Makeshift home in Freeland claimed by fire

A structure fire in the wee hours of this past Saturday morning left a homeless man without a makeshift residence.

The man suffered “minor burns to his face,” according to South Whidbey Fire/EMS Chief Rusty Palmer, and was transported to WhidbeyHealth. He was otherwise OK.

Fire officials responded to an emergency call around 3:30 a.m. from Ander Park Road near East Harbor Road in Freeland. A resident living on Ander Park Road called saying they heard a man shouting for help in the woods as he attempted to extinguish a fire. Fire officials arrived 10 minutes later to find the makeshift structure had caved in.

“A person was living in a structure in the woods made from part of an old vehicle, plywood and other materials we weren’t able to identify because it was completely burnt upon arrival,” Palmer said. “A candle ignited a curtain in the structure. The man tried to fight it, and suffered slight burns in the process.”

A “hold-over fire” started up again in the same location on Tuesday afternoon, where a smoldering log started a small brush fire in the woods. Responders were able to quickly stomp out the flames.

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