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Fire starts back up to damage home in Elma

As a married couple was still reeling from a fire that caused extensive damage to the garage and a portion of their home Friday, another fire consumed the rest of the home on Sunday morning.

Around 3:30 p.m. Friday, firefighters from Grays Harbor Fire Districts 5, 2 and 1, as well as McCleary and Elma fire departments responded to a report of a garage fire at 4815 State Route 12.

“On my arrival, I found the garage to be fully involved and extending into the home,” District 5 Chief Dan Prater said. “We did a progressive attack. We ended up taking water out of their pond there and using that water to fight the fire.”

The blaze was extinguished in just under one hour from when the fire crews responded to the location, with mop-up efforts lasting until 9 p.m. Fire crews scanned the area where the fire had touched with thermal-imaging cameras and did not see any spots where there was still fire activity, Prater said.

The crews packed up and headed back to their stations, but less than 48 hours later they were back at the home. A call was received at 1:45 a.m. on Sunday stating that the rest of the house was in flames.

“Between the two fires it is a total loss,” Prater said.

Prater said the origin of the fire on Friday night was in the garage, but the amount of damage the blaze caused made it impossible to state an official cause of either fire. If the second fire had happened less than 12 hours after the fire on Friday was extinguished the cause would have been deemed a rekindle, Prater said, but with the amount of time between the two fires he believes there is a different cause. One possible explanation for the second fire could be an ember that was trapped in the attic of the home, Prater said.

“A lot of things can be speculated, but nothing is found to be suspicious at this time,” Prater said.

There were no injuries due to the fire and an estimate of the damage has yet to be reported as of Monday. Prater said the fire is still under investigation.