Island County Coroner Robert Bishop, center, meets with members of the Island County’s Sheriff’s Office after Bishop returned from the house where a Coupeville resident died in a fire Friday night. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

House fire claims the life of Coupeville man

A Coupeville man perished Friday night in the third house fire in less than 48 hours on North and Central Whidbey.

Central Whidbey Fire & Rescue and two other agencies began arriving on the scene after 8 p.m. to find flames shooting from the rear of a one-story house on NE 4th St. After knocking the fire down, firefighters did a search and discovered the body of a deceased man in the home, said Ed Hartin, Central Whidbey fire chief.

Island County Coroner Robert Bishop identified the victim as Phillip Harris, 58. He was the only known person to reside at the house, Bishop said.

Bishop performed an autopsy Saturday and said that while the specific cause of death would be determined pending laboratory tests, all of Harris’ injuries were caused by the fire.

Detective Gene Martin with the Island County Sheriff’s Office said Friday night that the focus would shift to investigating the cause and origin of the fire.

Firefighters from North Whidbey Fire and Rescue and South Whidbey Fire/EMS also assisted at the scene.

Hartin couldn’t recall the last fatal fire in Coupeville, but said his department responded to a fatal fire in Greenbank two years ago.

Friday night’s blaze was the third house fire that North Whidbey Fire had responded to since Thursday morning. One occurred at a home on Boe and Taylor roads at 3 a.m. Thursday and the second one off State Highway 20 near the 29400 block of State Highway 20 near Grace Community Church 12 hours later.

Neither of those fires resulted in injuries.

More in News

Suicide prevention topic of Langley talk

UW program aims to save lives

Langley’s public art protected

Insurance policy solution found

WhidbeyHealth EMS is seeking an extension of its levy for another six years and will ask voters for support in August.
WhidbeyHealth EMS seeks levy extension

Tax supports 60 percent of operating budget

WhidbeyHealth: We must help you

New signs explain federal law

Man tracks down stolen bicycles

A little detective work by a Clinton resident led to the return… Continue reading

County holding workshops on Freeland development regs

Members of the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and… Continue reading

Island Herb donates $20k to nonprofits

Island Herb is donating a total of $20,000 to two Whidbey Island… Continue reading

County considers housing goals, policies

Planning and community development staff recently presented the draft housing goals and… Continue reading

Kids of many kinds at North Whidbey Farm

Goat farm tour set for April 15, 16

Most Read