Remote building engulfed when firefighters arrived
By Ann McCreary
Fire destroyed a house located several miles outside Winthrop on the West Chewuch Road last week.
Fire crews from Winthrop, Twisp and Mazama responded to the reported house fire at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 29, but the house was engulfed in flames when they arrived. “It was well gone by the time we got there,” said Fire Chief Cody Acord of Okanogan County Fire District 6.
The house is a second home, and is located past the U.S. Forest Service’s Eightmile Ranch. The house is surrounded by Forest Service land and is the only residence in the area, Acord said.
The house was not occupied at the time of the fire. The gate to the property was closed and locked when a division chief arrived at the scene, and firefighters had to cut the gate open to get access to the property, Acord said. The West Chewuch Road is not plowed beyond the Eightmile Ranch, but was still accessible to fire vehicles, Acord said.
The residence was so demolished by the fire that “we can’t determine the cause of it,” Acord said. That will be up to the owner’s insurance company, he said.
It’s not clear who called to report the fire, but there were some Christmas tree hunters in the area who might have called it in, Acord said.