Kyle Jensen / The Record Firefighter Alex McMahon (right) scrambles to put out the fire while Chief Rusty Palmer oversees operations.

Friday blaze claims Freeland home, dog

A Freeland home was severely damaged on Friday when a fire broke out in the upper level.

Nobody was in the house at the time and no human injuries were reported. South Whidbey Fire/EMS officials confirmed, however, that a dog perished in the incident.

“We found the dog, and the occupants raced it over to the veterinarian, but it was too late,” South Whidbey Fire/EMS Deputy Chief Mike Cotton said.

The house is owned by Andy Campbell, owner of Whidbey Water Services. His daughter, Keisha Campbell, and her family were living in the home.

The fire was reported around 10:15 a.m. when smoke and flames were seen coming from the area of Woodard Avenue near Holmes Harbor. Flames were coming from the upstairs of the two-story home and took out three of four large, front-facing windows that overlooked Holmes Harbor. It’s where the Freeland Water and Sewer District used to hold business meetings.

The call reported that nobody was in the home upon the arrival of fire engines, but when a Record reporter arrived, two men ran into the house as the home was on fire. One of the men was Campbell. The men were searching for the dog, before realizing they were in a dangerous situation. It caused a furor among fire officials, who yelled for them to evacuate before they escaped to safety.

“They were concerned about their pet,” Cotton said. “We had initially determined the house was unoccupied through a number of things, then all of a sudden we saw someone in the house. Six out of 10 people who attempt that don’t come out, but fortunately they made it out.”

Keisha Campbell said fire officials told her the cause of the fire was electrical. She said her unit, one of three in the house, was a total loss. She said the dog will be missed, but said she and her family were fortunate nobody was hurt.

“We’re very thankful for all the support and prayers we’ve gotten from the community so quickly after this happened,” Campbell said. “We live in an amazing place and we’re very blessed.”

She managed to see further silver linings.

“The Seahawks flag didn’t burn in front of the house, so that’s good news for the game this weekend,” Campbell said.

Campbell said those who are interested in donating can go to Crabby Coffee in Freeland.

The South Whidbey Red Cross is providing the family with financial assistance.

Kyle Jensen / The Record Station 32 Captain Jerry Beck (left) and Chief Rusty Palmer (right) oversee the operation to put out the house fire.

Kyle Jensen / The Record Chief Rusty Palmer (left) and Deputy Chief Mike Cotton (right) discuss operations while property owner Andy Campbell comes over to talk to them.

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