Alarms, closed door limit vape-pen blaze

A vape pen sparked a house fire at Miller Bay that did little damage thanks to interconnected smoke alarms and the homeowner closing doors to slow the spread of the blaze.

Firefighters from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue’s Suquamish station were called to the Early Dawn Lane residence between Kingston and Suquamish at 6:18 p.m. Friday. The first crew arrived just 5-1/2 minutes after dispatch to find smoke coming from the basement of the 3,200-square-foot home. The fire engine couldn’t make it down the driveway, so the crew had to pull 400 feet of hose to reach the fire, which luckily was snuffed with less than 50 gallons of water as no hydrants serve the area.

A couple, who live there with their adult son, told firefighters when the alarms activated the husband called 9-1-1 while the woman found smoke on the basement level. Firefighters say closing the door kept the fire small by depriving it of air.

Kitsap County fire marshal’s office officials responded. Physical evidence and witness statements point to a malfunction in a charging vape pen as the likely cause. It had been plugged in when the son left for a walk and, apparently, ignited nearby papers and bedding. A charging vape pen was also the likely cause of a January fire in Kingston’s Village Green Apartments. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers tips to prevent vape pen mishaps and recommends they not be left charging unattended.

Fire damage was limited to the one room.