UPDATE | Cinder ignites roof near Ken’s Korner

Homeowners and firefighters acted quickly Monday morning when a cinder from a wood stove set a roof on fire at a house near Ken’s Korner.

The fire on the shake roof occurred shortly before 10 a.m. at the 30-year-old home of Bob and Joan DeLong on Langley Road, just down from the shopping center.

The DeLongs said they were testing their stove in preparation for winter when a cinder apparently went up the chimney and caught the roof on fire.

Bob DeLong kept the flames in check with a garden hose until firefighters arrived, said Island County Fire District 3 Deputy Chief Mike Cotton.

He said six rigs arrived quickly, and the fire was put out in minutes. Damage was minimal to the roof, Cotton said.

“There’s some water damage inside, and we’re going to have to remove part of the vaulted ceiling,” he said. “Otherwise, they were lucky.”

Crews remained on the scene for about 90 minutes, Cotton said. One lane of Langley Road was closed as numerous fire department rigs and emergency vehicles lined the roadside.

The DeLongs’ spirits remained high as they watched firefighters clear the hand-split wood shakes from the roof.

“They’re undoing all your handiwork, Bob,” Joan Delong said.

The couple built the house, including the huge wood stove, 30 years ago.

“I can’t complain; the stove has lasted for a very long time, not given us a bit of trouble,” Bob DeLong said. “Until now.”

Firefighters were amazed at the stove’s size.

“It’s ginormous,” Cotton said.

Lt. Kevin Craig had another thought.

“It’s big enough to function as a back-up heat source for the city of Langley,” he said.

Joan DeLong took the incident in stride.

“As long as we can get in our beds tonight, we’ll be OK,” she said.

Reporter Roy Jacobson contributed to this story.

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