A Hoquiam mother and her two children were made homeless Tuesday after a fire broke out in the attic of a home they were renting, officials said.
At 2:45 p.m., someone walking down the street noticed fire coming from the roof of the house at 915 Alder St. about two blocks from Emerson School. The person ran to the house, and notified Lori Nikula, who fled the house with her teenage daughter and son. Fire officials said the Nikula family was completely unaware of the fire, but upon leaving the house, heard the smoke detectors in their attic sound off.
Neighbors called 911 and the Hoquiam Fire Department was dispatched, arriving on the scene four minutes later.
“There was heavy smoke and flames showing from the roof,” said Fire Capt. Tim Smith, the incident commander on scene.
Initially the fire was reported as a roof fire, but firefighters quickly discovered that the fire was in the attic. He compared the structure and wood in the attic to “kindling.”
“That whole upper structure had fire burning in all spaces,” he said.
Smith said the likely cause of the fire was an electrical wire that had been overdrawn.
The Hoquiam department was assisted by the Aberdeen Fire Department. One firefighter suffered minor neck injuries and was treated on the scene.
The house, which had an estimated value of $80,000, sustained $50,000 damage, with $10,000 done to the contents of the home, officials said.