2019 Press Releases

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November 11, 2019

Avoid similar incidents with safe disposal 

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

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

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

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

November 6, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 31, 2019


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

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

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

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

October 31 * 9:42 a.m.

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

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


November 1 * 1:30 p.m. 

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

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


November 2 * 1:45 p.m.

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


November 4 * 1:02 p.m.

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

November 4 * 4:07 p.m.

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

November 4 * 6:19 p.m.

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

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

November 8 * 11:39 a.m.

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

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

November 8 * 4:53 p.m.

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

November 8 * 5:40 p.m.

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

October 23, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

September 26, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

September 9, 2019


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

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

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

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

September 9, 2019

Homeowners’ actions, quick response limit fire damage


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

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

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

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

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

September 8, 2019



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

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

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

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

September 4, 2019

Donations to benefit Greater Kingston Kiwanis will be accepted

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

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

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

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

August 28, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 8, 2019

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


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

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

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

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

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

July 15, 2019

Popular Kingston-area eatery remains closed at this hour

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

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

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

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

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

Restaurant managers hope to re-open by late Tuesday.

July 14, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 13, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 7, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 19, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

February 17, 2019


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

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

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

February 5, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

January 6, 2019


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

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

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

January 5, 2019


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

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

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

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

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