Investigators were able to quickly rule out electrical causes after firefighters knocked down a residential fire in the 4300 block of Saltspring Drive at Sandy Point since there had been a localized power outage since 10am this morning.
Whatcom County Fire District 17 Fire Chief Jim Petrie said the homeowner called 911 about 7pm to report a chimney fire in the 2-story house. Petrie said he arrived in his command vehicle ahead of the fire engines and just as the family was vacating the house.
Petrie investigated and found fire inside the walls near the fireplace chimney. He was able to keep the fire under control with a portable extinguisher until engine crews from WCFD17, WCFD7 and Bellingham Fire arrived and knocked down the fire.
The Whatcom County Fire Marshal estimated damage at around $50,000.
No one was injured and the family was able to locate elsewhere, Petrie said.