Heavy machinery the likely cause of Wing Point Drive fire

The Wing Point Drive home overlooks Eagle Harbor. The fire burned from its basement up to the top of a nearby tree. - photo courtesty of Charles Hemingway
The Wing Point Drive home overlooks Eagle Harbor. The fire burned from its basement up to the top of a nearby tree.
— image credit: photo courtesty of Charles Hemingway

It's still early to pinpoint the exact cause of the Tuesday night fire at a Wing Point Drive home, but fire department officials are pointing the finger of blame at a piece of excavation machinery.

The Bobcat-brand machine is still underneath the home where it was being used to excavate the structure's foundation for a remodel. It is likely that the machine caught fire and spread flames to the house, and eventually a nearby tree.

"They're powered by diesel fuel and they have batteries and oil," said Fire Marshal Luke Carpenter. "A combination of all those things may have started the fire."

Since the home remains too dangerous for anyone to enter, fire inspectors cannot determine exactly how the machine could have ignited.

"We haven't been able to get in and lay hands on the thing," Carpenter said.

After the fire was put out around 11 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, a two-man team of firefighters remained overnight at the home to watch for any flare-ups.

Investigators for the fire department began inspecting the charred structure early Wednesday morning. While they could not get too close to the machine, the inspection clearly indicated the Bobcat as the source.

"We believe that it is where the fire originated," Carpenter said.

Until homeowners, insurance adjusters and other officials can determine a safe way to remove it, the Bobcat is staying put.

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