A man using a propane weed burner inadvertently ignited a tree Sunday morning, and the fire spread to his Greenbank home. His response with a bucket of water and garden hose prevented the fire from spreading quickly, according to Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue Chief Ed Hartin.
Central and South Whidbey firefighters received a report at 11:15 a.m. of small residential fire on Meerkerk Lane, Hartin said. Smoke was filling the attic and a window had broken from the heat when first responders arrived. A woman and dog got out of the house without injury.
Nine firefighters from Central Whidbey and six from South Whidbey Fire/EMS spent little more than an hour on scene to ensure everything was fully extinguished. It took about 20 minutes to knock down the flames.
Hartin said the task was made more challenging because the house was at the end of a long, narrow and winding driveway that was difficult to navigate with fire engines.
It wasn’t the first time the district had responded to a fire caused by propane weed burners, Hartin said. The devices shouldn’t be used near houses or other structures, and they should be used carefully around flammable plants, such as many types of evergreen trees.