Fire on Sunset Road Southwest
By Administration Raechel Ehlers
September 12, 2018

VASHON ISLAND, WA: Shortly after 2:00 a.m. on September 11, 2018 ,multiple calls were received by dispatch for a fire on the west side of Vashon Island, the flames were visible from across the water in Kitsap County. The fire was ultimately located on the 1900 block of Sunset Rd. SW. Two Chiefs, one engine, two aid cars, medics, and three tenders responded to the difficult scene.

First in crews discovered two fully involved structures and approximately a half-acre brush fire with flames reaching 200’ above the houses to the tops of the trees. Command immediately requested the assistance of fireboats from Tacoma and Seattle. With confirmation that no homeowners were left in the buildings, crews started their initial attack on containing the brush fire which threatened to not only jump the road but also continue to spread through the trees to neighboring properties then quickly turned to focus on the structures.

The large and multifaceted firefight was made more complicated by the difficult access. The narrow single lane, 200 feet of steep stairs with no driveway access to the property as well as lacking hydrants on the road-all necessitated a defensive approach and the use of tenders to transport water from the nearest source over two miles away. Crews were able to knock down the surrounding brush fire from their access on the road.

When the Tacoma Fireboat arrived, command pulled back Vashon firefighters to allow the boat to begin focusing their efforts on soaking the structures. Thankfully the tide was high allowing the boat to get as close as safely possible to knock down the flames. For the safety of the Vashon firefighters given the incredibly challenging terrain crews fought the fire from the road, until day broke. After Tacoma Fire left the crews continued until approximately 11:30 am to overhaul the property ensuring that the multiple fires were out cold.

Unfortunately, both houses were overcome by the fire and little remains. Red Cross was on scene to support the homeowner who made it out of the structure before it was consumed. No residents, animals or firefighters were injured or lost.

Chief Krimmert and Assistant Chief Larsen offered this piece of advice for all Vashon residents; when calling 911 tell them first you are on VASHON ISLAND; this will immediately get you transferred to Valley Communications in King County. This is less of an issue with “land lines”, but with so many using cell phones which rely on the nearest cell phone towers, this becomes far more important.

Photo Credit Christopher Overdorf, Komo4 and Kiro 7

Units: CH55,CH56, A55, E55, M9, T55, T551, T56,
Mutual Aid: Tacoma Fire Boat, Seattle Fire Boat
Hyperlinks: KOMO 4 Report
KIRO 7 Report