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.

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 […]

More in News

New Trustland Trails path draws ire from nearby residents

South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District crews constructed a new wooded pathway… Continue reading

State lawmakers re-consider eliminating statute of limitations on sex crimes

By Taylor McAvoy WNPA Olympia News Bureau A bill passed in the… Continue reading

Langley City Council approves property rezoning

A quandary spanning several months over property zoning in a Langley neighborhood… Continue reading

Wait over for Saturday bus service on Whidbey

Island Transit set to roll Jan. 27

Man accused of putting gun to woman’s head in Clinton

A 33-year-old man is accused of putting a gun to a Clinton… Continue reading

Burglars steal from robotics club in Clinton

Burglars stole about $3,000 worth of equipment from South Whidbey children who… Continue reading

Federal marijuana stance doesn’t change anything for Whidbey entrepreneurs, law enforcement

The U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared that federal cannabis laws will… Continue reading

Rising acidity levels could put marine life at risk, expert says

Reversing the consequences of ocean acidification would be like steering the Titanic… Continue reading

More savings, profits than expected at closed school, center

The closure of Langley Middle School is estimated to save more money… Continue reading

Most Read