Units from Blue Lake Fire also responded. Firefighters arrived and found that the house was fully involved in fire and access from the west was blocked by energized power lines that were lying across the road. Additional engines and water tenders were already responding from the Blue Lake side of West End Road. Firefighters kept the fire from spreading into the vegetation and forest in the surrounding yard. They were on scene for about 5 hours.
Three engines and a water tender from Arcata responded, along with an engine and water tender from Blue Lake and a Battalion Chief and engine from CalFire. Humboldt Bay Fire provided a Battalion Chief and engine for coverage at Mad River Fire Station.
“Our automatic aid agreement with Blue Lake is crucial for response in these remote areas and our agreement with Humboldt Bay to provide cover engines for each other provides an additional margin of security that helps both agencies,” said Fire Chief Desmond Cowan.
The resident told investigators that he woke up and found that his bedroom was on fire. He got out and called his sons who live down the street and then tried to go back into the house to save one of his dogs. However, due to the fire and smoke, he was unable to save the dog. The resident suffered smoke inhalation and had singed hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows.
According to Cowan, “The house was completely destroyed and a dog died in the fire, but it could have been much worse if the resident had been overcome by smoke and fire. We’re grateful that he made it out of the house safely.” The Red Cross was contacted and is assisting the fire victim. The cause of the fire is under investigation.