Anacortes firefighters extinguished a mattress fire at a residence on 38th Street which the fire department estimates caused about $2,500 damage, prompting a detailed news release to show the cost of minor fires.
The Anacortes Fire Deparment rarely provides an extensive news release about what appe4aar to be minor fires, but, in this case, the AFD apparently wanted to show that an easily-prevented fire could cause damage costly to home owners and renter, as well as to the city.
According to a news release, on Thursday at 9:07 A.M. the Anacortes Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire at 1006 38th Street, one block off of “O” Ave. It was reported that the fire began in a mattress.
The renter, Roxana Roberson was home at the time of the fire and was alerted to the fire by the smoke detector activating. Ms. Roberson attempted to put the fire out by covering the mattress fire with clothing to smother it. Ms. Roberson was unsuccessful at extinguishing the fire, and through some of the burning clothing out the bedroom window.
When the fire department arrived, the home was filled with smoke and several occupants were in the house, and had to be evacuated.
Firefighters made entry with hose lines and air packs to extinguish the fire and to make certain no one else was in the home. The fire was extinguished and firefighter confirmed that no other occupants were in the home. The mattress and a portion of the bedroom carpeting was damaged by flames. Smoke damage was noted throughout the home as a result of the mattress fire.
The fire appears to have started on the floor at the corner of the mattress box springs which was resting on the floor. Also discovered and through witness statements, a propane torch was used by one of the occupants to light smoking material 10 minutes prior to the fire department being called. Our investigation revealed that the cause of the fire was accidental in nature and most probably a result of the torch or smoking material being placed too close to the mattress box springs.
Skagit County Assessor records show that the residential structure is valued $72,000 dollars, with contents estimated at $20,000 dollars. The estimated loss to the contents is approximately $2,500 dollars. In the act of throwing clothing out the window, Ms. Roberson sustained burns to her hand and fingers. She later received medical attention on scene followed by physician.
The Anacortes Fire Department responded with 5 on-duty Firefighters and 6 off-duty call back firefighters, responding on 4 fire apparatus. Mt Erie Fire Department was called to provide assistance, but was later cancelled before arriving. Anacortes Police Department responded and assisted with the follow-up investigation. The Red Cross was called and provided assistance to the occupants.
Also, the community should be aware of the difficulty Firefighters had making a connection to the hydrant due to overgrowth of vegetation. The Anacortes Fire Department recommends that at least 3 feet of clearance is provided around all portions of the hydrant to allow the firefighters to stand next to and behind the hydrant to make quick connections.