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Park Avenue home destroyed by fire
"Firefighters responded to a late-morning house fire that destroyed a home on Park Avenue East in Port Orchard Dec. 18.There were no fatalities or injuries in the fire, though the home was a total loss.About six fire trucks and about 20 Fire District 7 firefighters responded to the blaze around 9 a.m.When they arrived, the first story of the home, which also had a loft, was pretty much fully involved, according to Jim Walkowski, acting battalion chief for Fire District 7.He said firefighters responded quickly and the flames were extinguished by 9:15 a.m.Ed Iskra, deputy fire marshall with the Kitsap County Fire Marshall's office, said some long curtains hanging above a baseboard heater likely caught on fire, resulting in the blaze and the total loss of the home.Iskra said he had not yet contacted the owners of the home as of Monday evening, but the owners were apparently allowing someone else to live there to clean out the residence.The occupant of the house was taking out garbage and apparently went outside, Iskra said. When he went back into the residence, he saw smoke and called 911.Iskra said the fire appeared to be accidental. He did not know if the owners had insurance.Firefighters estimated damage to the structure of the house to be between $80,000 and $100,000. Because the people who lived there were apparently moving out, there was very minimal content damage, Walkowski said.Though there were no injuries or fatalities in the house fire, Walkowski said the house apparently was not equipped with a smoke detector. There were no smoke detectors inside the house and none going off when we got there, he said. Given the rash of fires recently, Smoke detectors are key, he said.In addition, Walkowski warned against having combustible materials too close to heat sources.It's cold out, everybody's got their heaters going, he said.Fire District 7 personnel recommend keeping anything that could catch fire at least 3 feet away from heaters. If, for some reason, a heat source sparks, it could still ignite flammable materials nearby. It doesn't have to be touching or even close, Walkowski said. "