Two house fires in a little more than 14 hours, including one that might be arson, kept Anderson Island Fire and Rescue busy last night and today.
Coincidentally, the first call came in about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday from the wife of island fire chief Jim Bixler. A neighbor had driven to her home to say his house was on fire, and his cell phone was inside.
The man’s dog died in the blaze, which destroyed his house at 11401 Dahlgren Road and did an estimated $110,000 in damage, Bixler said. A grease fire sparked the blaze, Bixler said.
The second fire was reported at 9:30 a.m. by a Pierce County employee who was cutting brush with a tractor when he saw smoke rising from an isolated vacation home, Bixler said. He called 911, and fire crews arrived in time to contain the fire to the crawl space.
The fire’s origins are considered suspicious because someone was reported was using the house without permission recently. Bixler said its owners, who live in Pasco, had been at the house last weekend to secure it, and he suspects the squatter might have lit the blaze as revenge.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department is investigating, he said.