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office (KCFMO) investigators responded to the scene to determine the fire’s cause. Based on evidence at the scene and information provided by the occupants, investigators believe that an electrical problem in the older dryer sparked the blaze. Open doors and windows likely fanned the flames while the combustible items stored in the overhead provided fuel. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

Ironwood Lane fire on March 1
Just twenty minutes into the incident on Marine View Drive, another house fire was dispatched at 12:56 p.m. in Little Boston on the Port Gamble S’Klallam Reservation. All NKF&R units were already engaged in fighting the tough fire on Marine View Drive. The district’s operations chief left the Jefferson Beach incident to join the PFD crews dispatched to the second fire on Ironwood Lane. NKF&R’s medical/safety officer had been in a meeting in Poulsbo when the second fire was dispatched. He was the first firefighter on scene, arriving about 15 minutes after dispatch. Knowing that the only available resources were coming from a long distance and although he observed only light smoke coming from the small rental home, he requested the additional units of a second alarm in case the incident required more than those coming with the first alarm. Bainbridge Island Fire Department, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, Navy Region Northwest Fire Department and Port Ludlow Fire and Rescue units were added. Firefighters from PFD arrived shortly thereafter, made entry to the structure, quickly snuffed a small smoldering fire on the couch and found no one inside. The additional resources were returned to their stations. Another KCFMO investigator responded to the scene. Apparently, an employee of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe had noticed signs of a possible fire inside such as melting window blinds and darkened window glass. He called 9-1-1 to report the possible fire and headed to his nearby office for a key to the home. When he returned and opened the door, he found a the house filled with smoke and a small fire on the couch. He quickly exited the building. A Port Gamble S’Klallam Police officer arrived and closed the door. Firefighters say that the officer’s actions were especially vital given the simultaneous incidents and resulting extended response times; his closing of the door was likely key to containing the fire by starving it of air it needed to grow. Fire officials plan to thank the officer in front of an upcoming Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal Council meeting. Evidence suggests that a propane torch, used to ignite fires in the home’s woodstove, may have been left operating in close proximity to the couch. Damage was limited to the couch and light smoke affected most of the home. The occupant’s dog, crated in the home’s attached garage, was not harmed by the fire. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

Sandy Beach Lane fire on March 4
Late on the evening of March 4, NKF&R firefighters were called to investigate an unknown fire. Just after 10:30 p.m., a 9-1-1 caller reported flames from an unknown source on the higher ground above his Apple Tree Point location. As crews headed to the general location, they received word that sheriff’s deputies were investigating a burglar alarm at an address on the uphill side of Sandy Beach Lane. Upon the deputies’ arrival at the locations of the burglar alarm, they reported the home to be fully involved in fire. The response was upgraded to that of a residential structure fire, bringing additional units from NKF&R as well as from PFD. Sandy Beach Lane, serving over twenty homes, curves along the side of a bluff and is challenging to negotiate. There aren’t turnarounds adequate for fire engines or tanker trucks. Furthermore, the home’s driveway was steep and narrow. The first firefighters to arrive found that fire engines could not negotiate it, so incoming units were directed to park at the end of Lindvog Road. Crews were ferried in by smaller vehicles, and without their engines, firefighters were forced to carry hose by hand up the final 4 – 500’ long access. There were no fire hydrants in the area. Water for the fire-fight had to be supplied by large water tender trucks and pumped up the hill. Officials made contact with the property owner, vacationing on the East Coast, and determined that there were no occupants inside at the time of the fire. Although the blaze was under control within 25 minutes of firefighters’ arrival, the flames had undermined the two-story 3,200 SF home so severely that crews couldn’t safely work in the house until daylight. Crews worked into the next day to reach all remaining hot spots. Investigators from KCFMO responded to the scene. Physical evidence and interviews suggest that the fire began in the wall of a main floor bedroom, appearing to have started in the vicinity of electrical wiring. The home was a total loss; the homeowners are insured. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians. Officials say that, given the home’s isolated location and difficult access, residential fire sprinklers and/or a monitored fire alarm system would likely have prevented this loss from reaching catastrophic proportions.


An SUV landed in a ravine about 40 feet below the roadway after its driver apparently lost control of the car in icy conditions on Jefferson Point Road near its intersection with Strawberry Lane on Thursday afternoon.

February 23, 2018

MAN AIRLIFTED AFTER ONE-CAR CRASH
Icy conditions appear to be a factor in the incident

(KINGSTON, Wash.) – A 58 year-old Kingston man was airlifted to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center with serious but not immediately life-threatening injuries after apparently losing control of his mid-size SUV to tumble into a tree-laden and deep ravine here yesterday afternoon.

Across the areas served by North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R), snow and ice had been causing multiple minor crashes since snow began to accumulate on road surfaces Wednesday evening. So far, Thursday’s incident has been the only serious injury collision in NKF&R’s service area during this set of late winter storms.

NKF&R crews were called to Jefferson Point Road near its intersection with Strawberry Lane at about 2:15 p.m. on Thursday after the vehicle’s occupant used his cellular phone following the incident to call 9-1-1 for help. The first firefighters to arrive at the scene had brief difficulties locating the vehicle, laying on its side about 40 feet below the roadbed. Once they reached him, the crew found that the man was conscious and alert. After stabilizing the car, firefighters were able to remove the man from the vehicle without the use of special tools. Once loaded into the waiting ambulance, the man was taken to meet an Airlift Northwest helicopter landing on the fields at David Wolfle Elementary School.

The man told crews that he’d been driving on Jefferson Point Road toward South Kingston Road. When he reached a portion of the road that had been shaded from the sun all day, his vehicle began to fishtail on the unmelted ice and over the northeast side of the road and into the ravine. The vehicle traveled into the ravine’s bottom and began to go up the opposite slope before sliding back to come to rest on its side against a large cedar tree.

Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputies also responded to the scene. Jefferson Point Road was closed to traffic while firefighters worked and as KCSO personnel investigated the cause of the incident. Officials encourage the public to remain attentive to the special concerns of driving in snow and ice to avoid weather-related collisions. For tips on safe winter driving, see this page from AAA.

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


February 20, 2018

Dillon, pictured here while visiting the southwest, is a white shepherd that had been on vacation with his family, Jean and Jim Boyle, until the day that he discovered Emily on a ledge beneath the edge of the family’s waterfront yard in Suquamish.

FIREFIGHTERS, POLICE AND ANOTHER DOG PARTNER TO RESCUE WAYWARD POOCH
Older shepherd mix missing for weeks until a white shepherd named Dillon spotted her over an embankment

(SUQUAMISH, Wash.) – Emily, a ten year-old mix, had been missing since January 28 when she and her “housemate,” Coal, had slipped out of a gate left ajar at their downtown Suquamish home. Coal came back alone a couple of days later and, despite her family’s extensive efforts to locate her in the ensuing two weeks, Emily remained lost until one morning last week.

Emily, an older shepherd mix, had likely been trapped for an extended time before she was spotted by another dog and rescued by first responders. From left to right, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) Lieutenant Mark Cooney, Emily, Robert Atkinson (Emily’s family), NKF&R Firefighter Luke Lindgren, Suquamish Police Officer Jason Olsen and Marie Atkinson (Emily’s family).

On February 16, Dillon’s family had just returned from time away when the young shepherd noticed something beyond the edge of the waterfront home’s yard.  He got the attention of his family who, upon investigation, found Emily about eight feet down the embankment on a ledge about 25 – 30 SF in size.  After what may have been almost three weeks of entrapment, the dog was understandably scared and growling when people tried to approach.  The family called Suquamish Police Department for help. Officer Jason Olsen responded.  Although Emily’s family had been searching for her since she failed to return home, they hadn’t thought to contact police until that very morning.  Officer Olsen quickly recognized that the trapped canine was the same dog that had been reported missing earlier in the day. He contacted Emily’s family, inviting them to the scene to identify their dog.  He then asked for firefighters to be dispatched to assist in the dog’s rescue.

A crew from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue’s Suquamish fire station was just a couple of blocks away.  Often, firefighters aren’t able to assist with animal rescues if doing so jeopardizes their readiness for response to more urgent emergencies or is otherwise too dangerous to attempt.  This morning, however, crews determined that the dog could be retrieved quickly and safely. As soon as Emily heard the familiar voices of her family, her growling stopped and a firefighter was able to easily carry the dog up a short ladder to reunite her with her loved ones, a couple.

The couple took Emily to a veterinary clinic where she received intravenous fluids, high-calorie food and an exam.  Though the vets pronounced her in good health, Emily’s weight had dropped from about 120 pounds to about 85 pounds during her ordeal.  At last report, she’s been recovering from her adventure by resting comfortably at home with her family, eating and drinking as much as possible.


February 19, 2018

HOUSE FIRE, LIKELY STORM-RELATED, THWARTED
Early 9-1-1 call, fire extinguisher limit damage from flames; officials warn about extension cords, power strips

(INDIANOLA, Wash.) – A home escaped significant damage after a multiplug adapter, its power being supplied by the house’s generator while electricity was out across the area, appeared to have failed and sparked a dangerous fire here late Sunday afternoon.

Crews from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R), Poulsbo Fire Department, Bainbridge Island Fire Department and Puget Sound Federal Fire Department were dispatched to the South Kingston Road address just before 4:30 p.m. in the midst of a winter windstorm that had been keeping responders unusually busy throughout the afternoon. The first crew to arrive on the scene was there within 8 minutes of dispatch, and reported smoke coming from the structure. As additional units arrived, it became apparent that the fire could be easily controlled and crews from outside NKF&R’s district were returned to their stations.

The home’s occupants – a couple – told crews that they’d noticed fluctuations in the house’s power supply after switching to the generator. Then, they smelled smoke coming from the second floor’s computer room and, upon investigation, discovered flames coming from underneath a desk. The smoke alarms activated. While one of the occupants called 9-1-1, the other attempted to squelch the fire with extinguishers. Firefighters credit some of the homeowners’ actions – getting firefighters on the way with an early 9-1-1 call, and safely using a fire extinguisher – with keeping the fire from growing to involve more of the 2,000 SF two-story house. Firefighters cut into the surrounding wall to ensure that the fire wasn’t spreading through hidden spaces, and used large fans to remove residual smoke from the structure. Damage was limited to the fire room and the computer equipment within. Firefighters say that, had no one been home to detect the incipient fire, the loss would have been much greater.

Details about the multiplug adapter involved in Sunday’s fire are unknown because it was destroyed in the blaze. However, officials always recommend that the public use only high-quality power strips that are tested and rated by an independent testing laboratory. Misused extension cords (serving as substitutes for permanent wiring or subjected to mechanical damage while running through doors, windows or under carpets where they also can become over-insulated) and poor quality multiplug adapters are common fire causes — especially when exposed to power fluctuations.

In the 24-hour period from 8 a.m. Sunday until 8 .m. Monday, NKF&R crews responded to 21 incidents (mostly storm-related events such as wires down on roadways) in the last twelve hours — that’s almost three times the average call volume for 24 hours on a typical day.

The incidence of house fires rises during power outages, often due to increased use of alternative heating and lighting sources. Firefighters urge the public to exercise extra caution during these events.

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


When Lakeisha Rogers (center) gave birth to Eleanor (also at center) in an ambulance while en route to Harrison’s Silverdale facility on a snowy night in February 2017, this crew was there to help. From left to right, they are: FF/EMT Brandon Davidson, FF/EMT Tony Reichmuth, LT/EMT Mark Cooney and FF/PM Craig Barnard.

Feburary 1, 2018

MEDIA ADVISORY: BABY BORN IN AMBULANCE RETURNS TO FIRE STATION FOR FIRST BIRTHDAY

(KINGSTON, Wash.) — Late in the evening following the 2017 Super Bowl, Lakeisha Rogers went into labor with her third child. As the intervals between contractions got smaller, family members called an ambulance. They were hoping that the ambulance crew could get the expectant mom from her Little Boston home to Harrison Medical Center in Silverdale before she delivered. Heavy snow was falling and as much as three inches had accumulated on the roadway, making for very slow going. Little Eleanor didn’t want to wait and, at 12:35 a.m. just before the intersection of SR 307 and SR 305, she was born. Eleanor and her family are returning to the fire station on February 6, 2018 to celebrate her first birthday with the crew that helped safely deliver her.

See the media stories here:
KING TV
Kitsap Sun
Kitsap Daily News


January 15, 2018

FIRE AT COMPOSTING PLANT FILLS SUNDAY SKIES WITH SMOKE IN N. KITSAP
Cause thought to be accidental

Firefighters from three agencies responded to Sunday’s second-alarm brush fire in a large pile of stumps at a composting facility between Kingston and Hansville.

(HANSVILLE, Wash.) — Fire equipment and personnel from three districts converged on a composting plant when a second alarm brush fire was called to battle a smoky fire involving about a third of a 50,000 cubic foot pile of stumps and other natural vegetation debris here Sunday morning. Though the blaze was easily contained, the operation required hours of work from firefighters and heavy equipment operators as well as thousands of gallons of water to knock down the flames. The fire’s cause is thought to have been accidental, the result of heat naturally generated as the large pile of organic debris decomposes.

NKF&R Firefighter Garren Dukes applies water to a large smoldering pile of stumps at a compositing facility between Kingston and Hansville on Sunday.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews were called about 9:30 a.m. on Sunday to investigate a report of flames and smoke in the vicinity of the Hansville transfer station at Hansville and Ecology Roads. The first unit arrived on scene to find a portion of a large pile ablaze at the Olympic Organics plant and its officer called for the additional resources of a second alarm, which added more firefighters and equipment from Poulsbo Fire Department and Bainbridge Island Fire Department as well as from NKF&R.

Managers from Olympic Organics responded to assist firefighters as did personnel from neighboring Logan Construction. Firefighters applied over 13,000 gallons of water to the smoldering stumps as heavy equipment operators pulled apart the pile to give crews access to hot spots, and to separate the burning materials from the unburned. It is likely that there will continue to be some smoke in the area while remaining material in the 50′ x 50′ fire area continues to smolder.

Fires resulting from spontaneous combustion are not uncommon, breaking out when conditions — outside air temperature, moisture, air flow and insulation — are right.

Crews cleared the scene just after 3 p.m., and the property owners were required to post a watch to ensure the remaining fire didn’t start to spread again. Firefighters will continue to check on the site from time to time.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians, and no damage to structures or equipment.


January 2, 2018

As seen from the top of the estimated 300’ bluff, NKF&R’s Marine 81 awaits off shore this morning as one of its crew members assists a 33 year-old woman, visiting from the United Kingdom, down a steep and slippery hillside at the base of Foulweather Bluff.

WOMAN RESCUED FROM FOULWEATHER BLUFF

(HANSVILLE, Wash.) – A 33 year-old woman, here from the United Kingdom to visit relatives and unfamiliar with the area, is cold but safe following her rescue from a steep and muddy hillside below Foulweather Bluff on the northern-most tip of the Kitsap Peninsula.  While on a run along the beach this morning, she attempted the climb to escape rising waters and became stuck when terrain prevented her from going further in either direction.

Crews from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R), Bainbridge Island Fire Department (BIFD) and Poulsbo Fire Department (PFD) were called to a possible rescue at an unknown location on the end of the peninsula at 10:32 a.m. on Tuesday.  The trapped woman had used her cell phone to contact family members who, in turn, called 9-1-1. It took over 15 minutes to find the woman.  Firefighters, from a vantage point at a private residence atop an estimated 300’ cliff, located the woman on a flat spot about one-third of the distance to the beach below. With no safe rescue route apparent from above, officials called for additional resources including the county’s technical rescue team and NKF&R’s fire-rescue boat.  The technical rescue team, an effort between several of the county’s fire agencies, has personnel with the specialized training and equipment to safely perform high-angle rescues.  Today’s tech rescue response included personnel from Puget Sound Federal Fire Department and Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue.  Several team members from BIFD were on the initial response with NKF&R and prepared equipment while awaiting the additional resources.  The fire-rescue boat, responding from its berth at the Port of Kingston Marina, arrived on scene shortly after noon and before the tech rescue team; one of the firefighters from aboard the boat was able to scale the slippery slope to reach the woman and carefully assist her back to the vessel.  Once aboard the boat, the woman was taken to nearby Driftwood Key Marina where she was met by paramedics.  Although cold from the incident in today’s wind-chilled temperatures, the woman was otherwise uninjured and declined ambulance transport.

Until she was aboard the fire-rescue boat, it wasn’t clear that technical rescue teams wouldn’t be necessary.  As soon as firefighters were sure she was safe, the additional resources were returned to their stations.

Officials recommend that hikers and runners equip themselves with information about local tides and terrain before setting out in unfamiliar territory.


2017 Press Releases


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2015 Press Releases