Four people perish in South Kitsap
October 15, 2017
(PORT ORCHARD, W.) -- Fire investigators with the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office, assisted by sheriff’s detectives, are conducting an investigation into an early Saturday morning residential blaze of unknown origin that took the lives of four people.
The fire scene encountered by sheriff's patrol deputies upon arrival on SE Castlewood Drive. Larger image below.
LARGER IMAGE OF ABOVE. Fire scene encountered by sheriff's patrol deputies upon arrival on SE Castlewood Drive. CLICK TO ENLARGE
"It’s believed that those persons who were inside the residence are members of a family; however positive confirmation of the victims’ identities will be made by the Kitsap County Coroner’s Office," said a sheriff's office statement issued Saturday evening.
The fire was first reported at 3:48 am at a residence located in the 3800 block of SE Castlewood Drive, in South Kitsap just outside the city limits of Port Orchard.
The sheriff's office says a preliminary report shows the first South Kitsap Fire Dept. unit arrived on-scene at 3:54 a.m. and found the two-story private residence "fully engulfed in flames."
Not long after that arrival, an engine, medic and tanker units from South Kitsap Fire & Rescue (SKFR), along with units from the Bremerton Fire Department (BFD) and Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue arrived on scene.
Firefighters found a man in his early 60’s who had managed to escape from the home. He was transported by medic unit to Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton for evaluation and treatment.
"A request for a second alarm response was initiated almost immediately," said the sheriff's office statement. "By 4 a.m. it was apparent that additional firefighting personnel and equipment would be needed. BFD and CKFR dispatched units to assist."
Officials says the extent of the fire and "the swiftness of its progression" prevented an offensive attack that would have allowed fire personnel to enter the house to attack flames directly. Instead the operation was conducted defensively from the exterior, by application of water and foam into and onto the house to keep the fire from spreading to adjacent structures or property.
By 7 a.m. the fire was extinguished but still under watch in case of re-ignition. From the sheriff's office statement again:
"It was readily apparent that the house was so badly damaged that it was deemed unstable and not safe to enter. Private restoration service contractors responded to assess the structural integrity of the house, and to undertake stabilization control repairs to make
the house temporarily stable to allow investigators to safely go inside. This took a considerable amount of time.
Around 2:45 p.m. an entry team of fire marshal’s investigators, coroner’s personnel and a sheriff’s detective entered the residence. At approximately 3 p.m. the team located three deceased persons in an upstairs bedroom: an adult male, late 30’s in age, and
two young children, a toddler girl and an infant boy. At approximately 4:30 p.m. a fourth person, an adult woman, early 60’s in age, was found in another upstairs bedroom.
The victims were removed from the house by the Kitsap County Coroner and his staff with assistance from SKFR firefighters, fire marshal’s investigators and sheriff’s personnel.
The county’s forensic pathologist will conduct autopsies of the victims early next week and assist the coroner with confirming their identifications. The coroner will make a determination as to cause and manner of death."
Kitsap County Fire Marshal investigators and sheriff's office detectives are attempting to determine the cause of the fire.