Elvis has left the barn
June 12, 2008 · Updated 10:05 AM
"The Kitsap County Fire Marshal's Office and Fire District 7 firefighters have been busy lately.Rich Anderson just lost his extensive Elvis Presley memorabilia and antique collections in a fire that consumed the second floor of his detached garage along Lake Valley Road on Saturday. No one was injured. Officials with the fire marshal's office said the blaze probably broke out because of a circuit overload. Derrick Crawley, the investigating fire marshal, said the upper floor of the barn was used as a recreational area that held an antique coke machine, records and various neon signs. Crawley said the service panel in the room showed damage consistent with an electrical overload. Anderson was working in his yard that morning when he saw smoke billowing from the upper portion of his barn.Authorities say his son ran up to the second floor to investigate and opened a door, but extensive smoke drove him away from the structure.Crawely said that, unfortunately, opening the door fed the fire more oxygen, causing it to spread further.The family dialed 911, but Fire District 7 firefighters could only save the structure's ground floor, where a restored Ford Farlaine is parked, officials said. Damages, estimated at around $8,000, were confined to the upper floor.Anderson told investigators that in the eight years he's maintained that rec room, he's never had a problem. Earlier this year, officials said Anderson installed two new neon signs in the room.Crawley said he intends to call the fire accidental.Anderson has fire insurance.Last Tuesday, John Durst's neighbor sat watching a Mariner's game around 11 p.m. when he heard a funny noise, much like a jet flying overhead.But it just didn't sound right.So he decided to investigate, and immediately dialed 911 when he saw flames shooting from the corner of his neighbor's Manchester home. Despite the quick thinking and curiosity of Durst's neighbor, the blaze had completely engulfed the 44-year-old structure at 7103 Spring Hill Road by the time Fire District 7 firefighters arrived.No one was injured.Lisa Kirkemo, public information officer for the fire district, said authorities estimated damage to the property, considered a total loss by officials, at more than $300,000. But Durst, who wasn't at home when the fire erupted, is covered by insurance, said Deputy Fire Marshal Jeannie Vaughn said. She added that the insurance carrier quickly responded to the situation and is handling the basic needs of the Durst family.Vaughn said the cause of the fire appeared suspicious at first because a roman candle was discovered near the home along a roadway. But upon closer inspection, fire marshals discovered that flames erupted inside the finished basement above an electrical panel.The nearest we can tell is that there were some problems with the electrical system and we'll most likely rule this fire accidental, said Vaughn, who worked some 15 hours overtime during the holiday. There was heavy external wire damage, though not internal.Fire Marshals believe faulty wires caused a spark, but the fire remained muffled until a window introduced it to a gust of oxygen. Officials said that's when Durst's neighbor saw flames at the corner of the house. The fire erupted after catching hold of some air and fumes from a propane tank's vent."