Family jumps into Puget Sound to escape fire in Manchester

A mother and two children escaped a house fire in Manchester by jumping into Puget Sound Sunday morning, South Kitsap Fire and Rescue reported.

SKFR Battalion Chief Mike Wernet said the family was staying in a house on the 8500 block of Caraway Road April 4 when the smoke alarms woke them up shortly after midnight.

“I heard that they jumped out the windows and into the bay,” Wernet said, explaining that SKFR was dispatched to the house at 12:33 a.m. Easter morning.

When crews arrived, Wernet said the home was “80-percent involved” with “heavy fire coming from doors and windows on the first and second floor.”

The occupants of the home, who were reportedly house-sitting for the owners, were found cold and wet after running into the water to escape the smoke and flames. The victims were not transported for further treatment as per their request.

Wernet said damage to the home and its contents was estimated to be $170,000, and the cause of the fire was still under investigation as of Monday.

It took crews 11 to 12 minutes to reach the fire, a response time Wernet said would improve “drastically” when Station 9 on Mile Hill Drive near Yukon Harbor opens later this month.

“We have a tentative opening date of April 30, and everything is on track,” he said. “(Incidents like these) are why we needed our levy and why we hired new people to open that station.”

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