Fire Victim Shares Cautionary Tale

I happened to be the reporter on duty Monday when we heard on the newsroom scanner reports of a fire in South Kitsap. To get to the fire, I had to walk down Oakhurst Lane off Berry Lake Road, because emergency crews had closed the area to traffic. Kitsap Sun Photographer Larry Steagall also made the trek down the dark dirt road, but we arrived separately.

Earlier that evening, Heidi Stockwell, her husband Chance DeLong, and their children, Elijah, 8, and Nathan, 5, escaped uninjured from a fire that started around 6 p.m. in the single-wide mobile home on the 6200 block of Oakhurst.

South Kitsap Fire and Rescue responded to the fire but had difficulty locating the property because of the poorly lit road and lack of a visible house number, according to Battalion Chief Doug Richards. Fire fighters put out the fire, but not before the mobile home burned to the ground.

Richards reminds homeowners and renters to make sure house numbers are visible from the road and that smoke detectors are in working order.

Stockwell, who believes one of her children may have started the fire with a lighter, has her own advice.

“I pretty much want to send a message to every parent who has small children,” said Stockwell. “If you have any matches or lighters, keep them (matches and lighters) with you at all times because you never know.”

The family has set up an account at Timberland Bank in Silverdale to accept donations.

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