Chicken coop burns in fire north of Freeland

Quick action by a Bush Point homeowner, a former South Whidbey firefighter, contained a blaze in a small chicken coop early Monday morning before it could threaten a nearby house, fire officials said.

The fire was reported as a residential fire about 4:45 a.m. at Rhodie Lane off Smugglers Cove Road north of Freeland. Units from three Central Whidbey Island Fire & Rescue stations responded to the call at the southernmost boundary of the department's district, said Chief Ed Hartin.

An engine from Island County Fire District 3's Freeland station also responded to the fire.

Hartin said the homeowner poured water on the fire with a garden hose, and had it mostly contained when firefighters arrived. The house, about 25 feet away, and a large propane tank nearby were not damaged, he said.

Hartin said the coop was destroyed, and five adult chickens died in the fire.

He said the fire likely was caused by a malfunctioning electric light placed in the coop to provide warmth.


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