Clallam County Fire District Captain Marty Martinez sprays water on a hot spot of a fire that destroyed a house and adjoining RV in the 700 block of East Kemp Street near Port Angeles on Friday morning. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula News)

Clallam County Fire District Captain Marty Martinez sprays water on a hot spot of a fire that destroyed a house and adjoining RV in the 700 block of East Kemp Street near Port Angeles on Friday morning. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula News)

One found dead in fire east of Port Angeles

House, garage destroyed in Kemp Street blaze

PORT ANGELES — One person died in an early morning house and garage fire east of Port Angeles, according to the Port Angeles Fire Department.

The person has not been officially identified, nor has cause of death been determined, said Nathan Millet, death investigation supervisor for the Clallam County Coroner’ Office. An autopsy will be scheduled next week, he said.

Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue firefighters were dispatched at 5:23 a.m. Friday to a report of a structure fire with potentially two occupants still inside at Hauk Road and Kemp Street east of Port Angeles, the release said.

Firefighters arrived to find a fully engulfed garage with the fire spreading to the house, according to the release. Mutual aid was requested from the Port Angeles Fire Department and Clallam County Fire District 3.

Firefighters searched for potential occupants. A quick check of the bedroom where the potential occupants were believed to be revealed nothing as did another of the living area, firefighters said.

Later, a victim was found in the breezeway between the house and the garage, according to the release.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and the Clallam County Coroner are handling that part of the investigation.

Firefighters moved to a defensive attack when the fire grew and the building became unstable, firefighters said.

“This tactical maneuver aimed to prioritize the safety of the firefighting team while efficiently combating the blaze from a more secure position,” the release stated.

The fire was declared under control at about 9:30 a.m. while Fire District 3 investigators probe the fire’s cause and origin, the release stated.

Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue responded with four career staff, seven volunteers, one engine, two aid cars, two tenders, and a command unit. The Port Angeles Fire Department responded with one engine, one rescue unit, an air unit, and a command unit.

Clallam County Fire District 3 provided one engine, one tender and a command unit. Olympic Ambulance, Clallam County PUD, and the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office also responded.

“Our priority in such emergencies is to protect the life safety of the occupants while ensuring the safety and well-being of all individuals involved,” said Captain Tyler Gear of Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue.

“Our team acted swiftly and efficiently to address the potential rescue with the limited information we received,” he said.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at brian.gawley@peninsulanews.us.

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