Weekend fire destroys South Whidbey workshop

Fire destroyed a workshop near Lone Lake last weekend. The building and contents were valued at about $25

A South Whidbey man is out more than $25,000 after a fire destroyed a backyard workshop last week.

The blaze was reported around 8 p.m. Saturday at a home on April Drive, which is near Deer Lake between Bayview and Langley. Firefighters arrived to find the wooden structure engulfed in flames.

“It was kinda dramatic,” said Mike Cotton, deputy chief for South Whidbey Fire/EMS. “It was big fire.”

The April Drive home is bordered by Bayview Road, and the large fire was in full view of the busy thoroughfare; several motorists stopped to watch firefighters fight the flames.

Cotton said the building was in a heavily forested area and nearly directly under a large cedar tree and power lines. Both were blackened but firefighters were able to get the fire under control before the flames spread to the home, located about 20 to 30 feet away.

Stephen Cook, the property resident, agreed it was a very large fire.

“The flames shot up about 50 feet,” Cook said. “It really scorched it [the cedar]. Hopefully it doesn’t kill the tree; it’s really beautiful.”

Cook, who rents the home from a family member, said he was working in the shop before the fire began. He left for a short time and returned to find the building in flames. He attempted to tackle the blaze with a hose but his efforts were thwarted by water problems.

“I tried to put it out but there was no water pressure,” Cook said.

According to Cotton, the fire appears to have started from a power cord and work light. Cook said the offending cord was the reelable type, and remarked what a shame it was to loose the building to something as small as an auxiliary power cable.

Both the structure and its contents were a total loss. Cook is a painter and the building housed paints, professional and trade tools and various other equipment. The shed itself had also just been expanded from 12 feet by 12 feet to 12 feet by 24 feet.

“We just got done,” Cook said.

He estimated the total value at more than $25,000. It’s a tough financial loss, said Cook, but nothing he can’t recover from with a little hard work.

“If you need a paint job, give me a call,” he said.