Submitted by San Juan Island Fire Department
On Thursday afternoon, March 7, 2019 at 2:20 p.m., San Juan Island Fire and Rescue crews responded to 911 fire call regarding a recreation vehicle fire adjacent to a commercial building on Spring Street in Friday Harbor.
Upon arrival, the vehicle fire had quickly spread to trees and a propane tank adjacent to the commercial building, which housed a retail office supply store. An employee and a customer in the building quickly and safely evacuated. One individual, who had been working on the recreation vehicle when it caught fire, was taken to Peace Health Island Medical Center for minor injuries, where they were treated and released.
San Juan Island Fire and Rescue Chief Norvin Collins said, “This was an aggressive fire. It was fueled by the burning vehicle and the propane tank immediately adjacent to the structure. Once we were sure all occupants were safely out of the building, our goal was to contain the fire to the structure as fast as possible and to ensure the safety of everyone on the scene.”
Wind conditions and materials within the structure made the efforts to completely extinguish the fire complicated and extended the time crews needed on the scene. No additional injuries were reported during the fire. The fire response was an all-hands event requiring multiple crews and the department’s logistics team. San Juan Island EMS provided on-scene support for firefighters and security and scene control was provided by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Department.
Chief Collins said, “It is always a sad day to see people’s lives and a business impacted by a fire. We are very grateful for the support of our community during this event. We are especially grateful for the great work and support of our emergency response partners – San Juan EMS, San Juan County Sheriff, Town of Friday Harbor, Port of Friday Harbor, OPLACO and two propane companies for your response and assistance. The fast response and offers of assistance during emergencies demonstrates that we are all in this together.”