Fire burns wall, books of Bayview guest home

Jim Hyde sprays water on smoldering clothing after firefighters left Thursday morning. - Spencer Webster / The Record
Jim Hyde sprays water on smoldering clothing after firefighters left Thursday morning.
— image credit: Spencer Webster / The Record

BAYVIEW — A fire broke out in a guest home of a Langley couple Thursday morning, but quick thinking by the owners of the property prevented serious damage.

When Jim Hyde saw smoke in the cottage next door, he crawled through the front door and saw flames burning on a bookshelf and the wall behind it.

He backed out, got a fire extinguisher and began to beat back the flames as his wife Jane called 911.

“We were a good team together. I was on the fire extinguisher and Jane was immediately on the phone with 911,” he said.

“When you’re in the middle of doing something like that, putting out a fire, you’re thinking you can do something about it because you’re doing it. I was too busy to think about calling 911. Jane was right on it.”

By the time Hyde had gone through his second extinguisher, Fire District 3 personnel were on the scene.

“When I got here, we had smoke coming out of the front door and side door of the residence, light smoke showing,” said Mike Cotton, deputy chief for Fire District 3.

“The resident had knocked the fire down quite well with an extinguisher, preventing it from extending further than it did. It made our job very easy because all we did is knock down the remainder of the flames and do some overhaul and check to make sure the fire hadn’t extended,” he said.

Cotton would like to see more people be as prepared as the Hydes when a fire happens.

“Fire extinguishers are very valuable commodities in the home. And here was someone who was willing to make the choice to use the fire extinguisher and save their property and it was successful,” he said.

“It turned out to be very minor. It could have been a lot worse. Fortunately, they were home, they had a fire extinguisher and were trained to use it,” Cotton added.

Hyde said he didn’t know yet what started the fire.

“We’re not concluding how it started yet. We really don’t know. We lost a lot of books,” Hyde said.

Hyde counts himself very lucky. Flames were eating at a large box of fireworks and the fire could have been a lot worse.

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