Key Peninsula firefighters responded to the scene of a two-alarm fire the afternoon of Dec. 1 near the 108th block of Cramer Road NW after 911 operators received multiple reports of what one caller described as “black smoke, flames and what looks like a house on fire in the trees.” Another 911 caller ventured up the driveway and reported, “It doesn’t look as if anyone is home; no cars in the driveway.”
Battalion Chief Jason Learned said his crew arrived to find the mobile home “fully involved in flames, pretty much gone, and the front of the second structure was burning.”
Firefighters conducted their initial vent- enter-search protocol.
“We go through the windows from the outside into bedrooms to make sure nobody is there,” Learned said. “After that, we pulled our guys out, the floor had collapsed and it clearly wasn’t safe for us to risk personnel and equipment to be inside.”
“We’re just going to let it go,” he said. “At this stage the longer we let it burn, the easier it is. Now it’s a waiting game.” KPFD crews tended the fire well into the night.
An approximately 1,000-square foot structure was connected to the back of the mobile home by what appeared to have been a small breezeway between the two structures. The second building was allowed to burn due to its dilapidated condition.
Deputy Fire Marshal Dave Dupille of the Pierce County Fire Prevention Bureau said, “The fire most likely started in the 1978 double-wide mobile home, but the extent of damage and the inability to further investigate the interior safely means the exact cause remains undetermined.”
In his report, Dupille wrote that a Peninsula Light Company field technician confirmed the double-wide had a live service feed connected and that the fuse on the transformer had blown at the pole located below on Cramer Road.
The residence was situated on 3.5 partially wooded acres and had been vacant for about a year, said Dupille, who interviewed a neighbor who told him the previous owners had died, apparently leaving the property to their daughter.