A fire of unknown origin claimed a mobile home on North Whidbey Thursday morning.
The blaze is believed to have started sometime after midnight in a single-wide trailer at the back of an undeveloped lot on Van Dam Road. Firefighters worked to extinguish the flames for at least an hour, but the building was completely destroyed.
By first daylight, the home was a smoking ruin of scorched appliances, warped metal and melted plastic.
Fire officials strongly believe the home was unoccupied but the site was still being searched, said Marv Koorn, fire chief for North Whidbey Fire and Rescue.
“It doesn’t look like anyone was in it, but we haven’t totally pulled it apart yet,” Koorn said.
The blaze was reported at 12:43 a.m. by a West Beach Road resident who said they smelled smoke and saw a glow in the sky, Koorn said.
“Engine 27 came out to investigate and found this,” Koorn said, motioning to the raging fire.
Andy Urquhart, the nearest neighbor, said he was awake at the time, but wasn’t aware of the event unfolding in the lot behind his house until after emergency responders arrived.
“I was watching a cop movie and saw lights but I thought it was the TV,” he said.
It was only when his dogs began barking that he looked out the window and saw a legion of flashing firetrucks that he realized there was a fire.
His daughter, Tabitha, happened to be coming home about the same time and she said her heart skipped a beat when she saw the smoke and emergency vehicles on the street in front of her house.
“It scared the crap out of me,” she said.
The mobile home is located at the end of a long dirt driveway that begins near the front of Urquhart’s home. Firetrucks, water tenders and other emergency vehicles were lined up along the street.