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Arson suspected in Maxwelton motor-home fire
Someone apparently torched an abandoned motor home in the Maxwelton Valley on Wednesday night, officials say.
"It's definitely a suspicious fire," Island County Sheriff's Detective Ed Wallace said Thursday. He declined to reveal further details pending an investigation.
The fire on a vacant gravel area at the intersection of Maxwelton and Sills roads was reported by a passerby about 11:15 p.m., Chief Rusty Palmer of Island County Fire District 3 said Thursday.
Palmer said three engines and about a dozen firefighters responded to the blaze.
"They knocked it down pretty quickly," Palmer said.
Officials said the old green-and white motor home had been parked in the area for the past few months. They said the door was unlocked, and that the vehicle had been filled with trash.
"There was no sign of anybody living inside," Wallace said.
The fire spread through the interior of the vehicle, and burned a hole in its left side about two-thirds of the way back.
George Mills, who with his wife Lila owns the Little Brown Church kitty-corner to the site of the fire, said the vehicle had been there for more than three months.
He said the corner is used by its owner up the hill as the location of a local-produce stand each summer. Mills said he had seen no sign of anyone ever living in the vehicle.
He also said that he and his wife had neither seen nor heard anything across the street prior to the arrival of the fire department. Their house is directly behind the church.
"Lila woke up to see fire trucks," Mills said. "I slept through the whole thing."
"Now I guess we just wait for someone to tow it away," he added.