Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Second Rental House Fire in York Neighborhood Displaces 7 Occupants

In a news release on 11 January, Chief Bill Boyd of the Bellingham Fire Department reported yet another fire at a rental home at 1418 Ellis St. This fire occurred several hours before another in a rental on Grant St. in the same York Neighborhood.

The Ellis St. fire was called in just before 6pm on Monday. Arriving firefighters found smoke coming from the first floor of the home that had been converted into apartments. Although the fire, which was burning in furniture on the first floor was quickly extinguished, the house sustained structural and smoke damage.

Although there was a smoke detector, Chief Boyd indicated that a smoke alarm was not heard. The fire is under investigation but is not considered suspicious.

As with the fire on Grant St., the Zonemaven will obtain the report of investigation. It remains unclear in the news release whether the smoke detector was operable.

The York Neighborhood has a large number of aging homes, many of which are well maintained. Unfortunately, some of those used as rentals are in sad condition, at least as viewed from the outside, which only makes one wonder about the conditions found within. This is one of the reasons for which the City Council must pass a rental licensing and inspection law.

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