A fire that destroyed a house early Thursday morning was spotted by Tualco Valley residents two miles away, who reported it as a possible brush fire.
At about 4:50 a.m. firefighters responded to the call in the 23000 block of 213th Avenue S.E. off Lake Fontal Road near Duvall.
The owner of the house was out of state at the time of the fire and has been contacted. No one else was at the home, and there were no injuries. One dog had been in the home and it was feared the animal had been killed, but later in the day, the pet ran out of the woods, unharmed. A cow in the yard was also unhurt.
It was a difficult fire in that firefighters couldn’t tell exactly where it was, based on the description of the distant witnesses. There are no fire hydrants in that area either; three water tenders were required to make hour-long roundtrips to the nearest hydrant which was 10 miles away, bringing between 2,500 and 3,000 gallons of water with them each time.
It took about 40,000 gallons of water to suppress the fire, said Fire Marshall Mike Fitzgerald.
About 25 firefighters fought the blaze, responding from Lake Roesiger, Monroe, Sultan and Duvall.
The area in which the house was located does not fall within any fire district, meaning fire departments aren’t obligated to respond to the fire, but unless they are all completely busy elsewhere, they always do, said Fitzgerald.
When a house that isn’t in a fire district gets assistance from a fire department, the homeowner is billed, he explained.
“That’s part of the gamble of living in those areas,” he said. “There are quite a few areas, most south of town, that are all unprotected and not in anyone’s fire district.” No one is responsible to respond for fire or medical emergencies.
The home was completely destroyed, and was still burning by mid-afternoon Thursday in pockets where the rubble had collapsed into the crawl space.
There is no official damage estimate yet, and the cause of the fire isn’t yet known.