Quick work by the Washington Island Fire Department & the use of a recently acquired fire truck is being credited with stopping an early morning fire from spreading at Gibson’s West Harbor Resort on Washington Island. Fire Chief Pete Nehlsen, who lives a short distance away from the resort, says he was at the site within a minute or so after the page went out shortly after 4:30AM…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/N1741.mp3|titles=Island Fire Chief Pete Nehlsen]
Chief Nehlsen credited the use of the newly acquired aerial truck in knocking down the fire quickly…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/N1742.mp3|titles=Island Fire Chief Pete Nehlsen]
Nehlsen says the blaze caused significant damage…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/N1743.mp3|titles=Island Fire Chief Pete Nehlsen]
Other sections of the home sustained smoke & heat damage. Chief Nehlsen says members of the Gibson family got out of the structure shortly after the fire was discovered. He says a smoke alarm alerted them to the problem. During the fire fighting operation, a crew of eight volunteers from the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department, led by Captain Lee Telfer, were sent to the island by Fire Chief Hecht. They helped out for about two hours. Chief Nehlsen sent most of his crew home at about 9AM, but stayed at the scene on what he called “attic watch” to ensure that there were no hot spots. The initial dispatch indicates that the fire could be related to a wood burning stove. No damage estimate is available at this time.
*Photo courtesy of Dick Purinton*