Workers prevent major damage
A pair of quick-thinking construction workers saved the day for a Blaine resident and her pets after they discovered a fire in a house in the 9700 lock of Allan Street, east of Lincoln Park in Blaine about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Officer Doug Balmer was the first emergency responder to arrive at the single story home and found the two men already dousing the blaze with a garden hose. John Durham, age 37 of Custer and Chris McGary, age 26 of Bellingham reported that they were doing construction work for Square and Level Construction at a house next door to the scene when they heard glass breaking. They investigated and found that a wall in the front of the smoke filled home was in flames.
The men found a garden hose and used it to attack the fire from the doorway. When officer Balmer arrived, the pair told him that they could hear a woman inside the house. The 52-year-old resident refused to leave the house until she found all of her pets, and Balmer had to enter the home to lead her out through the smoke.
The victim was evaluated by North Whatcom medic personnel while firefighters overhauled the scene. Her pet dogs had escaped the home uninjured.
The house suffered smoke damage but there were no serious injuries and the heat damage was limited primarily to the front of the home, thanks to the efforts of the two good samaritans and officer Balmer. The American Red Cross responded to help the woman.
Fire officials indicated that combustible furniture placed too close to a baseboard heater was the likely cause of the fire.