Hoquiam fires under investigation

Authorities in Hoquiam are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding several recent fires that have caused damage to unoccupied homes.

On Oct. 30, Hoquiam firefighters were dispatched to a residence in the 500 block of Karr Avenue for a reported structure fire.

A motorist heading to work noticed the fire in the vacant residence and called 911. Upon the arrival of police and fire units, they found the home was fully involved. This same residence had been the victim of fire about a year ago; it was unoccupied and had no power or utilities.

While on the scene blocking the adjacent streets for the fire department, officers heard what sounded to be smoke detectors sounding inside a nearby house in the 400 block of Emerson Avenue. As the second house is kiddy-corner across the street from the involved structure fire, it was immersed in smoke from the first fire.

However, when officers checked the second residence they discovered what appeared to be a small fire on the back porch area, which had extended into the kitchen. This home was also vacant as it was listed for sale, but apparently had a pending offer for purchase.

As the Hoquiam Fire Department was still on the first structure fire, additional personnel and equipment from the Aberdeen Fire Department were called to the scene. Fire personnel forced entry into the second house to extinguish the fire.

The first house suffered extensive additional damage and was considered a total loss; the fire in the second home was contained to the back, which resulted in limited damage.

Once the fires were extinguished in both structures, fire investigators from the Hoquiam Fire Department partnered with a detective and fire investigators from the police department, who were called-in to examine the scenes. Search warrants were obtained to investigate the fires at both houses as the locations, times and proximity were considered suspicious.

Hoquiam police are still investigating an undetermined fire at a house in the 2000 block of Simpson Avenue from Oct. 3. In that case, the residence was also unoccupied and had no power or utility services.

Investigators are currently working on the origin and cause of the fires; anyone with information about any of these three fires should contact Detective Grossi at 360-532-0892 ext. 295 or dgrossi@cityofhoquiam.com. You can ask to remain anonymous.

The department fire investigators assisting are Sergeant Krohn at 360-532-0892 ext. 278 or skrohn@cityofhoquiam.com and Officer High at 360-532-0892 ext. 289 or phigh@cityofhoquiam.com.