Chief offers insights after Skamokawa house fire


February 15, 2018

To The Eagle:

This past weekend, there was a significant house fire in Skamokawa. Readers may be interested to know that whenever there is a house fire in Wahkiakum, the sheriff’s office dispatches all fire departments to respond. That really paid off in Skamokawa!

At the fire, every district had some representation, and all the personnel were used to good purpose. It was a big effort with responders shuttling and supplying water, people running apparatus, and of course the people wearing air packs and going in and out of the burning building. That the building still stands is a testament to the bravery, persistence, and training of our volunteer firefighters. I am so thankful for each department’s willingness to help out.

Another couple of things are worth reminding readers.

1) Smoke detectors save lives. Easy right? Check, and replace if needed, the batteries so that the detector beeps. The detectors were checked the day before our fire in Skamokawa.

2) Shut the doors of your home to act as fire blocks. It is absolutely dumfounding to see how a relatively thin door can slow a rapidly expanding fire. Make it a habit that, last thing before you go to bed at night, go around your home and shut the doors between rooms and also your bathroom doors. It is unbelievable the difference this makes--believe me.

Lastly, your district/town fire (and EMS) protection only works when there are people who respond. Can you help? Please consider turning out and being part of the solution. What if the next house that burns is yours or a neighbor's? Every department has female firefighters on our crews--no gender excuse. We have young and old members. Thin and not so thin. Fit and perhaps not so fit. Take the plunge and wear the helmet!

I tilt my helmet to our Wahkiakum mutual aid fire departments. A sincere “Bravo!” to you all.

Duncan Cruickshank

Chief, Skamokawa Fire Department


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