Couple burned in fire; puppy spared

Kasilof cabin destroyed in blaze caused by electrical short

Posted: Sunday, March 25, 2007

 

  Central Emergency Services firefighter Matt Mokracek awaits water to fight a cabin fire on Burton Drive in Kasilof Thursday night. Photo courtesy of David LaForest

Central Emergency Services firefighter Matt Mokracek awaits water to fight a cabin fire on Burton Drive in Kasilof Thursday night.

Photo courtesy of David LaForest

A Kasilof couple suffered first- and second-degree burns Thursday night in a house fire on Burton Road near Mile 110 of the Sterling Highway.

Brandon Collins, 21, was flown to Harbor View Medical Center in Seattle with second-degree burns over 40 percent of his body and Nicole Williams, 22, was taken to Central Peninsula Hospital with first- and second-degree burns, according to Central Emergency Services.

The couple reportedly was returning home at about 11:30 p.m. to a cabin they were renting when Collins flipped on a light switch and it caused an electrical short. Fumes from a nearby gasoline can ignited and Collins allegedly kicked the burning can trying to get it away from the entrance to the cabin.

Flaming gasoline splashed on him, burning his face, arms, legs and buttocks. Williams came toward him on the porch and he bumped into her, causing burns on her neck and right arm, according to CES.

CES received a report of the cabin being fully engulfed in flames at 11:44 p.m., and responded with a fire engine, three tankers, two medical units and three command vehicles. The fire was under control within 25 minutes, but not before the two-story cabin was destroyed. A second caller said the two people with burns were being cared for at her home awaiting paramedics’ arrival.

Damage was estimated at $23,000 to the structure and $7,000 to its contents, according to Fire Marshal Gary Hale.

Hale said the cabin had natural gas service, and gas from the meter was allowed to burn until it could be shut off by Enstar at about 3 a.m. Friday.

Firefighters learned the couple had an 8- to 10-week-old black Labrador puppy and believed it had been destroyed in the fire, but while inspecting the rubble, they heard whimpering and found the dog alive.

“It was hiding in the crawl space under the cabin,” Hale said. “It wasn’t burned at all.”

A temporary home has been found for the dog while the couple recovers from their burn injuries.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.



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